Sports should continue to play during this pandemic


Senior Drew Elza passes the ball during a varsity basketball game, against Mehlville on Dec.18. OHS lost a close one with the final score being 60-59.

With COVID-19 stopping all sense of normal life, communities are still struggling to decide what seems safe and what doesn’t. St. Louis County still is strongly advising the public to maintain social distance, avoid large gatherings, and generally limit what the public can do. However, one particular activity that has been causing a lot of controversy has not been shut down — high school sports. A lot of people will argue that it’s too dangerous to let teams get together to carry on with sports, but they fail to realize that safety precautions are allowing the kids to play,  just like they should be able to. 

For starters, all teams are required to wear masks. No matter if the sport is considered to be low or high contact, athletes are required to play with masks, making the virus less transmittable. Teams are doing daily temperature checks, and the minute one teammate or coach has been exposed or catches the virus, the entire team has to follow quarantine procedures.  

Furthermore, while playing, sports like basketball have their chairs spaced out six feet so that players sitting on the “bench” are properly physically distanced. Games are also not allowing spectators, keeping the number of people in the building low, thus potentially exposing less people. 

Taking into consideration that the public is going into the tenth month of the pandemic, how many people — especially teenagers — are still strictly following any stay at home order? It’s a teenager’s natural instinct to want to go out and party and see friends, so doesn’t it make more sense to keep them together with the same group of friends (aka allowing them to play a sport) as opposed to them going out and seeing a different group of people every weekend? During the fall sports season at OHS little to none actually got the virus and cases did not seem to spike after putting the seasons into full swing. Having a fair balance of going out when needed and letting kids play their high school sports should keep the numbers of COVID cases under control. There is no trace that high school sports is what causes the number of cases to grow. It is what people are doing in their personal lives and not in a controlled environment that leads to an increase in transmission of the virus.

These past 10 months have been hard for everyone, causing depression and anxiety in students to rise, and with the virus taking away all sense of normalcy, students need to be able to still go out in a “safe” and “healthy” way, and high school sports is the perfect opportunity for student athletes to be able to take their mind off all the things going on in the world and feel like they have some sense of normalcy. Yes, while limiting what the public is allowed to do is needed, a healthy balance of going out in a controlled environment will not and has not caused the cases to spike and is not the reason this virus is spreading.