Image provided by Portland Tribune.
Being at home in bed coughing and sneezing, doing nothing productive, can be one of the worst feelings for someone. A lot of students have felt this experience and do not like it. Today, however, with Covid-19, it is a serious issue when a player on a sports team gets these symptoms. Even if it is only the result of a regular cold or the flu, players will still be held out of all sports activities. Varsity football player Adrian Ulloa was asked about being a close contact when playing on the football team. “It was a really weird feeling, knowing that you don’t have any symptoms but still can’t practice with your teammates,” he said. When questioned whether this had impacted his football routines and schedule he said, “Yea it definitely did. We couldn’t practice the whole week until game day and had to take Covid tests every day. Then on game day we had a quick Covid test in the morning and had practice during lunch. We never had practice during school hours so it was definitely a weird and unusual experience.” Even when players show no symptoms of sickness, they can’t be around their teammates and coaches, which can disrupt their performance on the field and lead to their team losing.
With all of the repetitive tests and not being able to see teammates and coaches, there are some adjustments that could be made to the Covid protocols that would help our players. Varsity soccer player Yousuff Mufti, who was also a close contact, was asked if there should be any adjustments to the protocols. “I think that if the player does not show any symptoms and tests negative for Covid all within 24 hours they should be able to join practices,” he said. “I wasn’t able to practice all week despite testing negative for Covid throughout the week. So I think the players should be able to practice with their teammates after testing negative twice within like 24 hours.” Players always want to play, whether they are injured or in protocol, so having these tests they have to take every day and not being able to practice bothers them quite a bit. This can also hinder their performance on the field. With not being able to practice, players can become bored and lazy and less fit for game day. Some adjustments that were suggested by the players were a 24 to 48 hours quarantine for close contacts where you would be cleared for all sport activities after testing negative multiple times. This change would make it easier for players to be able to practice and prepare for games, resulting in more wins for their teams.