How athletes deal with COVID-19 during
the sports season
By Lily Isakson-Bell, Reporter
For about the last month, Vashon Island High School (VHS) has experienced multiple COVID-19 outbreaks. Daily life of the entire school has been greatly impacted by these outbreaks, from teachers ensuring that they were instituting the safest policies, to the 123-166 students being absent each day, a much higher number than there usually is students and staff members alike are finding new ways to adjust.
However, despite the concern, sports teams have been able to keep a sense of safety while continuing to practice.
“I do not feel there is any need to shut down with COVID-19 outbreaks because we get tested and are updated on what is happening,” senior girls’ basketball player Lola Kuyper said.
The comfort that athletes feel seems to be attributed to the efficiency VHS is handling the outbreaks.
“Everyone is happy with how it has been handled,” senior boys’ basketball player Sam Walker said. “We are taking the necessary precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19. We were testing 3 times a week.”
Administrators have also been pleased with the safety precautions VHS has been taking. While students get their guidance from the school, staff get news of what to do with COVID-19 outbreaks from the state.
“Throughout the pandemic we have followed Public Health– Seattle and King County and Washington
Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) guidelines,” athletic director Andy Sears said.
Of course, even with the safety precautions the school and state have been taking, some people still feel uneasy with sports during these COVID-19 outbreaks.
“One change I have noticed is less people playing sports due to the weirdness of COVID-19,” Kuyper said.
Despite the lower turnout for sports and others being uneasy with the breakouts, a lot of people are still in strong favor of keeping sports going.
“Sports are very important for the mental health of teenagers and to keep active. Shutting down sports would negatively affect many students and families,” said Kuyper.
Sears reinforces the idea that sports have a positive effect on students by giving several examples as to why this is.
“There are numerous benefits to being active and participating in athletics. Here are a few: physical fitness, decreased drop-out rate, [teach] teamwork and [teach] problem solving, reduced stress, etc.,” Sears said.
Walker finishes off with a quote that he highlights with bold font.
“I am a strong supporter of sports staying open and I believe the school shares this belief,” Walker adds.