What COVID-19 Has Taught Me

Written by on May 25, 2020

On March 10 around 2 p.m. Kent State announced all face-to-face classes would be suspended until April 13 due to the coronavirus.

This is the first time I actually took COVID-19 seriously. Before March 10, I thought the virus was a hoax (yes, I really did!). I thought it would blow over like the Swine Flu and Ebola did.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in my dorm room right after I got back from class, and I was reading my Twitter feed that the news had hit me: I wasn’t coming back to Kent for a little over a month.

After I let my parents know my fate, I began to pack up for home, but I didn’t bring everything because I thought I would be in Kent in April.

Two days later, I was watching Cleveland 19 News when the news broke that the NBA season was indefinitely suspended because Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the virus.
This is when it really hit me: What the heck is going on in the world?

Over the next few days, several events occurred, including the cancellation of all sports, concerts and filming of TV shows and movies until further notice. Soon after, bars, restaurants, hair salons, and anything else that wasn’t an “essential business” would be closed down till further notice. Many colleges, including Kent State, also announced that face-to-face classes were suspended for the rest of the semester.

During that time, I went to the store with my friend. I’ve never been more terrified in my life. There was no toilet paper, paper towels or meat on the shelf.

It was official: COVID-19 was real. This is our new normal. What happens now?

The next week during our spring break, I went back to Kent to retrieve my belongings that I did not take with me when I left a couple weeks prior. The whole time I was in my dorm, I kept thinking, “Brandon, this might be the last time you’re in Kent for a long time.”

Being in Leebrick Hall at that time was creepy. I had never seen the parking lot so empty, and the building so quiet.

After spring break, I began to adjust to having to do school work online. It wasn’t terrible, but I just wasn’t motivated. I was at home. I didn’t want to do school work! I just wanted to watch Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, The Herd and WWE. I just wanted to be with my BSR family.

For the last month of the semester, I stayed busy. I finished all my work, I wrote and edited a lot of articles for this site, including working with DJ’s on a thank you note and a Q&A series. I wrote about my favorite YouTuber’s, Outmatched and Wrestlemania 36. I also spent a lot of quality time with family.

Since the spring semester has passed, I have been reflecting a lot. I have been writing a lot. I have been playing a lot of board, card and video games. I have been watching a lot of YouTube and TV.

But, what I realized is: I don’t miss sports.

My colleague Sean Fitzgerald wrote an article a month ago detailing why he thinks sports should not come back until a vaccine is found. I completely agree with Fitzgerald for the most part. Where we differ is he wishes sports could come back ASAP, and I do not.

Look, if you consider wrestling a sport, then I have had sports during this entire pandemic, and while WWE has been different during this pandemic, I have enjoyed it. They are trying to put on an entertaining product for us each Monday and Friday, with an occasional weekend Pay-Per-View (PPV), and while it was a struggle at first, I think the product has been excellent over the last month. Wrestlemania and Money in the Bank were fantastic PPV’s, and the fact that Otis is getting pushed and that my favorite wrestler of all time, The Rated R Superstar, Edge, is back makes my heart smile! Edge has brought back my love for the industry!

Besides wrestling, I still have Property Brothers every week, YouTube, Total Bellas, country music and games to keep me busy. I’ve been able to express my thoughts on TV shows such as Outmatched and Last Man Standing, along with country music during this time. It wouldn’t have happened if baseball was in season, and the NBA Playoffs were nearing a close.

Don’t get me wrong; I still love sports. Sports broadcasting is why I came to Kent State. The sports department here at BSR was the reason I joined during my first semester.

But for a sports obsessed person like myself, not having sports has caused an adjustment. Yes, I still listen to Skip and Shannon argue about Dak Prescott’s contract daily on Undisputed. Yes, I still listen to Colin Cowherd give his theories on Tom Brady and Bill Belichick every day. Yes, The Last Dance was fantastic (Lebron is still the G.O.A.T. in my opinion), but it’s been nice to see the world from a different perspective.

It’s been nice to not feel so stressed out about the Indians every night. It’s been nice to read some books, listen to Florida Georgia Line and Chase Rice, write/edit some articles for this wonderful website and just relax, and not worry about whether Brad Hand is going to be able to save the game for the Tribe.

I still love sports. Sports is the reason I came to Kent. I want a career in sports radio.

All I’m saying is I don’t miss it quite as much as I thought. Now, if football doesn’t start in the fall, I may have to revisit this article because if there’s one activity I absolutely refuse to miss, it’s watching Eagles football! But, for now…



Brandon Lewis is the Web Director for Black Squirrel Radio. Follow him on Twitter @brandonlewis_7.

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