It’s been difficult to try to put my thoughts into words regarding this coronavirus, at least without getting political.

As a newspaper sports editor, like many others in the business and education fields my job has come to an abrupt halt.

Both of our local colleges have seen the entire spring season canceled. That means no baseball or softball, at least at the collegiate level.

It also means no scoreboard and no list of local events, because there aren’t any.

I was just getting into the XFL when that season was cut short.

My wife and I bought a house in Arkansas City about 1 1/2 years ago, and both being shy by nature have decided to try to branch out and make friends and acquaintances. Since we both love to sing karaoke, we have been trying to hit the karaoke bars on Saturday nights, and have had some early success. Problem is, not only are bars on the list of places that might have to close, but who wants to share a microphone? I told her that since we have our own karaoke setup in our basement, we can host about 15 people per karaoke party and still be under the “legal limit.”

My son has inherited my love of playing softball and competes in a church league in Oregon on the same team where I chewed the dirt in the mid-1990s. He has already shared his fear of them having to cancel their season. If this longtime sports editor can’t grasp the concept of this infectious disease, how are we expected to get a mildly-autistic softball aficionado to understand why his season has ground to a halt?

It seems half the country is taking the coronavirus half-heartedly, almost scoffing at it, especially in comparison to the flu and other afflictions that have been worse statistically. I probably fall into this group. I just want to sing and play and watch others play, and let the chips fall where they may.

I’ve just been diagnosed with borderline type-2 diabetes, so I already have had to alter my lifestyle in ways I was not prepared for. The amount of Pepsi consumed has been cut in half, with the hope that one day I can rid myself completely of the sweet, sugary beverage. My diet has been altered, as well, especially since my cuisine for years has largely been of the microwave and fast-food variety. Even the alcohol I drink is fruity. I’ve never had a taste for alcohol, and I get teased over the “unmanly” drinks that I have fallen for, such as strawberry daiquiris and Amaretto sours.

The other half of the country, however, is in full panic mode. We had to drive to three cities to find bottled water and toilet paper, and we were the lucky ones.

So how do we handle this pandemic?

For me, I look at it much the same way as I look at everything in life. I pray for the best and prepare for the worst, and until things change, someone somewhere probably wrote a song about it. And if they didn’t, I’ll take the lyrics from an existing song and alter them to make my own.

That’s what is so great about karaoke.


CourierTraveler sports editor Joey Sprinkle can be emailed at

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