Dear COVID, Please Spare our Sports

Mateo Cole, Staff Member

Before 2020, many of Ayala’s athletes had nothing more to fear about performing their best, but since then things have become a bit more difficult. 

Athletes have already faced the COVID-19 pandemic during last years’ seasons, and for a moment things were looking much better. But with so many students coming down with COVID, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not schools would return to lockdown and with that canceled sports seasons. 

“Because I am a senior, I am worried that I would have missed the opportunity to play what could end up being my final season,” senior baseball player Mathieu McGown said. “I enjoyed taking a break from daily practice and being able to do my own thing, but I definitely missed the atmosphere of being on the field with my team and I was very excited to return.”

In San Bernardino County alone, there have been roughly three thousand new cases per week this last month. That may seem very high, but looking at the numbers it has been on a steady decline ever since January 15, and only an average of six hundred new cases this last week. These numbers are very promising, especially since San Bernardino County has a population of two million.

“I have participated in the cross country recently and last season due to COVID. Some of our meets were canceled, and at the meets that we did have we had to wear masks when not running,” junior track athlete Matthew Carcamo said. “My concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic have been what if I get sick or many of my friends get sick and school shuts down again. Also if it is safe to be around others in a time where so many have gotten sick.”

There is still cause for concern with the number of cases, however. The virus has lingering effects on several people, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain, chest pain, or sleep problems. This list is bad enough for the average person, but for athletes, this can be incredibly damaging to the rest of their athletic careers. A nightmare worst lived through athletes trying to get scholarships to help pay for college. 

“I prefer working out at home, even though I have little equipment I save so much time not having to commute, and money not paying for a membership. I also can do whatever I want at home without being judged, except if I’m with friends, which I also really enjoy working out with,” senior Anthony Cirillo said.

As of writing, there are no plans to close down any schools, so many of the senior athletes will have a chance to prove themselves before the end of their high school careers. Either way, it is important to be careful out in public and take necessary precautions during this pandemic. 

“I’m mostly scared of unknown long-term effects and giving it to people who are very at risk and could die from it. As for smaller fears, I don’t want to lose my taste or smell as those are very essential sensory details for experiencing life. I’m trying my hardest not to contract it or contribute: making sure to wear a mask, stay healthy, avoid hanging out in large crowds or around those who’ve recently had it,” said Cirillo.