Sports OK, dances not during COVID-19

Are sports less of a risk factor during this pandemic than dances?

Highland sports players close together, no masks.

Highland sports players close together, no masks.

Shyanne Strength and Trevor McCarthy

With the homecoming dance being canceled due to the virus, students and teachers question the risk sports give off, while coach Metcalf doesn’t see much harm. Coronavirus continues to provide contrasts in opinions about social activities even after six long months.

Upon being asked about social distancing at the games, Metcalf, football coach, said, “Our first home game, I think the student body did awesome. And I think the fans, as far as families and that did pretty well too, all sitting in their clusters but giving space between them. I thought they did a good job.” Also being sure to note that he “can’t speak for everybody’s fans.”

On the contrary however, math teacher Hebdon says he “noticed quite a few of families and parents and such were trying to social distance, but a lot of the students were not.” 

“I wouldn’t say they have been six feet apart but most of the time they just try to social distance,” Kaylie Moss, a sophomore, states as she stays in the middle of both arguments. But becomes more controversial as she adds that some people in the crowds have been wearing masks, but most neglect to. 

There have been concerns that players will get the virus and be unable to participate. “I have worries about them getting the virus, that’s where my worries are. And if that happens and they can’t play, I understand,” Metcalf said. 

With risks being a dominating factor in decision making, would that be less prominent if dances were outside? A junior, Heather Patterson-Smith, along with Moss say they would go to the dances held outside if it was an option. 

“If everyone is wearing their protective masks and staying away from each other, then I don’t think so. But if they are right next to each other with just full on contact and then no mask or anything then widespread is possible,” Patterson-Smith said on the topic of games being a risk. 

Metcalf stated there have been big crowds at their games such as Madison and Logan. At Century “they are spaced out all around the field.” 

Hebdon believes that it will be difficult to keep crowds distanced at games, especially as the season progresses. “I think you run into the same problem at a football game or soccer game as you do a school dance or really even just being at school in general. So, I think it’s still very difficult to do. Actually it might even be a little worse than school because it’s in an outside arena and you can’t really control things as well as you can inside of a school building.”

On a similar note, the worries of keeping people distanced at the dances are very obtrusive. Hebdon, Patterson-Smith, and Moss all state that distancing at these events would be next to impossible.

One aspect of the dances to consider is the money they raise for different clubs. The high school club FCCLA (Family, Community, and Career Leaders of America) has held a dance every year for quite a while to fundraiser and send the members to competitions. “So, our club does pretty well financially with yard sales and with sales of jerky. I’ve added candy bar sales and I’ll hopefully be adding ice cream sales as well. So I think we will be fine,” states FCCLA advisor Rhonda Jenkins.

As the battle against the pandemic rages on, new decisions are being made everyday. Coach Metcalf even says he believes that there is the risk of sports being shut down if we aren’t careful but he “hopes for the best.”