Go Team! Safe Viewing Tips for Football Fans
Football is a prime fall social activity, but COVID-19 precautions shouldn’t get tossed aside for big game gatherings.
We’ve all observed scenes of packed bars with few masks and no social distancing. We’ve also seen COVID-19 cases climb in college towns and vacation spots. These two factors are related — congregating with people without taking precautions simply increases the spread COVID-19.
Plenty of us have pandemic fatigue because we’ve been trying to minimize exposures since March. As tired as we all are of these messages, gathering for football as we have in the past is not the way to slow or end a pandemic.
What is the Safest Way to Enjoy Football During COVID-19?
This season, the safest way to enjoy football is at home on your couch with people you live with or those in your bubble.
The next best way is outdoors if weather permits, but still keeping your distance, wearing masks and using good hygiene. If you’re outside and not within 6 feet of another person, there is no need to wear a mask.
Sports bars and restaurants may be open, but this is the least safe way to enjoy football. Being indoors with others in an enclosed space with little ventilation, particularly where there is yelling, has been shown to increase the spread of the coronavirus. Although not mentioned in current CDC guidelines, as this is currently under review, there are data that suggest there may be true airborne spread of infection in certain situations, such as enclosed, indoor spaces. If you must go to an establishment to enjoy football, the recommendation is to watch from an outdoor patio area or choosing a location that enforces social distancing and spacing measures.
When Should We Expect a Vaccine?
Many of us are optimistic about a light at the end of the tunnel with a coming vaccine. However, we need to keep in mind that top scientists feel that most of the population may not be able to receive a vaccine until mid-2021. There are also reports of significant vaccine hesitancy (people not wanting a vaccine), and if a vaccine isn’t widely used, it doesn’t do the whole population any good. For what it’s worth as a side note, yours truly is enrolled in a vaccine trial, so I, personally, do not have any concerns about safety of potential vaccines at this time.
In fact, early signs indicate COVID-19 cases may be on the increase this fall. Now is the time to hold your position and continue with social distancing – so we can slow the spread and ultimately bring this pandemic to an end sooner.
Safest Ways to Socially Connect
In the meantime, consider other ways to connect. Gather on Zoom to watch the game together. Or use apps such as Discord, Slack, or even a text group with friends to cheer the big plays and trash talk opponents. Gather outside, weather permitting, and continue wearing masks as appropriate and keeping six feet of distance from others.
The sacrifices we make now can quite literally save lives and get us back to normal sooner. That’s a winning play.
For more information around the Coronavirus, see our updates online.