If you blinked and missed it: The NBA season has been suspended indefinitely after a player tested positive for the new coronavirus right after jokingly touching all the microphones lined up to interview him; the NCAA tournament will be played behind closed doors; Washington, D.C., and the entire state of California became the latest places to call for banning large gatherings (defined as more than 1,000 people and more than 250 people, respectively) as social distancing measures; and concerts large and small and TV productions and pretty much anything else you can think of are being shut down left and right. Oh, and the White House has banned flights from Europe (but only if you’re a European) even though the U.S. may well already have nearly as many infected people as Europe, and Spain’s soccer league is suspended for at least the next two weeks, and both the Champions League and Europa League could be suspended at any moment now after matches were canceled when teams’ planes weren’t allowed to land in cities they were scheduled to play in, and movie theaters could be next. No word yet on MLB and the NHL and MLS but it’s hard to see them continuing play when all of California is shut down and anyway I’m still typing this sentence so check Google again to see if anything has changed in the interim.
Not much more to say about this, really, except that one big unknown is how long the suspension of all mass public life in the U.S. will last, or even how anyone will decide that it’s over. (If the spread of cases slows over the next week or two — assuming there’s even enough tests available to tell how many cases there are — is that a sign that the crisis is on the wane, or that social distancing is working and should be continued?) And the jury is also still out on whether this will get people even more used to staying home and consuming culture (including sports) remotely, or create a pent-up demand to get out of the house that will make everyone rush out to go see sports and concerts and whatnot as soon as they’re allowed again. Oh, and how many people will die, that’s another big question.
Writing this site will continue unchanged, since it doesn’t require leaving the house under any circumstances, except inasmuch as everything is changed right now so the scope of news being reported may be a little weird. Bear with me, and I promise you some sweet new vaportecture as soon as any is available — so far as I know, there hasn’t been a ban yet on mass gatherings of clip-art entourage.