Ruby Walsh: Longing for a normal Sunday service to return

So it began March 27 and, on April 10, was extended to May 5. Does that mean we have 16 days left or are we really going to have to wait for a vaccine against Covid-19 before life on this island kicks back into full flow after the lockdown? wonders Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh: Longing for a normal Sunday service to return
Horse racing has continued behind closed door for economic and social reasons in Australia (above), and Ireland and the UK are ready to resume as soon as their respective governments give the go-ahead. Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

So, it began March 27 and, on April 10, was extended to May 5.

Does that mean we have 16 days left or are we really going to have to wait for a vaccine against Covid-19 before life on this island kicks back into full flow after the lockdown? wonders Ruby Walsh.

It is accepted that normality will not resume on the May 6 and that restrictions will be lifted slowly as the Government starts to roll a dice on which it does not know what the numbers are or if it will roll at all.

But roll the dice it must.

Currently we don’t even have an actual government, but the party that led our last government is calling the shots with the backing of the other parties on all major financial and policy decisions.

Funny when they are pulling together that they seem to be making the right calls.

One wonders if there could even be a future in that! Obviously not, but the point is that when everyone is pulling in the same direction decisions get made and we all move on with it.

By my maths, tomorrow will be the fourth Sunday of this current scenario and I don’t know why but Sundays seem to be the longest days. Is it a mental thing? I don’t think so.

All other days seem to have routine, be that for writing this article or prepping for Game On, doing some odd bits of work for Racing TV or a podcast.

Gillian has been home-schooling the girls and they have ponies to ride (lucky, I know) but midweek days and even Saturdays have routine.

Spring cleaning, mowing grass, painting or gardening all get done through the week, but then you have Sunday.

You can’t say it’s a day of rest because I doubt the majority of us are working as hard or as fast as we usually do — but it still seems to be the day with no routine.

There hasn’t been a social night out to recover from and there are no swimming galas, pony club events, or football matches to attend.

Imagination is required and, along with decision making, is something we are all doing each Sunday and which all the sporting organisations in this country are going to have to do soon.

As a species we need to be entertained to keep our mental health in check. We need things to happen for us to talk about, to watch, scrutinise, anticipate, and ponder over.

We have WhatsApp, FaceTime, and even Zoom to create gatherings whereby we can social distance yet still discuss. But we need new topics now.

We have been over our gardens, every series Netflix or Apple TV can put out, and relived as many great sporting occasions as we can.

The news is constant and topical but is still sadly downbeat and doesn’t provide the break our minds need.

We need sport.

In places like France and Germany they are aiming for early May restarts for racing.

Japan, Hong Kong and Australia have continued to race behind closed doors for economic and social reasons, and Ireland and the UK are ready to resume as soon as their respective governments give them the go-ahead.

The PGA tour has announced plans to resume play in the USA behind closed doors from June 11 and one assumes the European Tour will follow suit.

The Tour de France has been pushed back to August 29 - not cancelled, just postponed in an attempt to give the pro riders and teams a chance to compete and the thousands of French fans something to look forward to.

It is light at the end of a tunnel which could yet get longer - but at least the light has not been turned off.

Golf, cycling, and racing bodies are using their imaginations, looking for hope of resumption and ways to achieve it for the economics of their own games but also for their fans.

However, the GPA has warned its players to prepare for a “no championship” eventuality.

The GAA held a remote Congress meeting this week to elect a committee to give them the power to make decisions for the next 12 weeks – well, that’s a layman’s take of what was going on!

I just hope as I write they don’t make any other big decisions right now.

Cancelling everything is a big call, easily made but difficult to reverse.

No-one saw this coming and no-one knows where it will go, but as the largest sporting body in this country, their decisions will be a benchmark for all swimming, athletic, soccer and equestrian clubs.

I understand the difficulties these bodies face, I know social distancing will be hard to enforce at underage events, but if the senior championship is simply cancelled, it doesn’t offer hope to others or to the fans who want something to look forward to.

We all have to use our imagination and look for ways in which, when the time comes, we can resume the ways of our world.

Big, decisive calls right now will only make the days longer.

Patience and delays might just keep the lights shinning and give us all something to watch, debate and argue over on our Sunday afternoons.

Eventually.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

  • 1
  • 8
  • 14
  • 33
  • 38
  • 40
  • 30

Full Lotto draw results »