It seems like we are right back where we were five months ago.
For better or for worse, colleges across the United States have opened back up for thousands of their respective students to return to campus, taking a mix of online and in-person courses and allowing the fall semester to push on into the unknown. From off-campus parties with massive crowds to a limited number of students wearing masks, I almost forgot it was 2020, and we are still in a global pandemic.
Unless you have been following along over these past few weeks, you wouldn't even know that college sports are still very much at risk of being canceled or postponed yet again.
So why do we have to repeat the same refrain from back in March and April?
Iowa State Athletics released updated numbers on the COVID-19 testing given to student athletes and key personnel who have been on campus since June 8 on Wednesday. In total, 860 tests were given out, with 21 tests coming back positive for a 2.4 percent positivity rate.
Athletes from football, volleyball, soccer and everything in between have returned to campus, done their job and are so close to having their seasons return. The Iowa State athletic department has done a good job of containing the spread of the virus and making sure student athletes have taken the necessary precautions in place to have their seasons move forward.
But if we as a student body don't start taking our role seriously, we could very well end up being sent home in a matter of weeks, and student athletes might be joining us. I don't want that, and hopefully, neither do any of you.
And yet, we have been given an ample amount of time to become more educated and responsible for our actions in the extended time we were home with our families. From my vantage point, we look like we are back in March and April, wishfully thinking the virus is almost gone and the time to go out and party never stopped.
Hoping others do their part while you go out and meet in large bars with strangers you haven't been quarantining with is irresponsible and shows how much you don't know about your role in the return of college sports.
Notre Dame says no football practice today and possibly tomorrow after university moved to online-only classes.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 19, 2020
Notre Dame recently announced all undergraduate classes will be held online for the next two weeks after a spike in COVID-19 cases, effectively pausing the practice for Notre Dame football. Still not getting it?
Just because we as students may not be the ones on the field and inside the athletic department bubble doesn't mean our actions and lack of adherence to safety measures will not adversely impact the student athletes and their seasons.
I kept seeing the figurative carrot being dangled in front of us all before we returned to campus, saying pretty much the same thing: "If you want sports back, wear a mask" (or any other fairly simple request for the good of public health). And I don't think we all took that message to heart.
On Monday, North Carolina switched to online classes. Today, school suspends all athletic activities until at least 5 p.m. Thursday because “of a continued upward trend in positive Covid-19 tests on campus”— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 19, 2020
Even though this is probably column No. 405 about how people should start wearing masks and taking individual responsibility, maybe it took this many for the message to sink in. So let's all come together and do this.
I want sports back. I want to cover sports again with my colleagues and friends. I want life to return to some shade of normal again.
But make no mistake, we won't get there unless we ALL do our part.