03-13-2020 CBN News Jennifer Wishon
March Madness has new meaning this year and it won’t include college basketball. The coronavirus is shutting down America on everything from basketball to Broadway.
On its cover, the New York Post declared Thursday “The day the sports world stopped.”
The NCAA is completely canceled its widely followed “March Madness” college basketball tournament. The Big East Conference tournament game at Madison Square Garden stopped at half time as the cancellation announcement came in.
And that’s not all, pro sports like the MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, MLS and others have all suspended activities. NASCAR will run its next two races without fans in the stands.
Sports leaders decided the risk of coronavirus outweighs the billions of dollars they’ll lose.
“We are dealing with an unprecedented situation, changing minute by minute and we don’t have a blueprint,” says Chris Mullin, a retired NBA player.
Way Beyond the Sports World
The entertainment world is also turning out the lights. Disneyland closes Saturday, along with Disney World parks in Orlando and Paris on Sunday.
In New York City, Broadway is shutting down its 41 theaters for one month.
“There had been increasing concerns about the number of people going to sit in a dark room in a tight space and watch theater,” says Gordon Cox, Variety contributing theater editor.
Ohio, Maryland, and Michigan are the first states to close all K-12 schools. Seattle and San Francisco are also shuttering classrooms in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that grants his government power to take over hotels and medical facilities for the purpose of quarantining, isolating, or treating patients.
Global Panic and a Threat from China
As news about the virus grows direr each day, global markets have tumbled.
Here at home investors are hoping for a rebound today after stocks fell 10% Thursday marking the worst single day since the crash of 1987, as concerns of a recession grow.
In Canada, 48-year-old Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is isolating himself after his 44-year-old wife Sophie tested positive for the virus.
So what about solutions? On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are expected to vote on a bipartisan relief package today negotiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Republican lawmakers.
It includes free virus testing, increased unemployment coverage, and paid emergency leave. The deal is on top of the $8.3 billion package Congress already passed for research, vaccines, and preparedness.
This as China threatened in a state newspaper story that it could impose controls on its drug exports which it said would lead to America being “plunged into the mighty sea of coronavirus.”
Here at home, if certain regions of the country get “too hot” with the virus, the president says it’s possible that travel restrictions within the US will be imposed. This comes as Americans in Europe work to get back home.
“We’re trying to get back home to San Diego. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens,” says Lisa Dee, who is traveling abroad.
Amid the anxiety, many Christian leaders are calling for prayer.
Sunday the nearly 48,000 churches of the Southern Baptist Convention will take time to pray, asking God to stop the pandemic, give leaders wisdom, and protect missionaries and their families serving around the globe.
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