York Urbanist

2020 to 2021 – CURLING REBIRTH

December 8th, 2020

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December 31, 2019 – The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in WuhanHubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.

January 30, 2020 – The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus was a “public health emergency of international concern

February 26, 2020 – Canadian Federal Minister Hajdu recommended that citizens stockpile food and medication.

March 11, 2020 – The WHO declared the existence of a global pandemic.

March 15, 2020 – Many Curling clubs close before the end of season.

August-September, 2020 – Decision time: Will curling facilities open either in limited manners or not at all.  Decision making varied.  In the United States, some opened as usual. Indeed, the Pittsburgh Curling Club new facility had been opened full time since March 2020 at the very time that other clubs closed early. Clubs operating out of municipal facilities were governed by local directives. Most urban facilities did not open. Rural communities remained open. The Grand Slam events were curtailed, promising that events in Spring 2021 would signal the first events.

November 18, 2020 – The Canadian Curling Association announced that their premiere events, Scotties and Brier would be hosted in Calgary, a change from the previously announced host cities of Thunder Bay, Ontario and Kelowna, BC. Still some events had been attracting elite teams on a local basis, but the Okatoks, AB event during this week was suddenly ended with provincial announcements of gathering restrictions.

November 23, 2020 – the Province of Ontario shuts down the City of Toronto and Region of Peel.  This results in the closure of Cricket Club curling and Mississaugua G&CC curling, two of the last curling facilities opened.  Most curling facilities have not opened in this new political and medical climate. Some have surmised that they might open in the new year with the pronouncements of three labs about pending vaccines.

The resulting impacts are social, physical and economic. Social impacts on curling include:

  • Lessened interaction between persons involved in the sport;
  • The elimination of physical activity has a psychological impact;
  • Players choose to follow other pursuits,
  • As work from home becomes common, individuals and families may move
  • The timing could be the stimulus to make the lifestyle change anticipated with aging and family adjustments

Economic impacts are many:

  • Utilization of facilities is erased;
  • Employees are laid off;
  • Bar and food sales are eliminated;
  • Ancillary expenses, such as equipment and clothing purchases will not be made;
  • Events are eliminated that contribute to the economic fortunes of the surrounding community.


The announcements from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, of their pending vaccines, have encouraged investors to continue investing. The stock markets are harbingers of a healthy economic environment. Hopes abound in business, but hospitals, whose rooms in Canada were saved for Covid victims during the first wave, have braced themselves for the second wave.  American hospitals are becoming overwhelmed and the medical statistics elsewhere in the world have caused shutdowns of cities and states. Conservative, or right leaning, aficionados are rejecting closures, while liberal thinkers are promoting the safety of social distancing and masking.  That dichotomy was well illustrated during the 2020 US elections.

The advent of vaccines could be Spring, 2021. What may result?  How does the curling community respond before and after initial inoculations?

Part 2:  http://yorkurbanist.com/2020/12/08/2020-to-2021-curling-rebirth-part-2/

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