PRO: Students can still safely play sports during the pandemic

Over the past few months there has been a debate about whether  high school sports should be played during a global pandemic.  

Many people believe that it is not safe and the consequences outweigh the benefits. But as long as the proper safety precautions are taken, then high school sports can and should be played.

I know that sports can be played in a safe way from my own experience. I play hockey, which is a close contact sport played indoors. This is not a good mixture when it comes to COVID-19.

The club I play for, called the Tri Valley Blue Devils, came up with ways to keep us safe and they have been effective so far with no positive cases. We are required to play with masks on, locker rooms are closed, and if players leave the state, they have to quarantine or get tested.

All of these restrictions can get annoying but they keep us safe and allow us to play the sport we love. As long as specific guidelines are created for high school sports, including wearing masks, then there is no reason not to allow athletes to return to competition.

There are many benefits, both physically and mentally,  that come with sports being played. With gyms being closed, manys students have not had the ability to stay in shape over the past few months. In fact, the rate of obesity has increased due to the coronavirus. according to worldobesity.org.

Sports are a good way to let students be active and stay healthy. Before I returned to hockey, I was not doing any kind of physical activity. When I did start playing again,  I wasn’t in very good shape. Going to hockey improved my conditioning over the months.

High school sports are also very beneficial for mental health. Priya Chidambaram from KFF.org, a health policy foundation, reports that 52 percent of adults have had negative impacts on their mental health since July. With school being all online and students having to stay home and away from their friends, they can begin to feel isolated, which isn’t good for a person’s mental health.

Returning to sports is a good way to have students socialize with other people again in a safe way. As long as everyone wears masks, it is much safer to be together and socialize. Going back to play hockey allowed me to hang out with friends in person that I had not seen in months. It helped me to see them and it would help a lot of other students to see their friends as well.

With all of this being said, we can only return to sports if the proper guidelines are put in place and followed. To make sure the virus has a small chance of spreading, masks have to be worn by all athletes because they reduce the risk of a person contracting COVID-19 by 65 percent, according to Rick Kushman, senior writer in the Office of Public Affairs at UC Davis.

This virus is very dangerous and can’t be taken lightly, but if we force everyone to isolate everyone from the world then that is dangerous as well. We all have to work together with this issue and make sure we follow the proper safety protocols so we can go play sports again.

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