Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith sits down with The Lantern on Jan. 24. Screenshot by Colin Hass-Hill | Former Sports Editor

With the NBA, MLS and NHL suspended, the 2020 Summer Olympics postponed for a year and all winter and spring collegiate athletic seasons canceled, COVID-19 has painted a surreal, barren landscape for not just Ohio State sports fans, but sports fans in general.

Sunday, Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day gave the community the same advice he said he gives his players on a weekly basis: Win the moment.

“If you think about the past, you get frustrated,” Day said. “If you look too far into the future, you just get anxious and worried and there’s nothing we can do about that. All we can control is right now and trying to maximize our days the best we can. And I think it’s important to do that.”

Day was not the only head coach at Ohio State to provide fans with advice and encouragement as Ohio operates under a stay-at-home order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Many delivered personal addresses to fans via video on Twitter, often with the caption, “Be Safe. Be Kind.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was one of the first to address fans, thanking University President Michael V. Drake and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for their leadership and asking the public to “practice the guidelines that will save lives.”

“We’re making sure that, even if we’re out in the case of emergency, we’re practicing being away from people, at least 6 feet,” Smith said. “Basically, we’ve decided not to go out. We’re teleworking. We’re doing all of our communication from our condo.”

Ohio State women’s hockey head coach Nadine Muzerall delivered her message to Ohio State fans in front of a jungle gym in her backyard while her children played.

Muzerall said that although she’s a coach, she’s first and foremost a mom.

“The areas that I’m gonna focus on are stress management, our sleep and our exercise,” Muzerall said. “I can only control our controllables.”

People controlling what they can and ensuring their own safety and well-being is the best step they can take right now, Ohio State wrestling head coach Tom Ryan said in his own message on Twitter.

The community will overcome the outbreak together, he added.

“Faith, hope and love are the three most powerful gifts that we’re given,” Ryan said. “We need all those at this time. But none greater than love.”

Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann passed on three tips from the medical community: social distancing, staying mindful of at-risk individuals and washing your hands.

In closing, he and his daughter Nora, 9, demonstrated that everyone should bump elbows instead of high-five.

Day said he wants to ensure that everyone takes care of themselves mentally. Getting outside for fresh air, exercising and staying connected with people virtually are great ways to maintain a positive outlook during quarantine, he added.

Ryan said Ohio State fans can look forward to brighter days. The wrestling coach is already excited about football game days returning in the fall and preparing for his team’s 2020-21 season.

“I can’t wait. I’m really looking forward to the start of football season,” Ryan said. “Nothing better than a football weekend in Columbus, Ohio.”