Coronavirus and sports: What happened in April 2020?
COVID-19 has been an absolutely devastating virus which has spread across the globe with little in the way of a plan to stop it. It has shut down industries, crippled people, and left the world feeling like this dark period may never be over.
Every aspect of modern life has been influenced by COVID-19, and the world of sports has been no exception. What was once a bright and indomitable part of global culture, be it English Football or German Bundesliga now has a black spot, a mark which may never go away for how much it will influence the world after the pandemic – April of 2020.
An Industry in Tatters
What you have to try and understand to start off with is that a lot of the damage caused by COVID-19 and other disasters is measured as a financial loss. What we’re dealing with right now can only be described as a massive blow to the sports industry on a global level.
In 2018, the sports industry was valued as a staggering $471 billion. This was a 45% increase over the figures of 2011, to put it into perspective. This value continued to grow during the intervening two years, until COVID-19 hit, and that fateful day happened, in April 2020. No one survived the fallout from that – not the teams and clubs, or sponsors, the players, the sporting networks covering the games – everyone suffered.
April 2020: The Month Sport Stood Still
It was with a pretty heavy heart that when it came to April of 2020, the sport industry had to pretty much concede that it was fighting a losing battle.
The majority of the world was in a government-sanctioned lockdown. COVID-19 was killing people left, right and centre. It made it understandably difficult for anyone to try and work out what was going to happen, and it left people feeling pretty frightened by all of this.
So the sporting industry pretty much had to comply, and shut down. Some places had already folded under the pressure, seeing that it was too much for their clubs and players to risk, whereas others were struggling with the decision, knowing that it could cause financial ruin.
The Impact on Morale
Something else that we can not dismiss out of hand is the impact that this whole event will have had on morale. You have to remember that for a lot of people, sport is literally everything. They love it, want to be surrounded by it all the time, and can’t think of anything better than being able to unwind with some sports at the end of a long day.
So to then cut these people off from their sporting events can seem like a massively cruel thing to try and do. What’s important to remember is that when it comes to how we look at the world, the way that we do things and how this will affect people, you need to try and consider that from a social perspective, that community is cut off.
If people don’t have their average amount of sport, the support network and social ties that come with that are lost. You don’t have access to what it is that you need in regards to solidarity. This is really what a lot of people struggle with. They want to be able to connect with others, but don’t necessarily have the resources to do that without sport as a medium. There is something about being in a stadium with fans watching a game that really helps to bring people together. Without that, people struggle to have the same social connections that they enjoy previously.
The Financial Impacts
Of course, we have to consider that there are financial issues that can occur from a global pandemic. For all intents and purposes, the sporting industry has ground to a halt, making them effectively useless in terms of generating cash flow and creating revenue. Stadiums no longer have visitors coming on a regular basis, the vast amount of money required to maintain and keep this place in good condition isn’t present.
There will be some areas of the sporting industry which simply cannot recover from the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are going to be elements which will struggle to get back on their feet, clubs and players which may find themselves out of work and with no funding to recover with. It’s going to be a very interesting future for people, as we are not out of the woods just yet at the time of writing, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what happens next.
In conclusion, the month of April 2020 was definitely a hard one for the sporting industry as a global entity. The sheer volume of damage done by COVID-19 has potentially been irreparable, and there are many aspects of the industry, like for example the stadiums themselves which will simply suffer as a result of not having the revenue that they need to maintain and look after their grounds. Of course, one can simply not ignore the social impact of COVID-19 either, as many people are now lacking a support network for the first time in their lives. Understandably, this is definitely not what you want, and will no doubt lead to a sheer increase in the number of people feeling alienated and lonely. It’s safe to say that the impact of COVID-19 is far reaching, and very broad.