COVID stories are unique but all are connected


In a society where seemingly everything can be a tool of division, I think there is one thing we can agree on. The day when COVID is a word lost to history will be a happy one. Whether you’ve had the virus or not, everyone’s life has been impacted in some way. Some have been kept from their loved ones as a precaution while others have turned their home into their workplace.

I’m not belittling anyone’s story or saying one situation is equivalent to another. I’m simply pointing out that we’ve all seen life changes in some way. My COVID story has been one of hurry up and wait.

I remember well when the NBA announced a pause to their season. I suspected the trickle down would quickly find its way to high school sports and I was right. The unknown was as thick as the banana pudding at a church homecoming meal.

As time went on, I started hearing whispers and rumors about possible sports seasons. Then came the day when that was made official. I was initially encouraged but quickly concern came over me. Would the changes in schedules cause changes in rosters? I didn’t have to wait long to get the answer — yes.

Student athletes from Hayesville High School starting transferring across the state line to compete for Georgia schools who had a schedule more aligned with those we are accustomed to. While I understand it, I still hate to see it. Teams I’ve covered for years changed drastically. Just this week HHS junior Jake McTaggart announced on Twitter he had transferred to Towns County citing, COVID 19 restrictions put in place by the NCHSAA. Watching athletes who have grown up in an athletic program be put in position to make this type of decision is a scene I’d rather not memorize. Just as sad is seeing coaches who have invested time and love into an athlete have to stand idle knowing their hands are tied.

Those scenarios are made worse by those who use COVID as an excuse to do questionable deeds. We’ve all heard it at some point over the last few months. “Well I normally would never do something like this, but these are unprecedented times.” While that might be true in some cases, I’ve noticed the majority of those situations are just a way for the culprit to do whatever they want without consequences. Basically, “unprecedented times” is the new “bless their heart.”

You can trash talk someone as much as you want as long as you end the blasting session with “Bless their heart.” Now, you can get out of any responsibility or commitment by saying, “These are unprecedented times.”

Thankfully, to date my COVID story doesn’t include a case of the virus. But I know that everyone reading this and those who aren’t have their own COVID tale. It would just be nice and see how they all are intertwined.