Schools and universities within Georgia have been preparing for months in order to navigate the 2020-2021 school year with proper safety measures regarding COVID-19. Certain guidelines have been constructed by the CDC and multiple medical experts to help the nation recover from the pandemic as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many have noticed a certain level of hypocrisy within the country – from as small as a high school football game to health officials not practicing what they preach.
Georgia’s high school football season kicked off last week with excitement yet caution. Many schools have enlisted pandemic precautions for those who are attending games in person; however, these efforts seemed to go wasted as crowds of students and fans disobeyed the strongly recommended guidelines.
This past Thursday, North Gwinnett High School hosted McEachern High School for the Corky Kell Classic, playing in their own Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium. Many guidelines were announced before and during the game: some include the stadium capacity limited to about 30%, seats marked to ensure social distancing, fans required to enter the stadium with a mask, and more. Multiple witnesses, including myself, observed that majority of the student section was dangerously spectating the game. Most students were oblivious to any efforts of social distancing, as well as wearing their required masks.
“It was the same at [Peachtree Ridge High School]. So many people weren’t wearing masks and ignoring social distancing,” stated Deniella Tenenbaum, a student who attends PRHS.
“Every guideline was broken that night,” said an anonymous student who attends NGHS. “That event could have affected more than 100 families.”
The effects of these actions could potentially be dire in the next couple of weeks. Not only is the health of students, parents, and faculty on the line, but important games can be postponed, which affects the productivity of athletes, band members, media crews, volunteers for games, and more. The price of carelessly enjoying a mere football game could jeopardize the future of so many talented and hard-working people.
The disregard for safety guidelines is not limited to ignorant students; political leaders and health professionals have also not lived up to their teachings. Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci was spotted in late July watching a baseball game while wearing a mask below his chin and not social distancing. Just recently House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was slammed by conservatives after she was seen leaving a salon with her mask below her chin. And unsurprisingly, President Donald Trump bashes certain political opponents for wearing a mask, even after endorsing mask-wearing in July. Although some experts have semi-valid justifications, the hypocrisy is very prominent in the nation.
COVID-19 hypocrisy has been an issue in this country since the pandemic gained attention, and the nation is undeniably paying the price with deadly effects. The sooner regulations are taken seriously by all audiences, the faster the country will go back to operating normally.
“Without active tracing measures, a second wave of infection is inevitable. We have to work to identify the best active strategies before relaxing social distancing,” quoted professor and consultant Esteban Moro Egido.