December 2019 seems such a fresh memory in the wake of recent 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, which was first reported in Wuhan, China.
For several health care workers including doctors and nurses, sports has often been a cathartic phenomenon. Cricket, whether it is for local club, county and country, has provided entertainment for folks in all walks of life.
For some, it became part of their routine to watch some form of cricket.
For me too, as an oncologist, it became a mundane routine and provided me with the boost I needed for the next day to get to the hospital and see my patients with vigour.
One never thought of cricket as a medication, for some, to boost their mental health, although it might seem far-fetched to others. If you get hooked on a medication, then there is a state of dependency that a person develops.
And, now, there is a phase of withdrawal and mental chaos in the minds of sports fans. Can you imagine suddenly discontinuing an anti-depressant for a patient who has been on treatment for depression?
Ardent cricket fans perhaps are gripped with this state of mind. Humans have an amazing ability to bounce back, no matter what the situation. Just because sports is on a standstill, life should not be. We have so much to be thankful for in life, besides enjoying cricket in a stadium or television. This is a time for self-reflection and inner motivation. One needs to bring out all our inner reserves and put them to use.
Life of a sports journalist in times of COVID-19
Imagine the life of a sports journalist, one who is earning a livelihood by reporting on events. There is a lull, almost a deafening silence and a significant change in the thought process. The entire population is focused on protecting themselves from the virus and journalists are no exceptions. I admire all the cricket journalists, in particular, who continue to engage cricket fans worldwide.
We suddenly realise how enjoyable life used to be. For any Twenty20 tournaments worldwide like the IPL, CPL or PSL etc, it would provide the appetiser along with their evening meal. And, now television is full of stories related to the pandemic and the havoc it is creating worldwide.
This year’s IPL has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. – SPORTZPICS
No one is immune to this disease. The inherent nature of this virus makes it extremely infectious and all the proper warnings and suggestions need to be followed. It may have taken a bit longer for a few sporting bodies to realise the immense impact of this worldwide horror, but better late than never.
So, what does one do? What are the remedies? We are in the midst of the most challenging times of our lives. This completely unchartered modern medical disaster needs the help of every single human being. It is a tough ask to remain positive in the midst of so much negativity. But then, what is the other option? We have to have faith in our human strengths and modern medicine.
Time will heal and sports will return.
Author Profile: Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta is a practicing Medical Oncologist and Hematologist for the last 28 years. He did his Cancer medicine training at the University of Chicago. He is Professor of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Illinois, USA. Currently, he works for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
He started covering cricket for a Chicago publication, HiINDiA Weekly. He has covered ICC World Twenty20 2010, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 & 2019 , ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, ICC Champions Trophy2013 & 2017 , ICC World Cup Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, ICC World Cup Twenty20 2016.