Bishop Noll athletes deal with Covid affecting their sport

Top+right+is+Amanda+Garcia+and+her+dance+team.

Top right is Amanda Garcia and her dance team.

Guadalupe Aguado , Staff Reporter

FarWith the rise of cases in the disease of Covid-19, sport programs all over have to make adjustments to their protocols once again for being more cautious, such as the track and field team at Bishop Noll and Susan’s Dance Company in Munster.

    Sophomore John Quiroz was excited for the spring track season, thinking things would be back to normal. However, the sudden rise in Omicron cases threw a wrench into everyone’s plan.

 “Conditioning for track and field has started, and we have to be mindful of the Covid rules and wear a mask at all times and try to spread out as much as possible,” he said.    According to the Healthline article “Here’s Where Covid-19 Hospitalizations, Cases Are Rising and Falling” written by David Mills, states the week of Jan. 2 there were more than 4.9 million confirmed cases which increased around 66 percent from the previous week. 

    “With the rates going higher, I honestly just wear my mask and keep my hand clean at all times, so as long as I am clean and healthy, I’m really not scared of Covid,” said Quiroz. 

    The Healthline’s article also says, “More than 247 million people have received at least one dose, and nearly 208 million people are fully vaccinated.”  However, the Omicron variant is evading vaccine immunity. A January Danish study found that the vaccinated and/or boosted accounted for two-thirds of the Omicron cases. Boosted individuals were still less likely to transmit the virus and risk hospitalization, though.

    Sophomore Amanda Garcia thinks that the vaccine is one of the ways to keep others safe.

    “If everyone around you is vaccinated you don’t have to worry as much about people getting seriously sick and your body is already able to fight back some of Covid,” says Garcia. 

    According to the University of California San Francisco Health Department’s website mentions how they’ve implemented physical distancing to ensure a 6-foot distance from others, and to wear a face covering at all times.

    In order to stay safe both Garcia and Quiroz make sure to have extra masks with them, keep their hands clean, and keep hand sanitizer by their side.

    Although everyone wants to stay at a distance between each other, Garica and her team try their best to make memories together while being careful. “We usually spend time together before or after competitions like going out to eat or just being with each other without masks although we’re vaccinated. We can still make some fun memories like being backstage or in the dressing room.”

    The track and field team has a lot of athletes that participate and with the cases going higher, coaches and teammates have to adjust with the protocols. 

    “I’m not nervous about track meets, last year was a very good season with no outbreaks, I feel like all schools should be responsible for handling their students and controlling Covid,” says Quiroz. “I noticed that in the beginning of last season not a lot of us were close, due to the fact that we were new and had to do Covid protocols. Now, it’s a little better with knowing people, and being in the weight room allows us to bond as a team more.”

    On the other hand, Garica’s dance class deals with having to wear their mask while they are in the studio and cannot take them off in order to follow their protocols and get ready for competition season at the beginning of April. 

    “This disease is a damper on my season, since we definitely have a harder time within our performances during Covid because we cannot show our emotions fully with our faces because of us wearing masks,” says Garcia. “Not as many studios are allowed to perform the same day so there’s things like block scheduling. One company goes at the same time and that can make us very tired which can affect our performance.” 

    In spite of the fact that for Quiroz the rise in cases is putting a damper on his season, since it can affect the indoor season but not necessarily outdoor season. The only rule he could say is that this could just be a change in practices.

    It can be stressful dealing with a sport and keeping up with your academics, although it can also motivate you to keep going. When it comes to being socially distant with your friends, that is challenging as well, especially if you want to be closer to them. 

    “It’s hard to go to dance and school during Covid because we can still feel disconnected around each other,” said Garcia. “I make sure to continue having conversations with friends and trying to cherish every moment with my teammates and friends.”