COVID-19 and how it has affected me…

So, long time no talk…

I have been quiet outside of a few FB posts and tweets over the last month simply because I honestly haven’t been able to actually grasp the enormity of our situation here in the US and the world.  I’m afraid to watch the news to the point I refuse to turn to CNN, MSNBC, FOXNEWS, or even my local news here in the Tampa Bay area.  I find myself binge watching old TV Shows like West wing, or  more recently, CNN’s decade series or their series on the history of comedy, just so that I can shield myself from the totally fucked up news and conditions that are entirely too ugly to bear.  People are dying from a nasty disease that, depending on who you believe, is either way overblown or is the greatest threat since The Spanish Flu of 1918.  To be honest, I don’t know when this will be over, I don’t know if I will get sick or not, as I still will need to go to the grocery store, liquor store (what?.. you think I am going without alcohol during this shit?) and laundromat (should have bought a washer long time ago, since my dryer works fine).  I happen to fall into that demographic that is susceptible to the virus because I am in my 50’s, overweight, diabetic, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol.  So, each time I go out to get essentials I need I am putting myself at risk.

Despite the fact I no longer watch the news, I still have a Twitter feed and I still log into FB every day.  Unfortunately I love both of these social media platforms, along with Instagram.  I follow a lot of sports personalities and political pundits, along with friends of mine that I have known for years on these platforms and I like to keep up with how they are doing and staying in contact with them.  This is a form of distraction to me, to escape the depressing life that I live, and to live vicariously through their experiences, because although I don’t post a lot, I get a kick out of their humor, their experiences and their day-to-day solutions on every day life.  There are a few that I interact with, mostly close friends or people I really enjoy, but for the most part I am a silent watcher that just flat out enjoys what people have to say.   Does that make me a lurker?  Maybe, but it is what I do and it works for me, and it keeps me sane.  I want to thank the many personalities I follow for keeping me sane in this atmosphere of dread, loneliness, and anxiety driven seclusion to keep myself safe and healthy.  Despite the fact I am eating way too much, staying stagnant, not going outside nearly enough, and constantly living in fear that any trip to the store could be the moment I become infected, I look forward to being able to actually see and spend time with friends/coworkers face to face and not via a video stream.

Today marks three weeks I have been working from home, I have left my home (I think) three times in those three weeks, all of which was a trip to the grocery store, and my cats are looking at me like, why are you still here?  Are you ever gonna leave so we can be here alone an do what we want to do?  I spend most of my time in my home office, behind my desk staring at a computer screen or at the TV wondering when I can go back to work with my colleagues that I miss so very much.  I feel very lucky that despite the conditions or circumstances, I am still able to work full time from home and not lose any income because of what is going on.  I work in an industry that provides reimbursement to employees of the public sector for their out of pocket medical expenses and thus we have an important role to play for these people.  We provide an important service, a sense of normalcy, and reassurance that these participants will not be financially strapped when a lot of Americans have lost their income or have seen a significant reduction in their income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This gives me purpose, drives me to excel at my job so that those that need what we provide can get what they need to keep going.  I feel truly blessed to be able to make a difference and I thank my company, the leadership and especially our IT department for allowing our entire company, all 110 employees, managers and executives to be able to work from home and continue the important work we do.

With all that being said…  the one thing that has affected me the most, brought the most sadness and been the largest cause of my anxiety, has been the fact that for nearly a month, we have had NO SPORTS.  I miss sports, hell I even miss the NBA at this point.  No MLB opening day, no NHL push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, no NASCAR, and as of today, the most important and dose of reality for me, is no Masters.  I take the second week of April off  EVERY YEAR just so I can enjoy the greatest golf tournament in the world.  I will miss the lush green of Augusta National on my TV and computer screen this year, the Drive Pitch and Putt, the par-3 contest and of course, this year watching Tiger defend his championship from last year.  I sincerely hope CBS will rebroadcast last years tournament so that we can at least re-live the greatest comeback in sports history one more time.  The NFL draft will not be the same, as teams will draft remotely and there will be no spectacle from Las Vegas, including the draftees being brought to the stage via boat across the lake at The Bellagio (How cool would that have been).  The draft will still take place, but the NFL season is still in doubt as we just don’t know how long this will go on. 

I will close this post with some objective opinion regarding the situation that we are all in.  As of now, I truly believe there is no corner of the country or the world for that matter that this pandemic has not affected in one way or another.  People have lost their jobs, business are closing, those that still have a job have been forced to work from home, and most of all, our first responders, health workers, doctors, nurses, physician assistants, have ALL been placed in harms way, and the news is grim, because there have been reports that some of those that fall into this category have lost their lives while trying to save those that are infected.  I have a niece in Ohio that is a nurse and she is in the thick of it, while also dealing with her own severe health issues, placing her with those that are susceptible to this virus, yet she continues to work, placing the needs of others before her own safety.  I could go into an entire soliloquy on the lack of response by our federal government to this pandemic, but because the importance of getting through it is more important I will not criticize the administration, Congress, or the Cheese-It sitting in the White House no matter how much I feel the lack of response or the delay in response has caused people to lose their lives.  What I will say is that I hope all that read this are safe, are well, and are practicing safe “social distancing” in order to minimize the effects of COVID-19.  Take care my friends, be safe, be well, and please…  stay home…

Join me and four of my good friends on Sunday Night at 7pm Eastern as we bring you “The Sports Nerds” on FB Live – go to my Facebook Page and sign up for notifications to be reminded when we go live.  We discuss the world of sports, pulp culture and whatever else is on our minds.  We provide humor, sarcasm and off the rails discussion. 

Take care… and take care of each other….

Scott “The Sports Nerd”


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