Our View: Fall sports are a bet on responsible behavior
August 5, 2020
The upcoming fall sports season can go either one of two ways.
We either see student athletes and fans enjoy a season of competition or we’ll see a premature end to the season and schools shutting down as a surge of COVID-19 cases develop from a sporting event. We can have a safe and enjoyable season, but it’s up to all of us to make sure that happens.
If we’re not careful, the virus could quickly spread beyond an athlete or spectator. A series of infections from an event could interrupt or postpone a team’s season, like the Florida Marlins MLB team recently announced. An outbreak could impact school functions, shifting our local district into operating in a hybrid learning or distance learning situation as schools close access to limit contact amongst students.
It’s easy to become desensitized to the ever evolving information regarding the coronavirus pandemic. However, with more than 150,000 dead nationwide and signs showing the pandemic continues to escalate, the coronavirus isn’t something to take lightly, even now.
However, we share Athletics Director Tony Beardsley’s assertion that the season could carry on without a hitch. What that means is everyone take this seriously and follow the guidelines the state and local health officials.
We get it. Not everyone likes wearing masks when they’re shopping. Not everyone thinks the coronavirus pandemic is worth the attention and caution it has generated. Regardless, this isn’t something to take lightly.
The real issue at hand is the spread from students to families. Contact tracing from a school would be large undertaking -- classmates of an infected student, their teachers and their families would be placed in quarantine. If the student moves from class to class, the web of potential infections and quarantines increases significantly. It quickly moves beyond a health problem to an economic one as workers being placed in quarantine impact staffing at local businesses. This thing could spread fast if everyone isn’t doing their part.
Everyone should observe the guidelines the school district and the high school athletics association will post. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” It also takes a village to ensure we don’t needlessly spread a disease to ensure athletes, students and everyone gets to experience a “normal” school year.