This too shall pass

Another uncertain day in what has, all of a sudden, become an era in which the only certainty is uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, day upon remorseless day, and all of us have been left with no option but to compress our lives drastically to fit into this new reality.

It’s a reality in which – for now – sport has no place. Well, live sporting events at any rate, which, regardless of what the contests may involve, have ground to a halt the world over.

As this has happened, all manner of sporting stories have found themselves interrupted mid-sentence. Our latest battle to avoid relegation – now plunged into suspended animation – is but one sporting narrative that has been stopped from playing out to its end. It’s far from the only one.

How that particular storyline ends for us in 2020 is one that’ll eventually have to be resolved in some shape or form by the GAA once this crisis is over. And resolve it they will, with the fix they come up with itself then going on to form part of the continually unspooling narrative of Mayo’s footballers.

It’s important, in that respect, to bear in mind that this strange state we now find ourselves in will eventually end. The sun also rises. This too shall pass.

To help allay the ever-growing sense of cabin fever I’ve been making a determined effort to get out for a walk locally at some point every day. Early this morning as I made my way back home along Griffith Avenue I took the above photograph.

If you look at it closely you’ll see that the leaves have started to reappear on the trees. They’re horse chestnuts and they always come into leaf some weeks before the other tree species that line the avenue.

Every year the reappearance of greenery on Griffith Avenue comes as an affirmation of renewal and rebirth. This year it seems we need more reassurance than ever that life as we once knew it will return once more.

Shortly after I got back home this morning I heard Limerick manager John Kiely speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland programme. His message was two-fold, focusing on the need for everyone to react responsibly and do the right thing but also looking ahead to when we get to the other side of this crisis.

When this happens – as it eventually will – his message was that it’s then we’ll need sport to provide the country with the lift it’ll undoubtedly need at that stage.

Wise words from a wise man. Here’s to that happy day once we reach it.

In the meantime, keep washing those hands and keep following all the useful advice that’s been issued from the HSE on how to protect yourself and others from the virus – details here.

22 thoughts on “This too shall pass

  1. Well said Willie joe. At the time of Chernobyl in 86 and at the time of 9/11 we all felt the despair Now it’s a similar feeling. However things will improve. As a nation we are a hardy lot. At the moment sport has no importance. But we can look forward and hope and pray that come summer or whenever we’ll have more pleasant days to enjoy Up mayo

  2. I find the constant bad news a bit overwhelming but I have decided to avoid social media for the next few weeks. I will only look at sports sites like this one and ah refs surveys etc. I will look at the daily update on the news and that will be that. Myself the better half and the kids are staying indoors and only going to work a short cycle away in an otherwise empty office as we both medical issues, controlled, but dangerous if we get the virus. I would hope that this forum remains on sport matters only.

  3. I wish I could take a walk every now and then to clear the head, Willie Joe! We are under lockdown in my neck of the woods. One is only allowed to leave one’s living quarters to buy food, tend to an ill person or if they are a medical professional.

    Mind you, there are definitely people who could do with being quarantined-one way or the other- if some recent footage from Temple Bar is to be believed. Reckless stuff altogether.

    We will be lucky to see any football in 2020 if the word from the scientific community is in any way accurate.

    Best hunker down and enjoy Laochra Gael! I started watching the Ár gClub documentary the other evening and found it excellent; TG4 do a lot of good work in promoting our games.

    Stay safe everyone.

  4. Worrying times for everyone. Unfortunately sport has to take a back seat for a while. Only when it’s gone we realise how much we take it for granted. Everyone stay safe and look out for one another…on another note with my mayo hat on I closely following Padraig o hora on hell week and he doing really well. Down to last day next week only 7 left out of 28…tough going.

  5. I’m beginning to think that this is a complete over exaggeration.
    Italy is in a bad state because they are a very laid back society, i have been there 5 times on holidays, things will never get that bad here mainly due to the strict semi lockdown we are experiencing at the moment.
    The football league may be complete now as per the standings.
    Liverpool should be awarded the premiership title.
    The championship may be played but I think it could be in the form of a Super 8 competition.
    Time to wash the hands again.

  6. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

    Hang in there everyone and in a few months this will all be over. Mind yourselves, mind your neighbours and remember, the darkest of the night is just before the dawn.

  7. This whole thing feels like a movie, its so surreal. Keep the hands washed and keep the distance. The amount of people not taking this seriously is disturbing. Can safely say we won’t be seeing any championship this year, if the predictions on the scale of covid-19 are true, and I don’t think im that bothered to be honest. Stay safe everyone here in Ireland, and to the posters based around the world.

