Second wave sports risk
With the ongoing pandemic now looking to become the permanent pandemic, it looks as though there might be significant delays coming in the world of sports. As well, considering the current trajectory that the Saskatchewan government has set with regards to COVID-19, those delays may be approaching faster then we think. In an update that was made on Friday, November 13 from the Government of Saskatchewan/Ministry of Health:
“The expansion of mandatory masking in indoor public spaces and a curfew on alcohol sales in licensed establishments will be in effect as of Monday, November 16 for 28 days, then subject to review by Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.”
The press release didn’t bring about the return of the lockdown that some felt was approaching, considering the large number of new cases that have been announced via the province’s website. Putting things into perspective by looking at the recent daily infection and recovery rates, from November 14 to the 16, there have been 670 infections and 166 recoveries.
Where do sports fit into all of this? The U of R Cougars and Rams practice squads are, of course, at risk of being shut down with the high amount of new cases that are emerging. Practice, as anyone will tell you, is a necessity in any sport so a lack of practice will no doubt affect those squads negatively.
Moving away from the U of R and to current delays happening within Regina, the Regina High School Athletics Association have delayed any winter sports due to COVID-19, that will be in effect until January of 2021. This delay, once again, doesn’t come as much of a shock considering the high amount of cases that have emerged within the city.
On a more all-around provincial level, the SJHL (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) and WHL (Western Hockey League), either have started or well be starting again with games having already been slated with regards to the SJHL. If things continue to go down the road that they’re going, we will most likely see delays with those organizations in the very near future.
So what’s the plan moving forward? Well according to Health Minister Paul Merriman, “New measures announced this week and those to be considered in the weeks to come will still be based on the fundamentals of physical distancing, staying home when you are sick and masking to protect yourself and others.
“Now is the time for all residents, businesses and organizations to get back to basics. Re-commit to proven public health measures and return to the standards shown to work in the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.”
As with everything else during the pandemic, sports finds itself in a very rocky boat with this ‘second wave’ surge in the infection rate. To help continue the thriving of sports during these difficult times, I would also personally urge those out there to follow the guidelines and to stay safe.