So, this week we learned that Delaware fall sports are officially suspended, and will be held in an abbreviated season this winter. 4,200 parents and students wrote emails to petition for change but nope, DIAA / DOE didn’t budge … which is so frustrating for our athletes, their support systems, and the schools that depend on athletics as a way to bring school communities together. But - in many ways, it makes sense.
Our numbers are creeping back up - according to rt.live, which tracks rate of spread, Delaware is solidly in the red after a few good weeks in the green. How’d we get here? If you’ve looked around, we’ve been loosening up quite a bit …. both in general and specifically. The fatigue is real. We want to see our friends. We want to have a meal that doesn’t involve planning, shopping, chopping, stirring, serving and then for dessert, cleaning the kitchen again for the 88th time in one day. We want to send our kids to pre-season and camp and school and to a freaking movie theatre on a rainy day.
However, the fatigue is real, but so is this virus. Spoiler alert: if we don’t tighten up our numbers, these first six weeks of virtual learning will become another six weeks, and those high school sports will not begin practicing in December. How could they?
To the 4,200 parents and students that signed petitions for fall sports, and to the myriad others that want desperately to sit in the stands, march in the band, and cheer on the kids - I propose the concept of a contact diet. Hopefully, we are all limiting exposure as much as possible, in every instance; hopefully we are all masking and maintaining an appropriate social distance as often as possible. Hopefully we are all washing our hands. Let’s take it a step further - let’s keep track of our contact, as if we were doing contact tracing on ourselves. And then, whatever we track for a given week, let’s try to have less contact the next week. And the one after that.
Because here’s the thing: as parents, we have the most at stake here. And if what’s most important to us is getting our kids back on the courts (4,200 signed the sports petition - I imagine far less emailed the school / school board / governor in favor of opening in a hybrid model) , we have to work harder as a group to get the numbers down. No way does Delaware allow for sports before school opens - how could they? - so we collectively have to work together to get the schools open. Let’s put ourselves on a contact diet, and encourage everyone in our lives to do the same.