OPINION: New spectator rule for sports is important to COVID safety

Gabriella Anderson, Chief Print Editor

As we have seen throughout the last two years of living through a global pandemic, there are ever-changing restrictions and guidelines set in place to keep us safe. As a highschool student, these guidelines affect me daily. Monroe High School set in place a rule starting Jan. 3 that all athletes are limited to two spectators each at their sporting events. As a regular student, an athlete, and Pep Club President at MHS, this rule is unfortunate and not what I would want, but it is a necessary precaution in efforts to minimize spreading COVID-19. 

As an athlete, I can tell you from experience that the crowd does play a large role in the game. I have played a season of volleyball where no spectators were allowed, and a season with no restrictions regarding spectators and it definitely affected our team’s energy. Having a large crowd full of people yelling and clapping during a game is huge. It can fully change the way you play. So, I can understand what a lack of fans might do to a team. While it’s unfortunate not to have all your friends and family being able to support you in person during your sporting events, it is still a small price to pay in aiding to stop this pandemic. There are many things that we cannot restrict or change to stop COVID-19, and if not attending sporting events means we can stay in school or not be in lock down, I think it’s definitely the lesser of evils in terms of restrictions that could be put in place. 

I am the Pep Club President at Monroe High School and not being allowed to go to sporting events myself is a huge let down this year. There have definitely been things my class has not been able to do because of the pandemic (and things I will miss out on leading the Pep Club in). However, I think it’s important to remember that everyone is working hard to give us a normal high school experience and if this is what it takes to make people safe, we should all respect and abide by the decision. 

So, as a student directly impacted by the decision to not allow spectators at MHS sporting events, I think it’s crucial my peers and community see the importance of the restrictions the school is placing to keep us safe. I respect the decision the high school made, and if we continue to follow the guidelines put in place by our local schools and health officials, hopefully we can start to see the end of this pandemic.