Difficulty Breathing

Athletes’ thoughts on new COVID-19 regulations

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Kara Warren & Samantha Aiken

In Michigan, MHSAA’s new pandemic regulations on sports have affected many athletes. As of June 2, athletes are forced to wear masks during their games, and many other sport specific rules were put in place. (Pictured from left to right, Jonah Huskey-Wright, Jacob Olson, Jordan Huskey-Wright, Isaac Lance and Carson Oversmith).

Senior Luke Suojanen, captain of the soccer team, reminisces to previous seasons and how he wishes the sport was played the same.

“It’s been pretty hard for the team to adjust, the masks make it hard to get the oxygen you need to keep running,” Suojanen said. “It’s definitely affected our season.”

As of June 2, MHSAA mandated that athletes in cross country, soccer, volleyball and football wear masks at all times. This new rule includes practices. Additionally, every athlete can only have two family members come to athletic events.

“It makes me sad that my grandparents can’t come to all of my games, but I understand the importance of the new guidelines,” Junior Carson Oversmith said.

Based on studies done by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, the elderly and immunocompromised are much more likely to die from COVID-19. Younger people typically are not in immediate risk of death, although they spread the virus and are the main carriers.

These regulations help prevent high school aged people from catching the virus. The risk of transmission with sports not being cancelled is increased, and it is a risk many think is worth taking.

“I’m not missing my senior season over this pandemic; I’ll do whatever as long as I can play,” Senior Ben Young said.

The masks and new guidelines have caused problems, though. The WHO has recommended that children playing sports should not wear masks. This is because masks reduce the amount of oxygen the players can intake per breath, and carbon dioxide is trapped by the mask, causing players to respirate more carbon dioxide than their body is used to.

“I always feel like I’m struggling to breathe; the masks make it hard [to breath] and some games I get very lightheaded by the end,” senior Zack Wilson said.