15th March: Sunday Overtime – Shutout

Welcome to our sometimes-weekly hockey update. I expect this will be the last for a while, given latest circumstances.

Even though approximately eighteen years have passed in the span of a week, there were actually hockey games in living memory. The last Caps game was played on Monday, a shootout loss to Buffalo, attended by our own Donya, and Julie of Puck ‘Er Up Podcast.

Potentially the last hockey games of the NHL season were played on Wednesday, and honestly all I can remember is that Gabriel Landeskog lost a tooth but is still as handsome as all get out.

But that’s not the story this week. It’s not the story for the next few weeks, and likely months. While we are all bemoaning the lack of sport, there is something a great deal more important at play in the world. I am not going to waste space on the negative and selfish tweets while we are facing a crisis, the likes of which none of us have lived through before.

First reaching global attention in January, a coronavirus known as COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels.

There is no vaccine and, as yet, there has been no effective medical treatment, beyond supportive care for those who require it. The most effective way to face this virus can be done by every one of us.

By postponing their remaining games, the NHL has participated in one tactic for reducing spread – that of social distancing. It is well-established that COVID-19 likes a party and one does not have to be symptomatic to spread it.

The other effective measure is hand washing. This should take no shorter than twenty seconds and, if you’re a Caps fan, here are a couple of effective soundtracks to keep in mind while you scrub those mits.

I would be thoroughly remiss, of course, if I didn’t mention the other impact of games being cancelled; for those people who work in our favourite teams’ arenas, suddenly their job has vanished. For now, yes, but these employees, some termed as ‘part-time’ but all dependent on a living wage, are facing massive uncertainty and the potential of huge financial loss.

Dave, on Twitter, has been updating this thread with a list of those hockey teams who are not paying their arena employees during this shutdown.

Now, as has been said by people smarter and prettier than me, I have no idea how to explain to you that you need to care about others. These multi-millionaire/billionaire owners have a moral obligation to support these employees, particularly in a society with such scant regard for workers’ rights.

If this pandemic teaches us anything, it’s that we all need to stick together. Currently, sticking together means staying apart but as has been said so beautifully:

We’re standing far apart now so we can embrace each other later.

Twitter

So, boys and girls and babes, wash your hands. Keep your distance. Flatten the curve. Stay in touch with your loved ones. Support your healthcare workers. We will have hockey again.

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