Second Baseman Roger Strange blocks out the sun to catch a roll of Charmin ultra strong at Sunday’s home game. (Lariat/Connor Hedges)
It was the Monday after spring break at Saddleback College, but this year was suddenly different from any other year on campus. The Coronavirus also known as the Toilet Paper pandemic had caused chaos in many people’s day to day lives, creating a massive fear for many families and escalating it’s severity every single day.
The only individuals who weren’t scared of the virus were members of the Gauchos baseball team who were allowed to resume activity on campus as often as they pleased, bypassing all barricades and going straight to getting their spikes dirty.
The campus wasn’t the only area completely closed in the surrounding area. Neighboring shopping centers appeared to look like ghost towns with businesses having to shut down temporarily due to the State of California only allowing essential businesses to remain open for the time being.
Many markets had taken massive hits with others shockingly on the rise due to the coronavirus, with lots of uncertainty still to come in the weeks and/or months ahead. The times were very strange for the United States as a whole. The Dow had decimated while Charmin had surged. Grocery stores had seen a huge spike in sales to those panic buying, with aisles that hold essential items being cleared out completely.
“This is the first time in my fifty-seven years of living that I have seen the toilet paper aisle wiped out without anything in stock,” said frequent Walmart shopper Bob Gross. “It is also the first time in my life that I’ve had to use paper towels to wipe.”
On the other hand, all activities at Saddleback College had been cancelled for the entirety of the Spring semester with the exception of the Gauchos baseball team who could partake in any activity they wanted. Although all community colleges had suspended athletics, Saddleback had allowed the baseball team to practice and scrimmage against themselves with certain regulations put into place.
The Lariat asked, why was the baseball team the only sport that allowed to resume activity.
The team had a strong argument that they would be six feet apart from each other at all times when on the baseball field. Six feet is the safety net for “social distancing” to try and stop or slow down the virus, a practice many citizens have yet to wrap their head around. If the baseball players follow this precaution, they’ll be better off than the rest.
“We have taken the appropriate measures to change the base paths to further our players away from one another as well as the batter’s box so that the catcher isn’t right on the batters ass,” said Head Baseball Coach John Athan.
Throughout the duration of spring break, school officials went back and forth on whether or not they would let the team come back to the grind they knew so well. They finally came to agreement on Friday night.
“At first I was very hesitant to allow the baseball team to resume activity during this very unprecedented time, but finally decided on a rule that would help with the spread of the virus,” said Athletic Director Dodge Ram.”Between each pitch, they will have to clorox the baseball.”
The Gauchos were on a 10-game winning streak prior to the pandemic’s spread, with playoffs being the common goal that the players and staff were so eager to reach. They ranked both first in the conference and in all of Southern California.
Starting sophomore pitcher, Jared Covid, 19, was a dominant player for the Gauchos, pitching a lights-out performance in every game of conference play with his eligibility at Saddleback finally coming to an end before spring break.
“Before we got the word that we were allowed to come back and at least play against our own team, I was devastated that I would never see my brothers again… I would’ve been willing to give my parents growing stash of baked beans to be out there with them again,” Covid said.
The Governor of California has officially put a mandatory lockdown in place in order to slow down the spread of the virus with very few listening to his order. The community is starting to become as rebellious as the Gauchos baseball team.
Admission into the scrimmages will be a donation of one roll of toilet paper.
(Please leave the half-ply, off-brand nonsense at home)