This letter to the editor was submitted to LebTown. Read our submission policy here.

In the fall of 2019 my wife and I attended two of Penn State’s home football games. Since I am handicapped, I go in a wheel chair. The Pitt game was sold out, but I was able to wrangle two handicapped seats and we both went in wheelchairs. I love watching football, but there will be no more cheering with 100,000 screaming Penn State fans in Beaver Stadium for the foreseeable future.

COVID-19 has stopped all major sports events the world over. No one wants to talk about the major sports in the United States because there are billions of dollars at stake and the fan base is huge. This virus is very contagious and we are just beginning to figure out how it behaves. Sitting next to total strangers in a huge stadium or arena has been sports for the past 100 years, but no more.

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I do not believe any of the major sports will return to their former glory, until there is a massive testing program and a vaccine; and that will take years. With all the money involved it will be really interesting to see to what lengths the professional baseball, football, hockey, and basketball leagues will go to salvage their investments

Colleges and universities also have a big investment in infrastructure, student athletes and the paid bureaucracies needed to run major sports programs. I was wondering as I listened to the stories about the recent NFL Draft whether any of the kids being selected will ever play the game.

We have had season tickets for the Gretna Theater for many years. There will not be any shows in this famous open-air venue during the summer of 2020. I will really miss the after-show party at the Hall Of Philosophy.

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What about movies? Who is going to sit in a dark theater next to total strangers and watch a movie for two hours? Most of us won’t, because we have no idea whether COVID-19 may be sitting in the seat next to us.

My grandson and I spent the month of February traveling through Florida in a 24-foot motorhome. We visited the Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, the Everglades, attended a Pirates vs. Blue Jays baseball game, and stopped in the Smokey Mountains on the way north. We arrived home March 10, just in time to watch the world fall apart. Great trip, but sadly, none of us will be able to repeat the same trip for a very long time.

COVID-19 has changed our lives forever and our success as a species will depend on how well we respond and cope with the many changes this tiny life form has unleashed.

Richard M. Brown lives in Mt. Gretna. He is a retired science teacher.

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