The Corona crisis: How a virus not only affects table tennis

The Corona crisis: How a virus not only affects table tennis

Table tennis_Corona

A roll of toilet paper? A remote control? A table tennis racket? What really counts in this exceptional situation?...

In today's newsletter I am addressing you with a post that should go beyond direct table tennis topics and that I consider important.

Here I show my personal view of things on some urgent topics. I refer to the situation in general as well as to the table tennis-specific situation. In my opinion, it would be completely inappropriate in the current situation to write a post purely about table tennis technique or about tactical topics with pimples. We are all in an unprecedented exceptional situation and have to go through extreme changes. I myself have been taking the topic of the corona virus extremely seriously for a long time and can only encourage you to do the same.

I already made my private stock purchases in February. With one exception at the beginning of the month, I haven't met anyone in March and won't do so in the near future. I have consistently canceled training agreements or other projects such as table tennis video shoots.

The feeling is strange, but I'm surprised myself at how quickly I got used to the new circumstances and see them as "normal". I spent a large part of my time making those around me aware of doing the same. In addition, I took very clear action by telephone against events such as 999-person parties at locations in my region, when there were still recommendations to avoid events as far as possible and to refrain from events with 1000 or more people.

A few weeks ago, almost everyone laughed at me or gave me a weird look for it. Unfortunately, this is still the case for some people today. The behavior of some people shocks me and I have never been so disappointed in my life as in these times. If human lives are potentially at stake, then complying with the rules of conduct is not a question of opinion, but a self-evident duty. I too can only rely on statements and information from international politicians and recognized experts. Their views are bleak unless measures are followed.

At the moment, nobody seems to know how serious the virus will really be. I too hope that it will be less bad than expected due to the extremely high number of unreported cases of infection. Nevertheless, none of us can pretend to be able to judge or even know. What I refer to: Personal acquaintances from the table tennis network in China and also in Italy have told me vehemently that we should take the topic extremely seriously! China was only able to contain the strong spread with the toughest measures, which we in Germany can hardly imagine.

Reasons why it has not been taken seriously by many people or is not yet being taken:

  • The virus has long been compared to the flu by the media. However, it is a different disease. If it were called "Chinese pulmonary disease" instead of "corona virus", hardly anyone would dare to leave the house. In order to be able to guarantee orderly structures, politicians are forced to find the right balance of words: these must be chosen so weakly that the employees in the supermarket (who are doing an outstanding and extremely important job during this time) still go to work and at the same time so strong that they do not invite any acquaintances in the evening.
  • The impression was created like a mantra in the media that there were only certain "risk groups". A large proportion of younger people seem to have the feeling that the issue does not concern them. In this situation, selfish people do not consider that they could also endanger others. However, it can also get worse: If the health system is currently not unlikely to be overwhelmed, they could take away the hospital place from other patients. Independently of this, however, the media also report that some younger people will need intensive medical support. An acquaintance of mine is in his late twenties and infected. He's really not doing very well. Likewise, no official body has yet communicated that it is still completely unclear whether consequential damage can also occur in the event of an infection.

The situation in table tennis:

The season has ended and I personally don't expect it to end. Now that you are no longer allowed to play, the desire to play table tennis grows all the more. At some point the day will come when we will experience normalization again. Before you can continue playing, however, the community has to answer a number of questions arbitrarily and without rules in a very short time. This includes:

What will the composition of the leagues look like next season? Is the current standings evaluated? Will the first round table be evaluated? Will the season be canceled and played again with the same team constellation? These and many other questions cannot be answered in such a way that everyone will be satisfied. It doesn't matter what the DTTB's decision will be; Many will have to be treated "unfairly" to ensure the common good of our sport. The decision can and will affect us in some way, positively or negatively. We should be aware of this in advance.

The following is important to me personally:

The decision-makers will have to find a general rule that many will definitely find unfair. However, please accept them without reservation so that a normal process can be guaranteed again afterwards.

If boycott threats or legal disputes follow, then we won't be able to find a clean process for years to come and we will destroy our sport ourselves. We can protect ourselves from this by thinking about table tennis as a whole and not about ourselves personally. In professional sport and especially in football, where billions of euros, numerous jobs and livelihoods are at stake, these questions are even more far-reaching.

We should always keep that in mind.

How is the current corona situation supposed to end?

