With the cancellation of all sports for the spring of 2021 season at Palomar College, we at The Telescope feel neutral about this decision.
Although more San Diegans are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the current number of people fully vaccinated is still low—only 13% are fully immunized. The number of cases in San Diego County and California have been winding down in the past two weeks, and we would like to see that trend. Any mingling or traveling of sports to other schools within and outside of the state would increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, undoing the progress that we are making.
However, this cancellation also has a huge negative impact on every Junior College student athlete. Not being able to play the sport they love is sure to take a toll on their mental and emotional health, and missing out on one or two seasons of play affects their ability to transfer to a four-year university—especially those who were hoping to continue playing at the university level.
There are likely ways to continue to practice and compete while San Diego is still in the purple tier. Many athletes who have been sitting out and missed an entire semester last fall are itching to return to play, but the pandemic is not over yet.
Continuing to compete this season would have heightened the risk of students, coaches and staff contracting the virus. Travel and competition with other schools would be incredibly difficult to execute within safety guidelines.
We can imagine that it is a very difficult decision for Palomar Athletics to make. We can hope the cancellation is for the greater good of everyone in San Diego County. The sooner we can return to some degree of normalcy this year, the more likely students athletes will be back in competition.
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