Photo by Mary Kubicek
Due to the coronavirus pandemic many social gatherings have been limited, including sporting events. In Michigan, Governor Whitmer’s executive order #176, passed Sept. 4th 2020, permitted limited fan attendance for organized sporting events, causing many to question the safety of fan attendance at school sporting events. There are potential risks that come with large gatherings of any sort, especially since students in Dearborn Public Schools haven’t even been cleared to return to school. Allowing spectators with limits is a good system and should be kept as is because no athletes or spectators have gotten the virus as a direct cause of these policies, and it allows families to watch their children play in person.
These policies have shown to be effective in the sense that no athletes or spectators have gotten the virus as a direct cause of them. According to DHS athletic director, Jeff Conway, all athletes that had gotten the virus had contracted it from an out of school source. There are many precautions to make sure that spectators do not get the virus, this includes limited ticket sales, mandatory social distancing, and the requirement of masks to be worn at all times.
Governor Whitmer’s executive order #176 helped families immensely because it allowed for them to watch their children play in person. Even though watching the game on a livestream is an option, many parents I’ve spoken to would rather watch them in person. Since a lot of parents prefer to watch their children in person, there should at least be limited access that allows them to do so.
Some could argue that there are potential risks that come with large gatherings of this variety during this time. To combat this, high risk individuals should be discouraged from attending games as they are with any public gathering. Due to the amount of precautions already taken to ensure spectators are not at risk of contracting the virus, this shouldn’t be much of a concern. It is evident that the potential of spectators contracting the coronavirus was taken into consideration when these limitations were put into place.
We should continue to allow parents to attend their childrens’ athletic events even if that means putting more precautions in place than there already is. It should be realized that very little risk is being taken for a great reward of allowing fan attendance at games.