Opinion: Handling COVID-19 Restrictions As An Athlete

Jacob Harris '21, Pulse Editor in Chief

COVID-19 has greatly changed sports seasons for countless athletes across the country this year. Whether it be full cancellations of spring seasons or modifications of fall seasons, athletes have felt the full effects of the pandemic.

As a spring and fall athlete, both of my seasons were greatly affected. Losing the chance to compete in r a State Championship in baseball was devastating, and I can’t imagine how the seniors on the team must have felt. However, even I as an athlete can recognize that it was the right decision to cancel the season.

The problem with not cancelling the season was the danger posed to friends and family who weren’t directly involved with the sports. Are the athletes really at risk? No. Statistically, the number of athletes that contract COVID would not be something to worry about individually. The biggest risk is who the athletes could spread the virus to. Players could contract the virus and spread it to their teammates, not knowing that someone has a parent or grandparent with a health condition that makes them susceptible to COVID. Many people fail to see that far down the line or think about people other than the ones they care about.

Fall sports were much more of a toss-up with how they could be played. I know a lot of people were upset with the changes and limitations of games due to COVID, especially myself as my senior tennis season was greatly limited. However, it’s more about the big picture than it is about the individuals. If having one high school season limited because of the coronavirus saves just a single life, that’s enough for me. I realize that many athletes aren’t thinking about the bigger picture right now, and I know it’s very difficult to do so. A shortened senior season is not fun- losing memories that you always hoped to make in your last season really is tough. But the mindset that athletes should have is that they are doing this for the well-being of others. Putting your wants aside for the needs of everyone else is what athletes need to do right now. Follow the protocols, listen to your coaches. In these times, the simplest of acts can save lives.