Steve Eighinger

Coronavirus situation helps put things in perspective

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 17, 2020 12:01 am

At first, I was depressed.

All of this fuss over the coronavirus forcing postponement and cancellation of numerous collegiate and professional sports events saddened me.

Not fair, I said.

And then I was hit with a blast of reality.

Let me explain:

My first major disappointment was learning that the Major League Baseball season would likely be put on hold until the middle of April (at the earliest) to as late as even early June.

Then I saw the following report on womenintheworld.com:

"After two trials described by Amnesty International as ‘grossly unfair,' Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

"Sotoudeh, who has dedicated her life to defending Iranian women prosecuted for removing their hijabs in public, has been in the crosshairs of Iran's theocratic government for years. In 2010, she was convicted of conspiring to harm state security and served half of a six-year sentence. Then, in June of last year, she was rearrested on an array of dubious charges.

"Tried in secret ... (Sotoudeh) was ultimately charged with seven crimes and given the maximum sentence for all of them. Five additional years were added from a 2016 case in which she was convicted in absentia. The total 38-year sentence was severe even by Iranian standards -- a country often accused of human rights abuses, particularly involving women."

My thought: Yeah, I think I can survive missing a few weeks of baseball season.

Secondly, I found myself sulking about the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments.

Then I saw a report on the homeless in Los Angeles, where almost 40,000 people struggle to exist on a daily basis. Food, shelter and even bathroom facilities -- three items we kind of take for granted each day -- are all major problems.

The following is a sample of a story that caught my eye on the state.com website pertaining to this subject:

"Jordan Wischmeier, a woman living next to three garbage dumpsters off the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Berendo Street, (is) coping with the danger of homelessness."

The story details how Wischeimer carries a four-inch switchblade for protection and often pulls a bottle of vodka from her purse. She says police often tell her -- and hundreds, maybe thousands of others -- they must move.

"We're always being told we have to move," Wischmeier said, tears spilling from her eyes. "But where are we going to go?"

My thought: Yeah, I think I'll survive without a year of March Madness.

Finally, I was mildly distraught over the NBA season being put on hold.

Then I saw where Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love decided to try and help out those who will be hurt most by the stoppage of play. More players have followed.

NBA players will get paid during this suspension games, but the ushers, ticket takers, concessionaires, janitorial staff and many other hourly workers at arenas around the league will no longer get their hours or checks during this stoppage.

Final thought: The first week of this coronavirus has taught me how truly unimportant those home runs and jump shots are.

Entertaining, yes?

Important? No.