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Baseball’s new normal

The Coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. MLB returning doesn’t mean things are back to normal, but it does mean more people will die.

Daily Life In Beijing After Coronavirus Outbreak Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images

The other day I was in the back of the ambulance in my full isolation gear. As I tried to maintain good breathing through my respirator, deal with both my gloves and gown clinging to my skin because of sweat, and try to see out of eye protection that doesn’t exactly work with glasses I thought about baseball for a second. A bevy of people will probably wonder why I would think of baseball at such a time and that is the exact reason why I found myself thinking of baseball at that moment.

A lot of folks have moved on, but the fact remains that the coronavirus is still present and it is still deadly. More and more cases are reported every day in America, with Monday’s new cases being more than Sunday’s, Tuesday’s more than Monday’s, and so on and so forth. Despite all this, the federal government has decided to move on from COVID-19 and as a result, many people have moved on as well.

That’s the problem with false normalcy, it makes people think they are safe even when they aren’t. Say I’m a car dealer who knows that a car on my lot has faulty airbags. I know that if you get into an accident those airbags will not be deployed and you will possibly die. All the same, selling that car is very important to me. You need a new car, you like that used car on my lot. You tell me that it’s important that you are safe in your car. I decide to tell you that the airbags work just fine. I sell you the car and you drive off thinking that everything is safe and normal in your new car.

The government has sold us a bill of normalcy. They want things back to normal because if things are normal then people will be happier. The government told us the coronavirus is no longer a threat and we are okay to reopen in the same way I told you that the airbags worked and it was safe for you to drive around in your new car. The difference is that unlike with the airbags we have reason to suspect that the coronavirus is still a major problem. We know that it’s still lurking, that people are still getting sick and dying.

We want that normal feeling though, we crave normalcy so much that we are willing to overlook the facts that are right in front of our face. Major League Baseball beginning their 2020 season plays a large role in any return to normalcy. If baseball is being played by the biggest league in the land then America has won, we have vanquished the evil that was the coronavirus and returned to our normal lives.

Those in power over the return of MLB don’t care about the risk that is assumed by fans or players should games begin anew. What matters to them is making money. To them, normalcy means a return to profits and lots of money. If a few people get sick and die, well, is it really all that bad as long as they make their money? Notice the ease with which they convinced you that the only thing preventing a season was the greedy players? It’s not that there’s a deadly virus still running rampant throughout the globe. Don’t think about the virus, instead, think about the players and their unfettered greed stopping you from returning to normal and watching baseball on a Thursday afternoon with a cold one in your hand.

A world in which COVID-19 exists is a world where normal has been redefined. Stop worrying about how many games will be played and how much the players want to be paid for those games. Instead, focus on the disease that is still present and is still taking the lives of thousands of people. The financial viability of MLB returning never should have been a question, because MLB never cleared the hurdle of it being safe to resume baseball activities. The new normal isn’t safe and cozy, it’s deadly and more than willing to take your life while you squabble over finances.