When we hear Texas Gov. Greg Abbott say that the last step that would ever be taken is to lock Texans back down, this is promising to Fort Bend County residents and business owners. The governor is referring to a measure taken earlier this year to slow the spread of COVID-19, when so many businesses were closed, residents remained home and essential services was it.
“A community lock down is not needed as long as masks & other distancing strategies are used,” Abbott wrote in a recent Twitter post.
This was further emphasized by Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman in his latest video update to residents.
“Your individual actions remain extremely important to our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19, which helps keep our local hospitals below capacity and Sugar Land open for business,” he said.
So, this means that resuming many life activities may be within reach. What is uplifting is that others are starting to unfold right before our eyes … like baseball, the American pastime.
There’s no more waiting. It’s back at Constellation Field. Fans, too? Like the cardboard-figure fans at Minute Maid Park last week, when the Houston Astros kicked off their season?
That was creative and sparked a sense of fun, as did the celebrity cutouts during opening weekend for other major league teams throughout the country this past weekend. No live fans are allowed in MLB stadiums this season due to the league’s social distancing guidelines relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
But here at home, the stadium is not empty and live fans have now begun to enjoy the games at Constellation Field, which is limiting attendance to 1,800 per game during the 56-game schedule for the four-team Constellation Energy League, which was created by the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league franchise. The Skeeters, Sugar Land Lightning Sloths, Team Texas and Eastern Reyes del Tigres are the names of the teams, which are unaffiliated with MLB and consist of former major leaguers and other professional players.
Last week I was among those in the peanut gallery and saw somewhat of a scant, but decent turnout at the ballpark at this early stage. My neighbor, Judy Bowe, who has hosted Skeeters players in her home for several years, treated me to a game this past Thursday and how energizing it was to be back at a ballgame that reminded me of just the other day.
This time there were a couple more protocols in place for entry into the ballpark. Not only were our handbags searched for security reasons, but our temperatures were also taken, and we had to be wearing a face mask, a requirement for being admitted.
Milling indoors at the stadium required the use of the mask, and this is strictly monitored for good reason. But once you’re seated al fresco, out in the open air, the mask can come off. And the hot dogs, sodas and other concession-stand foods will even be brought to you where you’re seated, if you want. My generous neighbor, Judy, also treated me to dinner at the Insperity Club. We wore masks, except when we ate and sat outside the club, where we watched the game instead of indoors.
After the national anthem and the start of the game, I heard the crack of the bat against the ball. Oh my, what a sweet sound, something I never thought I would come to appreciate so much.
So, here we are today, advised that the leveling of the COVID-19 cases does not altogether represent a victory over the virus itself. But it’s a better place to be as numbers appear to stabilize.
We’re moving forward. Baseball is back for virtual and live enjoyment and it will get better. As for the sport itself, it’s been said that baseball is about the unification of America with teamwork involved and everyone cooperating as part of the national machinery.
So, let’s do it. Play ball!