The goal of the first measures, such as the curfew in Bavaria, is now to flatten the contagion curve so that the health system is not overwhelmed and the sick can continue to be treated as well as possible. This is incredibly important and should be a top priority. But if you think ahead, the crisis is not over yet, but only preserved. I assume that we will have to prepare for a longer marathon. My thoughts on this:

  • A controlled, slow infection that would allow adequate care for the sick would take years and would therefore probably not be an option that would be accepted by the population and politics. I have concerns that the public's acceptance of the measures would decrease after a certain period of time.
  • As soon as a state were to almost completely prevent new infections, which is an ambitious goal, the number of new infections would increase again if the measures were normalized and the measures were withdrawn. In case of doubt, new infections could also come from abroad.
  • Approval of a tested vaccine will take an indefinite period of time. Even if the vaccine appears, it will not be possible to vaccinate the entire population in one day.
  • It may also be possible to find a good treatment option that will allow us to return to normal quite quickly. It is well known that hope dies last; also with us table tennis players.

On the economic situation:

Just like the DTTB for table tennis games, politics and society will have to find quick and drastic solutions here. If the current situation lasts for a long time, then the word "crisis" would be a massive understatement. A number of companies and entire sectors (aviation, automotive, hospitality, retail and many, many more...) are more or less banned from working, which also triggers a domino effect.

Without massive political intervention, it would lead to mass insolvencies at various levels, including banks. Therefore, aid measures with an unbelievable amount of "fresh" money will have to be carried out on an unprecedented scale.

Even after the crisis, many businesses will no longer function to the same extent as before from day 1.

The world will not be the same after the crisis on many levels:

  • The borders are currently closed. We don't know whether the EU will still function with the same regulations as before. For states such as Hungary, there will probably never be a better time to change their commitment to the EU with a suitable justification.
  • We don't know when carefree, visa-free travel without quarantine measures will be possible again.
  • We also don't know whether the favorite café, the Italian around the corner, the clothing store or the table tennis shop will still be there for financial reasons. This depends very much on the type of political intervention.

Regarding the situation at Sauer & Tröger:

April would have been a big launch of great new products. However, we do not know how many materials we will buy this year and whether our courses will be able to take place. We are therefore all the more pleased if you remain loyal to us as a customer: Strong together in good times and even more so in bad times. However, what we can guarantee is that we are well positioned and that you can fully count on us during the crisis and afterwards.

Until further notice, we will therefore ship free of charge in our online shop and at the same time grant a discount of up to 20%. This is our contribution for you as customers in this exceptional situation. You can place your order comfortably from home. #We'restayinghome

It will also bring positive side effects:

  • The world will be better prepared for new and possibly even worse pandemics in the future.
  • The digitization of offices and schools will make advances that would otherwise not have happened.
  • Home office and remote work will take on a new meaning. The same applies to education. We can do and consume work and knowledge at any time and any place, virtually.

And perhaps the most important point:

  • Maybe we'll get a little closer together again. Bonds to family and friends will become stronger again. We think more regionally than internationally. Deceleration is more important than acceleration. Not having will be in the foreground, but being.

A personal example:

My favorite café has now mutated into a kiosk where I could even buy toilet paper. A restaurant I go to occasionally is now an office space, allowing employees from other companies more distance than their actual office would allow. Necessity is the mother of invention. And maybe the emergency situations will ensure that existing, deadlocked structures are changed and improved, so that we can reach a new stage of evolution just by overcoming this challenge.

So my advice to you:

There are 2 basic ways to deal with the crisis. You can lament and sit out many circumstances, or you can try to make the best of the situation.

Personally, I had an incredible number of plans and a clear path ahead of me. At first it ripped my feet out from under the ground and all my planning was lapsed.

Now, however, the time of the first shock and fears is over. I know the situation and I'm thinking about how I can position myself differently and how I can use it actively and positively. I don't have to sit around bored at home all day (depending on my life situation), but can use the day productively. I read a lot and I continue my education. I take advantage of the opportunity to watch informative YouTube videos, book online courses (the Pimple Bible DVD is a good idea from us), and generally learn something that I've wanted to learn for a long time. I can keep fit and complete an exercise program at home. You can come up with a lot more here if you develop a positive attitude. You can also use the time to spend more time with your family.

You can also ask yourself how you can support other people who are currently having a particularly difficult time. I myself am a landlord of furnished apartments that have previously been rented by companies for their employees. They all suddenly moved away and in these difficult times I have now made them available free of charge to hospitals for doctors and nurses who have to travel a long way to get there. An acquaintance who is a seamstress did not give up and is now producing masks instead of clothes. Others volunteer to support laboratory test centers or help their elderly neighbors with their groceries. There are countless ways to make a positive contribution in this difficult phase for all of us.

Finally, we would like to appeal to all of you again to take the situation really seriously and to take responsibility for yourselves and your fellow human beings and to stay at home, just like we do.

Therefore with all my heart: Get through this time healthy and also try to use the time of restrictions positively. So that we can see each other again as soon as possible and deal with other topics.

Heartfelt greetings

Sebastian and the whole Sauer & Tröger team

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Greetings from the Sauer & Tröger team

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