By: Natalia Angeles
East Los Angeles College makes a positive step forward to have successful and healthy in-person courses, including sports. Many dedicated athletes are eager to play again. However, this would require that they wear masks during practice and games. Student-Athletes who wear masks while playing are extraordinary. This will ensure the safety of players, fans, coaches and referees.
Over the past few semesters, many student athletes had to isolate themselves from playing. This led to many of them having problems with their mental health. The University of Wisconsin-Health researchers said, “We found that of high school athletes, those who were able to participate in their fall sports had better mental health, so less depression.” Student athletes who are playing tend to have less mental health issues.
These students do not take the sport they participate in for granted. The more that colleges start to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the less risk there is of student athletes underperforming in school and having trouble in and out of the home environmentWhen fall sports came around, News Medical Life Science from the University of Michigan School of Medicine said, “those who returned to sport participation in fall 2020 reported lower anxiety and depression symptoms and higher physical activity levels.”
There are reasons for not wanting to have masks on during practice and games. Dr. Sean Cook from Green Book Family Medicine said, “Wearing a mask could be like competing in high altitudes, he speculated, in that it could be harder for oxygen to make it to athletes’ lungs.” This raises the concerns of many who will not be able to handle wearing masks during intense games. The little oxygen they get may not fuel them enough to perform at their best. Yet, with many stepping back into their chosen sport, the only thing that concerns them is how to be the best in their upcoming season.
There are many more pros than cons to masks on during practice and games. Many people believe that it would only cause more harm than good. Others believe that it would be best to have students return to their sport to avoid serious problems like anxiety and depression, so masks make sense.
Those who have dealt with mental health problems because of COVID-19 are willing to do as much as they can to make it a safe environment. Alongside their coaches and school they see the benefits of having fall games start with one small restriction.
Students and student athletes that feel at risk or are struggling with mental health can look at the following sites for help: (list the sites). The ELAC Health Center is open from Monday-Friday 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for any student that is struggling with mental health.