Being safe while supporting athletics

Hello once again Index readers, thanks for your continued support of the paper. I think there is always time to talk about things that the Truman State University community specifically continues to do well during this pandemic.

In case you weren’t aware, we are still experiencing a new normal during this ordeal against mankind. It felt as though things could sort of be normal again, even I had great hopes when professional sports leagues were starting to allow fan attendance once again. 

This paper is written for and about the local community, and the return of spectators to the stands to support our athletes has been a welcome sight. But, this does raise the question as to how we can continue to be as safe as possible while navigating the treacherous terrain of a pandemic. 

This past Saturday, a fellow staff writer, Andrew Holder, and I were set to call the men’s basketball game against McKendree University for the student powered radio, 88.7 KTRM-Kirksville. Regardless of the game itself, from the press box inside Pershing Arena, a person really does have a view of everything in the gymnasium. 

What I viewed was a student body that is still taking this pandemic seriously. As far as I could tell, the student side was littered with masked faces who cheered for the Bulldogs louder than ever.

Wearing masks as an everyday accessory is part of that new normal. The mask mandate continues to be extended, for good reason. Knowing that even during a basketball game, students are wearing masks and relatively practicing social distancing is wonderful. 

I know a lot of divide has been drawn up over if sports should even be going on right now. The world is weary of travel and the way that COVID-19 is spreading.

All I can say is that the Great Lakes Valley Conference has conducted their sport operations in an appropriate manner. Player testing, mask mandates for spectators and other cautionary measures are what’s keeping this season going.

My heart goes out to all the seniors that returned for one last ride. The NCAA was gracious enough to give out extra eligibility to their student athletes, and a lot of these seniors are getting a proper send-off in their final seasons. 

I hope the community will continue to be spectators to these athletic accomplishments in a safe manner. That is how we keep what so many people love going, sports.