Over the weekend people from all over California gathered at multiple locations to protest for the return to play. This protest became known as the “Let Them Play” Protest.
In the Fresno County area there were three protests that took place at three different locations. The first protest was at Bullard High School, second at Sanger High School and the third protest took place at Clovis West, however all Clovis schools congregated there.
Many more protests took place up and down California. The largest protest was set at the Capitol Building in Sacramento. This protest was at first cancelled because people did not think it would be safe to protest at California’s capitol after what happened at the Capitol in Washington D.C. but after much discussion the people decided to respect the building and keep their protest peaceful, as long as the government officials would listen to their concerns.
Back in Fresno many people gathered at these three different locations, all protesting and sharing a common motive of fighting for their kids to return to sports. The protest in Fresno had more than 75 people attend at just one of the locations. People in attendance all wore masks and respected the six foot distance.
One mother who attended the protest expressed the group's concerns. In an article by the Fresno Bee a mother named Jenifer Fisher stated they “have waited 10 months, and it’s time to get the kids back out there.”
She then goes on to express how this long waiting period has affected the mental health of the children and is making children feel hopeless with no motive to work for anything anymore.
Another aspect mentioned by Deborah Najm, who was interviewed by ABC7 in Orange County, stated that California has now made the vaccine available to people over the age of 65. California congress has also recently decided that teachers and administration will be next to receive the vaccine around the first week of February. With the vaccine out to the people who are most susceptible, the environment to return to sports is much safer than before.
On social media over the weekend, people from all over California were tweeting their support and posting evidence to help push the return to play. One of these tweets posted was by Mountain West Conference Football Talk. They posted a picture showing the breakdown of high school football and the Covid transmission rates associated with the sport. Out of high school players and coaches there was a 1.5% transmission rate throughout the entire season. The other 98.5% came from elsewhere and other outside activities, not related to school at all.
On the other hand the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) recently stated that sports are to resume play on January 25, provided the release of new guidelines of the California Department of Public Health.
Since almost all of California’s counties are in the purple tier, CIF had to decide what sports would be safe participating and what tiers would be acceptable for each sport to play in.
In the purple tier the sports allowed to play are swimming, cross country and track, golf and tennis (if outside). Within the red tier the sports allowed to play are girl’s lacrosse, softball and baseball. If a county reaches the orange tier then football, soccer, wrestling (if outside or in an open area) and volleyball can all resume. However basketball, cheerleading and wrestling can not return until California reaches the yellow tier.
The biggest concern facing the CIF decision right now is that California is seeing their peak of Covid-19 cases, a result of the 2020 holiday season.
California knew that it would be receiving a peak after the holidays, simply because families were destined to be together. However many doctors and government officials are feigning surprise at the peak. After living almost a year with this virus, it is time to return to normal. We as Americans can no longer hide from something we can not control. The virus is simple: people are going to get sick, some sicker than others, but putting our lives on hold is just a waste of valuable days. In the end it is simply survival of the fittest and withholding kids from sports and social interaction is not a proper solution.