LMC coaches react to coronavirus fear

Erick Amaya, Staff Writer

It is no secret that the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected everyone’s typical lifestyle. The virus has brought the fear of getting contaminated onto people. The virus has been spreading world-wide, impacting the way people interact with one another.

The outbreak has now begun to affect the world of sports with many sporting events around the world being affected. In countries where the outbreak is more severe, athletic events and competitions are being canceled, postponed or affected in other ways.

The China Women’s National Soccer Team was recently placed in quarantine, and had Olympic qualifying matches moved to Sydney, Australia.

In Italy, all sporting competitions will be forced to play via closed doors, which means that no fans will be able to attend, through April 3. Several professional soccer leagues in Asia have been postponed, and the Summer Olympics, which will be held in Japan, are in jeopardy of being delayed until after the outbreak calms down.

All of this postponing and canceling have led to consideration on whether similar measures should be taken in the U.S., in particular within the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).

The coronavirus spread is not as severe in the U.S. as it is in European and Asian countries. Several Los Medanos College athletic coaches and directors added their input, all in consensus that it was too soon for taking severe measures.

“If we overreact, it could make things worse. If people take the proper precautions, we should be okay, unless it gets a lot worse,” soccer head coach Zack Sullivan said on whether the CCCAA and the Bay Valley Conference (BVC) should consider postponing matches.

Volleyball head coach Lou Panzella added, “We have to take the same precautions that are being recommended across the board, wash your hands frequently, maybe right now, avoid unnecessary contact. Common sense precautions are important. If things get worse, then you amp up.” Panzella continued, “I was at Costco today, it’s crazy, we live in this ‘panic mode’ mentality, and that’s not to say it’s not important, but use good practices.”

“I don’t think we should be canceling games, I’m not ready to lock everybody up in a little room until this all passes,” Panzella added.

Colleen Ralston Fitness Center Director said, “Everybody needs to do their part to try and stay healthy, and people should not be coming to school if they’re sick. At this point, it’s not necessary to close [the fitness center], we’d create paranoia, the media is blasting us non-stop and creating [unnecessary] fear,”

Ralston added that the Fitness Center has added sanitized wipes for students to use before and after working out, and has janitorial services clean the exercise machines every night.

For information on preventing the spread of COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.