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And just like that, everything -- from school to activities to sports -- came to a screeching halt last week.

I can just see the popular Facebook with Forrest Gump saying those very words.

But for us -- and nearly everyone around the country -- it's true.

First came the news in the middle of last week that fans would not be allowed to attend the NCAA Tournament this season due to concerns of the coronavirus.

Then last Wednesday evening, while watching the Arkansas Razorbacks in the SEC Basketball Tournament in Nashville, it was announced fans would not be allowed to attend the rest of the tournament.

Then the tournament was canceled altogether. Then one by one, tournaments and sports around the country began dropping like flies.

Included in this was the announcement that the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, Mo., would be canceled. And with that came the realization that the 2019-20 season for John Brown's men's basketball team was over after a stellar 28-5 season.

We were far from done though. The NCAA canceled all its winter and spring championships, including the basketball tournaments and men's and women's college world series in June.

The NBA suspended its season, as did the NHL, and Major League Baseball suspended all operations for spring training and its season will be delayed.

Just over the weekend, the Master's in Augusta, Ga., announced it would be postponed.

I am sure I am missing some sport or major event that was canceled or suspended. There was a lot.

From a high school athletics perspective, everything was put on hold until at least March 30 and probably quite a bit longer, though not officially announced.

As I stood on the sideline of Panther Stadium on Thursday evening watching the Siloam Springs boys soccer team take on Decatur, I thought to myself that this could very well be the last sporting event I get to cover for a long time.

It's certainly a tough pill to swallow for everybody, but it's especially tough for the kids who have put in the time and effort. My heart goes out to them the most.

So what happens next? I've been asked that question a lot over the last few days, and my answer is a lot like yours: Nobody knows.

It's a waiting game for all of us.

In the meantime, the best advice I can give is take advantage of the time to rest, recharge and refocus. Stay at home with your families, be together and cherish the time with one another.

We'll be back at it, going 100 miles per hour, before you know it.

-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Sports on 03/18/2020

Print Headline: Sports come to screeching halt via covid-19

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