Without doubt, we are living through one of the biggest stories the world has ever seen. We are living through a time that will command chapters when the history books are rewritten.
Who could ever have imagined that in 2020, our towns, cities and countries the world over, would be brought to a standstill. These are certainly unprecedented times that will live long in the memory for all the wrong reasons. Our children’s children will be reading about this in their school curriculum as will generations long after. With advancements in technology and medicine we wonder how this pandemic has the entire world on its knees.
When I read about any event that occurred a long time ago from the history books that had devastating effects, I immediately presume that at that time, things were primitive, old fashioned if you like and the human race wasn't very advanced. It's over 50 years since a man landed on the moon after all. In fifty or one hundred years time they will be saying the exact same thing about the current situation we find ourselves in.
How could a virus that started in China not be put under control in 2020, they'll wonder? Every day is like Christmas day now without the Turkey; towns are vacant, void of a human presence, with only a handful of essential businesses still operating.
Everyday is like ground hog day. We as a family take our dog for a walk every morning and evening and the silence around Charlestown is deafening. On glorious bright evenings filled with sunshine, there are but a handful of people visible. The playground in Charlestown is empty, it would normally be a hive of activity where youngsters meet up for social interaction in the long evenings. These are strange times.
Will we see a championship at all this summer?
There is huge talk and debate about what is going to happen regarding the 2020 GAA calender. The answer is simple, nobody has any idea. There is word and talk that the remaining two league games will be used as warm up matches before the championship kicks off in the old fashioned format of straight knock-out, if you lose there is no safety net of the back door available because of time restraints. All these different scenarios are hearsay of course.
This postponement couldn't have come at a better time for Mayo and a worse time for Galway, as Padraig Joyce's troops were gathering momentum while playing some exhilarating football. Managers and players would love nothing more than to be given clarification regarding the remainder of the 2020 season, but circumstances continue to change dramatically overnight, which make that impossible.
What was acceptable yesterday may not be acceptable today in trying to curb the spread of covid-19. As much as we crave to attend a game and miss our national sport so badly at the weekends, needs must and football has to take a back seat. It doesn't even make the first rung on the ladder of importance in the current climate.
If I was to even try to attempt to call this from a long way out, we will be lucky to complete the 2020 championship - unless we get a window later in the year to run a knock-out provincial championship and the four Provincial champions go straight into the semi finals, as used to be the case. With the postponement of the Galway game in New York and the Roscommon game in London, the championship has already had its casualties.
Then the under age and club situations have to be taken into account, which adds up to a huge bottleneck. Recently the champions league and Euro's have been postponed and when you consider the Wimbledon Tennis championships have already fallen foul of the pandemic, it gives you a clear indication of the time frame we are dealing with. Those championships are a full three months away and were to be concluded on July 12.
No doubts about O'Hora's mental strength
What more can you say about recruit number 23 from “Hell Week”. Ballina Stephenites and Mayo player, Padraig O'Hora, certainly did himself proud during the television series with an unbelievable showing of mental and physical strength. We have all seen his teak toughness on the field, but he took it to a new level on the show. There was a time he looked under serious pressure because of the cold but somehow managed to hang in. For anyone who hasn't watched the series, I suggest you find it online as it's compulsive viewing. My children asked me would I be able for it and without hesitation they got a flat “no way”. Bravo Padraig- it's a nice extra to add to your CV. Stay safe everyone.