Turning 30 was always going to be demanding both mentally and physically, but the World Health Organization’s statement that the coronavirus had become a global pandemic just hours before March 11, 2020, ensured that my fourth decade was going to go. begin, literally, in a different time.
The last day of my 20s also saw beloved Hollywood couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19 and the National Basketball Association (NBA) go so far as to suspend their season after polarizing star Rudy Gobert is became the league, and American Sports’ for that matter, patient zero – two turning points for many people of my generation.
In fashion now
Next are the forced shutdown of cruises, the halt of air travel, new White House health and safety guidelines and a nationwide toilet paper shortage.
Like many longtime sports fans and who are often inspired by them to travel, it was in the first moments after the shocking announcement from the NBA that reality began to permeate. Not only will games and mass events like concerts and festivals not take place for the foreseeable future, they may never be the same again.
Almost two years later, I’m grateful to say that the new normal looks a lot like the old but with better sanitation and hygiene awareness. The COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent boosters have been a game-changer for the better but, for the most part, it’s not a barrier to reaching the crowd.
Face mask reminders, social distancing markers, and hand sanitizer stations are commonplace at sporting events, concert halls, and other venues with large crowds just like they are the grocery store or the store. airport but, just like these places, they do not offer impenetrable security coverage.
However, there are risks everywhere and those who have boarded a crowded plane or lined up at the supermarket in the past 21 months have likely accepted this and likely won’t feel any less safe inside. of a stadium or music hall, some of which require everyone who enters, even players or performers, to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
What certainly hasn’t changed about the live event is the atmosphere, excitement and indelible experience that surpasses anything you might encounter virtually.
I have been fortunate enough to attend several sporting events over the past few months, including a Major League Baseball game, a National Football League game, and a pair of NBA games. In all scenarios, it didn’t take long before things turned to normal, for better or for worse.
The parking lots were crowded on arrival.
The crowds were loud and rarely avoided the dancing or kissing camera.
The concession stands and team shops were open with fans lining up.
The player presentations were electric and the literal fireworks display was impressive.
Even the halftime entertainment felt like it was never gone.
While the technology has only improved since March 2020, making it easier to opt out of the TV or phone to check out our favorite athletes, musicians and stars, it has also improved the in-person experience of the event. live. Ticketing and contactless payment for food and drink, for example, is a welcome sight and hopefully a change that’s here to stay.
The virtual experience isn’t going anywhere either, but there’s nothing quite like being part of the action and I’m happy to say the live event is officially back and arguably better than ever. .