Cautious progression needed for reopening

Cautious progression needed for reopening

Return of pro sports feels like an unnecessary indulgence at this time

Ski today so you can ski tomorrow.

It’s a little out of season I guess, but the lesson applies year-round.

When we were kids just learning the ropes, my siblings and I would tell our parents that we were quite alright to ski down the hill on our own because we would quite simply crash in a controlled heap at the bottom if we felt ourselves going out of control. Oh, to be a kid and feel free of the caution in our head that will, in the future, warn us that our knee might not be the same after such a stunt of recklessness. Our bones and bodies, I suppose, were also bouncier then.

Obviously, after hearing that their children were quite willing – eager, even – to fling themselves against the icy pitch in what the kids doubtlessly imagined to be a feat of daring skill and bravery, our parents squeezed us tighter between their pizza’d skis when we would say this, at least until we could prove that we could turn and stop without the arresting help of a firm berm of snow. Even when we became free to roam, it was also never advised to hit the terrain park on the last run of the day, lest it become the last run of the season. Ski today so you can ski tomorrow.

Some read the lesson as overly cautious and others read it as just a statement of solid future planning. While I could blame the warning for never having felt the thrill of nailing the landing on a backflip, my functional shoulders and knees now tell me that there are other things worth enjoying in life. I (my parents’ caution) protected them through my most impulsive times and now I can still walk, run and ski as much as I like.

And this is where I think it applies to us right now, but I’m having a tough time determining to what extent.

We want to go out for a bite to eat today so that we can do the same next week too. Sure, it’s no backflip, but after nearly four months without hugs from our dearest friends, these renewed freedoms sure can feel like it.

But how far do we take it? – How do we make sure we can ski tomorrow, and in December too? When just going to the grocery store has felt like a life-altering event for the past few months, how much do we let ourselves accelerate without slamming together at the bottom of the hill in a yard sale of skis and poles?

(As you can tell by this point, I am not a particularly impulsive person and am often cautious even when nearly guaranteed a certain outcome.)

This is where I struggle.

I, for one, am thrilled that care homes across the province are making plans to welcome designated visitors back to see their loved ones. While trying to protect vulnerable people from physical pain and the threat that we’ve seen COVID-19 impose on many, particularly in the Lower Mainland, I know that my family and others have seen our loved ones’ mental health take a battering from being sequestered for so long. In the balance of risks, the reopening of care homes (when done with precautions, of course), should be welcomed.

Selfishly, I’m now thrilled to spend my Saturday mornings watching European soccer again. So far, so good – no teams in England’s top flight have had positive cases since the re-start. But when I look inward, it does seem like an unnecessary extravagance for the moment. Look at what’s happening in North America. Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Basketball Association are all aiming to play in Florida this summer. Florida is still blowing up with new cases, while teams in each league are reporting new cases daily.

Why do we try and push it forward? Why are these organizations trying out a new trick on the terrain park on the last run of the day?