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The Lost Year: Plexiglass and Korean Baseball

June 14th, 2020 by Michael Dyet

“You’re trying to eat grass that isn’t there. Why don’t you give it a chance to grow?” ~ Richard Adams, Watership Down

Hmmm, which iconic image will define the lost year of 2020?

True confession: I am watching a Korean Baseball Organization game on TSN this Sunday afternoon. The Korean stadium is empty, except for four mascots and five cheerleaders in face masks. But at least it is a live sports event. A sign of the times for all the wrong reasons.

Most professional sports remain shut-down due to the COVID-19 restrictions leaving fans with withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully, professional golf has resumed play (sans spectators), so I can switch over to the Charles Schwab Challenge soon for my sports fix.

Note: I would much rather be out hiking today even with the unseasonably cool temperature. But my temperamental back is not being terribly cooperative right now. A two and a half hour hike yesterday is all it will tolerate for this weekend.

When the COVID-19 lockdown began back in March, many of us did not expect it to last this long. Were we naïve? Perhaps, but it has been difficult to read where things will go. We have not been down this road before and therefore have no frame of reference. We also did not take into account the subtle underlying forces that drive political decision-making.

I certainly did not expect that these images would become iconic in the summer of 2020.

Stressed courier drivers running up the sidewalk, dropping the parcel on the front step, snapping a picture of it (with the house number in view) on their digital device for delivery verification, and running back to the truck for the record number of deliveries still to be made.

A 25 person line-up to get into Mark’s Work Warehouse on a Sunday morning – and an only slightly shorter line-up for the Sportcheck next door.

Waiting at the gate to the conservation area as a debit machine taped to an old hockey stick is extended to me through a hole in a piece of plexiglass for payment. This year may be the death knoll for actual cash.

Be patient. Stay the course. We’ll get through this together.

That is the mantra for 2020 – a year that many are already referring to woefully as the lost year. If you are a twenty-something, a lost year may be a mere inconvenience. But the age of 62, with more productive years behind me than waiting ahead, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Patience is not my strong suit and never has been. I am doing my best, in the spirit of the Richard Adams metaphor, to cultivate it. The problem is that the grass is there to be eaten. But there is a sheet of plexiglass between it and me and a sign that says:

Look, but don’t touch.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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