Pullela Gopichand: Take this break as a bitter pill, find ways to stay physically, mentally fit

The job losses and pay cuts are “bitter pills” to swallow but common man still needs to figure out ways to stay physically and mentally fit even as COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc, feels chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 120 people in India and over 80,000 globally, has brought the whole world into a standstill as countries went into lockdown to contain the deadly disease, leaving a big dent on the economy.

Gopichand, who recently completed his three-week isolation after coming from All England Championships in UK, said sports will be a part of this global meltdown but urged people to fight it with positivity.

“I think world is going through a lot and everybody’s careers are important for them, whether you are a student, a journalist or a sportsperson. But this lockdown is in place for a specific reason and I think we should follow it,” Gopichand told PTI.

“It definitely going to hurt every segment of the population not sports alone. Everybody is going through this tough time. We need to stay positive and find resources to keep ourselves mentally and physically fit and balanced.

“You have to accept the fact that this is the way it is going to be for a reason and take it as a bitter pill and hopefully things will get better.”

There is a growing fear about the economic fall out of this lockdown on sports across the globe with footballers, cricketers among others negotiating pay cuts and lack of revenues.

The 21-day lockdown enforced in India to flatten the curve will also see people going through lay-offs and paycuts.

Gopichand said sports will also be a part of this but we first have to survive and then we can figure out every other thing that comes next.

“Sports is going to be part of it, people are going to lose job, people have to go through pay cuts. Central government and state government announced pay cuts and I think we all have to, it is tough times and everybody needs to understand that,” he said.

“Everybody needs to just say that this six months of our lives is not there and we just go through it with whatever best we can, whether it is reading or meditating, and stay positive and once it is over you are back again.

“We never had this kind of a scenario in hundred years, it is difficult for people to comprehend. In the past also things have gone bad globally and we just have to endure it.”