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How Sporting Events Numbers are Affecting the Trajectory of the Pandemic

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Football players in the midst of a game.

Over the past year, COVID-19 numbers have risen and fallen. However, just as the country was just getting a hold of quarantine and protecting the public welfare, college sports were reinstated. 

While I know college sporting events, specifically college football, is a big deal in the United States for viewer pleasure and revenue, it does not mean that the coronavirus has ceased. Schools across the country, specifically those that coincide within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), are all hosting football this semester. Many are not allowing in-person fans, such as Stanford University, which placed almost 400 potted trees in the stands of their stadium. However, some other schools are allowing in-person fans. 

On November 8th, in the case of the “fighting Irish” of Notre Dame, students stormed the field after an upset win against number 1 ranked Clemson in double overtime. How is this okay? By all means, celebrate a fantastic win, but there is absolutely no room for this kind of action. A win is a win, but it does not justify breaking COVID-19 regulations to celebrate. After all, it’s just football.

This article is a friendly reminder that the pandemic is not over. In fact, it was just established that the United States is now in a state of overwhelming COVID-19 cases. With over 440,000 cases in the past 7 days, the situation is definitely not getting better, as shown by the CDC.

So why on earth are college students rushing the fields at football, games, or having large social gatherings at all? It’s frankly ridiculous. It is not only sporting events, but after-parties, tailgates, and large television gatherings. At some of the biggest schools in the country, parties still occur, bars are serving drinks, and sports are celebrated both on and off-campus.

America loves its sports. However, this does not mean COVID-19 control should be aborted. In fact, it should be even more sustained. As it is now, the colleges with in-person meetings and student housing will soon be sending them home for the holidays.

With this being said, no student should be risking the possible spread of COVID-19. Why would you risk bringing it back to your families, friends, or even your neighbors and community members in your home towns? It’s a lack of thinking, and truly poor judgment by many schools, to host these students for football events. 

Two Notre Dame players embrace as they defeat Clemson in a close football game.
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There is nothing wrong with watching the game on the big screen at home, where you and others can remain safe and healthy. Regardless of your feelings on “the college experience,” it’s one season. No matter how you look at it, things will likely be better in the future, especially for us college students. 

Due to the vaccine almost being completed, and possibly spread throughout the United States, just wait one more semester, folks! The United States can potentially be back to normal by this spring. With this news, there is no reason to stress over the “fun college hijinks” that you may feel like you’re missing.

Upper class-men hold an example and show the younger generation what it means to be sent home. Now, while the semester is coming to a close, and that fear is not as relevant, still set that example. And freshman, make sure to keep staying distant. It is only your first semester, so stay away from sporting events, and make sure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on your college campus!

We’re all in this together, and everyone wishes to return back to normal. Whether or not that normal is attending your Saturday night football game, each person has their own view of it. We’re almost there— just stay strong!

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