As a member of the tennis team and a rising senior, I can dream about senior night and playing some of my last matches with my teammates, but, unlike many others, I do not want to have a season this year.
Recently, I received an email from Coach Bagliani. It basically said that unless the VISAA changes their guidelines, our tennis season will still be happening. I assume that my fellow teammates are ecstatic about these news, and normally I would be too, but it seems irresponsible to continue sports right now.
Essentially, tennis is a low-risk sport. There is no contact during play, but, a full-fledged sports season entails lots of contact.
-Practices (drills in which we stand next to each other, run as a pack, share balls, etc.)
-Matches (spectators, team members all sitting together)
It would be understandable if our tennis season was just confined to match play or we only had our top eight players, but in the midst of a pandemic, I do not think this is necessarily a priority.
Do not get me wrong. I love tennis and cherish the time that I spend with my team, but at the same time, it seems as if we are moving a little too fast with fall sports.
As a country, we have been disproportionately affected by the virus in part due to leadership, but also citizens who believe a mask is an infringement upon their liberties. This ideology is not just ill-informed, but also detrimental. In our school bubble, we have many ignorant community members that have either politicized a mask or simply believe that it is ineffective. I do not want to be playing tennis with somebody whose mom or dad does not wear a mask to the grocery store or who I am completely aware is not social distancing on the weekends.
It is not like we will just be confined to the germs of our classmates either. For example, if we go to another school and use their bathrooms or locker rooms, who is to say that one of the girls who has been in there is not an asymptomatic carrier, and we may be sharing surfaces and inadvertently touching our faces?
That example may seem extreme, but in essence, that is how the virus is transmitted.
Though match play is low-contact, we must look at what has happened across the world. For example, in South Korea, when one fitness instructor hosted a dance session, the virus was spread across 112 people, 12 facilities, and over 124 miles in just 14 days.
So, as a two-season sports player, I am strongly urging North Cross and other schools to cancel sports until the virus has calmed in the United States or we have successfully developed a vaccine. This is one way that we can stop the spread.
Gracean Ratliff '23