Stangl

Sunday is Easter, a time of celebration and renewal for Christians who mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God. It’s one of the most sacred days on the Christian calendar and affirms the faith of followers of the promise of eternal life.

Easter is also a time for family dinners and egg hunts. During my childhood it was one of the few times of the year we received candy, so I have very fond memories of coming down Easter morning to find a plate of candy. There were six children in my family, so a paper plate worked quite well in place of a basket.

Easter, like many things recently, will look very different for many families. With the coronavirus pandemic necessitating stay at home orders, we are all looking at different ways to be together, but not together.

Technology has helped, with the internet and smartphones allowing many to see and hear each other. Technology has become more and more entwined in our lives to the point it has become an encumbrance to many, a virtual “buttinski,” limiting the ability of some to communicate directly with others.

With folks being forced to stay home, the internet is a connection to work, school, shopping, church and loved ones. But even with the entire virtual world at our fingertips, we long for human interaction.

But much of this will be delayed by necessity. The length of time of social distancing appears to be an ever changing target as the rates of infection change daily and as more is learned about the virus and potential treatments.

When you look at records in sports or history and there is something out of the norm, it is noted by an asterisk *. The mark means you need to look to the bottom of the page to learn what’s unique about the listing.

2020 will be the king of the asterisk.

Schools closed. Public gatherings restricted, then all but outlawed as public health officials try to get ahead of the pandemic. Professional hockey and basketball end their seasons, the NCAA basketball tournament is cancelled. Winter high school sports tournaments are cancelled. Spring high school sports are delayed as officials hope social distancing will slow the rate of infection.

The Summer Olympics are delayed a full year.

That’s a lot of asterisks for the sports record books, with more to come.

I’m sure you all have personal and professional events in your life that will now have an asterisk as well. Easter Sunday 2020 will be one of them for sure.

It should be noted that in some literature, curse words are published with some of the letters substituted with asterisks. You can still make out what the words are, it just makes them seem a little less vulgar.

I think we all probably have a few words we are feeling about the current situation that could use some asterisks.

But I don’t think every asterisk has to be a bad thing. Sometimes, they have positive connotations, like when new records are set or landmark events occur. In our everyday lives, firsts are happening. Parents are spending more time than ever with children, pets are being appreciated more than ever. So while 2020 may have a lot of negative connotations, we need to focus on the positive ones.

They are worth noting with an asterisk as well.

As always, I welcome your comments. You can reach me by email at tstangl@theameryfreepress.com, telephone 715-268-8101 or write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI, 54001.

Thanks for reading I’ll keep in touch. Feel free to do the same.