As the coronavirus continues to affect the daily lives of everyone, sports fans have been hit especially hard. Virtually all leagues and all sports have been put to a halt – some were suspended in the middle while others didn’t get to start.
However, one country has decided to green-light their baseball league and broadcast it globally for free. That country is Taiwan, where the government’s swift actions have been credited with controlling the infectious virus.
Some big limitations were imposed to prevent massive infections. No fans were allowed into the stand – only the players, coaches and the broadcasting team were present at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium which can hold up to 20,000 crowds.
This was a different environment that the players were familiar with. Unlike in the US, baseball matches are loud and highly energetic all throughout in the East Asian countries including Taiwan. From cheerleaders taking the stands to crowd singalongs, a quiet stadium is something that even the most seasoned players never experienced.
The clubs got creative to make the stadium a bit more lively. Loud music was played on the large amps that were connected in the stadium. Robot drummers and cut-outs of audience members were placed in the empty stands.
But cybernetic drummers were not the only new thing about the game. For the first time since its inauguration, Taiwanese games were broadcasted to the world for free. The English commentator quipped that this was the only live baseball game taking place on the entire planet.
The start of the baseball league was symbolic as Taiwan readies to return to life before the global pandemic. On Tuesday, no new patients of Covid-19 were reported for the first time since early March.
With a population of 24 million people, a mere 395 people were infected with the virus with only 6 deaths in total. Many experts have praised the incredibly swift and efficient measures implemented by the Taiwanese government. Most notable was how Taiwan almost immediately began to check for any symptoms from those flying into the island from China.
In a political move akin to a victory lap, Taiwanese President Tsai Ying-Wen posted a video on her social media account where she was enjoying the game with her cat sat next to her.
It seems that one of the many rewards for handling a pandemic well was a nice afternoon with live baseball on television. Share with us your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for more news like this one!
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