We now have a new phrase in our national lexicon that didn’t even exist three months ago.

Social distancing.

The distance is widening. Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are postponed indefinitely. So is fantasy baseball. One sportswriter summed it up nicely: “Baseball in 2020? That’s the fantasy.”

Bars and restaurants are closed, so nowhere to drown our sorrows. Restaurants are serving only take-out and delivery. There will be no socializing over lunch or dinner.

Movie theaters are closed until further notice. Some might argue we aren’t missing anything, but James Bond’s 25th anniversary adventure, Disney’s live-action Chinese heroine, a quiet place of alien monsters and those fast and furious cars are stuck in box-office limbo. The joke going around Hollywood is that Netflix planted the coronavirus to keep people home in front of their televisions. Nothing like a little comic relief.

This is about more than sports and movies, of course. It’s an issue of public health, keeping people safe. It’s a matter of life and death.

But it’s going to be a long haul of social distancing. It can’t get much more distanced.

Many, many people are going to spend a long time in their homes with nowhere to go and nobody to visit. It will be time to dust off that book you always wanted to read, binge-watch that television series you’ve been waiting to see or, if you have sports TV networks, switch on that classic game you always wanted to revisit.

Such are the facts of life of 2020’s new normal.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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