The COVID-19 hits just keep coming.

Two big events have been added to the long list of cancellations caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

After talking to the powers that be here at The Ada News and several local basketball coaches, it was decided that there was no safe way to host the 2020 Ada News All-Star Classic.

We looked at dates in late July to host the All-Star Classic, but with the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, it just didn’t seam feasible.

And, Friday morning, officials mailed out a press release with news that the 2020 Oklahoma State Fair had been canceled.

Those two events have been a fun part of this sports writer’s journey every year.

The All-Star Classic would have turned 47 years old this summer and I’ve been a part of most of the basketball extravaganzas for the better part of 30 years. The games pit senior players from the East against senior players from the West. The big night also included a 3-point Shootout and a Slam Dunk contest.

I feel worse for those seniors than anyone. A lot of times, it’s their final hurrah on the basketball court. Some area senior basketball players already missed out on a trip to the state tournament. Spring sports were wiped out. It’s been a tough few months for the Class of 2020.

The state fair was scheduled to run September 17-27.

As some readers of The Ada News may already know, I enjoyed attending the fair and creating and publishing my Top 10 list of the best and unique foods the state fair has to offer. The state fair is a staple for many Oklahoman during the fall.

“The safety and well-being of the Oklahoma State Fair’s visitors, participants and community is the highest priority in producing ‘Oklahoma’s Premier Family Attraction’ each year. After extensive communications with our many partners including other state fairs, national touring acts, state and local officials, as well as public health agencies, it became clear to the Oklahoma State Fair’s Board of Directors that cancellation was the prudent choice for 2020 and the correct course of action for the Oklahoma State Fair to do its part for community health and safety and to mitigate the potential spread of infection,” the release said.

I totally get it. I understand. I really do. But that doesn’t make it stink any less.

The numbers tell the tale.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Friday reported 395 new coronavirus cases across the state, bringing the total cumulative number of the state’s positive cases to 12,343. Heck, according to an analysis by NPR, new daily coronavirus cases are now rising in 33 states. Oklahoma is sitting on a rise of 284% and is No. 2 on the list behind Idaho at 310%.

Here’s hoping the spread of COVID-19 slows down tremendously between now and September.

Keep your fingers crossed, wash your hands and stay safe folks.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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