  8. On the plus side the days are getting longer and the weather seems to be setting a bit and the time will soon be changed and we have this great blog to keep us company so the spirits should begin to lifts soon. A wise man once told me everything (on Earth at least) has a beginning middle and end so this too will definitely pass and we will come out of it the other side more resilent people please God. On another note Ronan Keating has a new album out so stock up on those ear plugs before it’s too late shorry but you have been warned

  9. Everything feels slightly surreal at the moment. We’ll get through the other side if we look out for those that need a bit of help, and take personal responsibility.

    Malachy Clerkin had a good article yesterday in the Irish Times on how this reinforces how important sport is – at all levels – to us.

  10. WJ – What’s your understanding in terms of whether county teams are currently training collectively? I assume it’s banned.

  11. St Patrick’s Day used to be a great day for sport from the Railway Cup finals to the club finals in more recent years. Also remember playing lesser club games in Mayo in my youth on that day. Also remember Cheltnam Gold cup and some massive international rugby games on the 17th. Hard to believe that all I can do today is go for a walk. But as WJ said it will pass whenever that will be I don’t know Hopefully people don’t suffer too much in the mean time. You tube has lots of highlights of gaa games. Watched the minor replay between Mayo and Tyrone played in Longford last night. Remember being at it. It was a really gripping game with Kyle Coney outstanding for Tyrone. Could have won both draw and replay but what’s new about that. Happy St Patrick’s Day and stay safe everyone.

  12. All county trainings for all ages are cancelled until March 29th , lots of sessions been sent on APP’s to the squads

  13. For all us, GAA head’s…4 PM TG4 All Ireland Gold…1977 All Ireland Football Final..Armagh V Dublin…(health and safety was’nt great back then)…5.30 PM same Channel..Laochra Gael… Alan Brogan!… enjoy it folks…

  14. And of course..Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh go leir….PS there is an article on ‘the 42 ‘ about Ciaran Mac Donald haven’t gotten around to it yet myself!

  15. Happy St Patricks day to all.
    We owe it to ourselves, our families, our neighbours, and friends and to our health workers to keep washing the hands.
    Keep the distance as much as possible from engaging with others.
    Phone the neighbours, especially the older ones and anyone that might be living alone.
    Drop the shopping outside their doors if they need it.
    When this Virus is beaten and it will be beaten, make sure we are all able to hold our heads up high and be proud of the little sacrifices we made to protect ourselves and our communities.
    We are a socialising oriented breed so the challenges are there.
    Be responsible for the steps we all took to beat this monster and let no one be responsible for feeding the beast.
    We are a fighting race and our history proves this out.
    We always come out the other side.
    Keep fighting until this war is won.
    Good health to everyone and take extra care of yourselves.

  16. One of my earliest memories of St Patrick’s Day was watching Connacht playing in the Railway Cup on a snowy telly with John Morley and Joe Corcoran the main focus of my attention. I’m sure there were other Mayo players on that team but I cannot recall. All I remember is being so proud that we had players of that calibre mixing it with the very best to play the game.
    As a player I hated January and February with all the heavy stamina training – running endlessly around mucky fields in almost complete darkness and not a ball in sight. The only thing that kept me going was the prospect of getting to play football at some stage! I have the same feeling today looking out at a miserable sky full of rain clouds. Hang in there and this will indeed pass and we will get the smell of wintergreen in our nostrils yet again!

  17. Leantimes I read the article on C. Mac and it’s nice read. I’m glad he’s back with our team. Met him once years ago and he was quiet and lovely…a gentleman.
    It’s a weird time all over the world. But as posters have said we need to stand together (apart) and do what we know is right. I went for a run this morning with my St Patrick’s gear on me and had good fun just waving at cars and trucks. Let’s smile and greet from a distance and be kind to people. We’re all in the same boat…but separately. Very confused language, isn’t it!!
    We are social animals but we are also survivors. My instinct is to self care, keep clear, stay healthy and happy and read the Mayo GAA blog. Too much drama and doom is bad for me. We’re united in many ways. Let’s keep positive and call a friend if you’re struggling.
    I’m having a virtual coffee tomorrow with 2 good friends… God bless WhatsApp!!
    Maigheo go deo. Take care everyone and happy St Patrick’s Day to you all. This too will pass.

  18. One day in the not too distant future we will be going for pints after watching Mayo win a big game somewhere, that much is certain. In the meantime, be nice to each other.

  19. It’s strange feeling seeing the streets empty, nothing but news reports of pandemics but I think as Mayo fans we are better prepped than most to look for the positives in the future! Amazing how as the world shuts down we look the things that fill us with excitement and joy, only to see that they are at standstill, yet my mind is preoccupied with the thought that we will have another few months to solve our transitioning problems and get our lads going for a tilt at Sam.
    In the midst of everything Mayo football sneaks in and makes me ignore armageddon!


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