How Sports Returned Amidst The Pandemic
While most of the world experienced a sharp halt in social activities, the sports world was able to revive itself in the middle of the pandemic. Serving as one of the only forms of live tv entertainment, sports have been a saving grace for many. Any distractions from the harsh reality of coronavirus and the pandemic are welcomed with open arms; sports have provided something for people to get excited about again.
Through excessive regulation and restriction, sports have been able to return while the rest of the world is still on lockdown. Each league has set certain limitations to where the players can travel, who they can interact with, and who is allowed into games. Furthermore, they have established protocols that reduce contact or prevent the proximity of players unless necessary. This “bubble” environment has proven to be successful and ensured player safety. The NBA and MLS successfully created a COVID free environment and have shown no positive tests over the past 45 days.
With required quarantining and numerous precautionary steps, leagues have decided to shorten seasons to make up for the lost time. Condensed seasons have raised the stakes and accelerated the road to playoffs. Many fans have noticed a slight drop off in play as teams did not have their typical off-season. Some players are struggling to adapt to the bubble environment away from their friends and family.
While no guests are allowed to attend sporting events, TV viewership has increased. Additionally, the sports team’s social media channels have spiked in popularity. Fans are following their favorite players to get a better understanding of the day-to-day experience in the bubble. Looking to the future, teams may benefit from this additional engagement and may turn more people into digital fans and followers.
Sports have proven that stopping the spread of coronavirus is possible if you take extreme precautions. In our daily lives and workplace etiquette, we should emulate some of their practices. While wearing a mask and practicing social distancing has proven effective, things like washing your hands, monitoring your temperature, disinfecting surfaces, and not touching your face are the best way to reduce coronavirus spread.
Brain Injuries and Sports
Recent studies have found that there has been a significant increase in sports-related brain injuries in children in the past fifteen years. It has also been found that children are more at risk of suffering a brain injury than adults because their brains are still developing and fragile. 90% of deaths caused by brain injuries are children who are high school age or younger.
Another concern of doctors, and an injury specific to children, is trauma to the brain known as a second-impact syndrome.
The second-impact syndrome is when an already-injured brain receives a second injury before it has had a chance to heal from the previous injury. This syndrome can cause swelling of the cerebellum and death. This injury is found in children, as no athletes over 20 years of age have suffered from this syndrome.
The causes of this spike in sports-related brain injuries in children are believed to be the recent focus on competitiveness and winning. Parents are encouraged to learn how they can protect their child from brain injuries caused by a sport, such as using protective head equipment.