I saw a slice of normal on a diamond of dirt and grass in the Arizona desert

Sandy Tolan and his sister Mary Tolan at a spring opening game. /Submitted

A new season: Sitting at a baseball game, I saw the promise of a post-Covid life

Opinion by Sandy Tolan | CNN

It was on a Friday in the middle of March, one full year after everything stopped and time began to move like molasses. As monstrous loss and incalculable heartbreak piled up in mind-numbing numbers across America, our year at home turned inward. Family and friends were reduced to squares on a screen. Like many others baking bread, Zoom schooling, trying new recipes, learning an instrument, plowing through thousand-page novels, calming the fears of children — even accepting, for now, their screen addictions, to say nothing of our own — we adapted.

Inevitably the tedium of our groundhog days made us a little crazy, gnawing at our minds as the walls closed in. Would we ever hug our friends again? Would we ever leave the house without looking like bandits? Would I ever get another haircut? Would we ever again gather in public without the paralyzing fear of a respirator, and a tearful goodbye on Zoom?

And so on that warm Friday in March, on a field in northwest Phoenix, the normalcy of a baseball game became incredible. Once again, young men played under the sun, renewing a ritual of spring half as old as our nation.


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