Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2020 with 0 comment

Planning Re-entry? Don’t Forget These Safety Tips

The pandemic, lockdown and scare around it changed the way we did things, even how we lived. Difficult as it was adjusting to the new normal of Covid-19 times, looks like coming out of it now is going to be even more difficult.
As states prepare to reopen, slowly initiating people back to the life that was, there’s a lot of anxiety around it. For some, there’s still scare in the world out there, they aren’t ready yet to go out, while for some, they can’t wait enough. They are just so eager to get back that their enthusiasm may come at the cost of safety, least precautions.
For those managing youth sports, managing the anxiety and ensuring a smooth and safe comeback may be a whole different level of complexity. They have to start with bringing parents to an agreement that it is safe out there now. That said, they also have to keep a certain degree of fear injected such that the reassurance does not border with an insouciant attitude, especially towards safety. Then they have to manage the different forms of anxiety the kids may be going through.
In the middle of all this anxiety mania, the one thing that cannot be side-lined at any cost is the safety. As you plan to re-enter, here are some essentials you need to be mindful of:
Social Distancing
We may not heard of the term ‘social distancing’ in the past, but now this has become the universal norm defining lives across the globe. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has clearly defined the minimum distance of six feet between two people. This means sports would have to do away with high-fives, fist-bumps, handshakes and physical contact of any kind. This also means parents cannot afford to have carpools anymore. Most importantly, it means that sports clubs and coaches would have to design training programs that keep kids engaged, build up on their game skills, still managing the six-feet distance criterion.
Now that the WHO has confirmed that the virus is airborne, safety equipment becomes an absolute essential. Every player, coach, manager, staff member must have their Personal Protective Equipment on at all times. While the specifics of the recommended PPE may change as per exposure, the bare minimum includes face be covered with masks and shields, gloves etc. Make sure all the protective gear is sanitized after every use, and washing hands is more than a practice, it becomes a habit.
From temperature checks to Covid tests on experiencing symptoms, feeling unwell and/or coming in contact or close proximity of a positive case, testing/screening for Covid needs to be a must. Every club/team/organization should create a SOP for the same.
The Balancing Act
We may be planning re-entry, but we are not one hundred percent ready. Before taking a full-fledged dive, it is advisable that clubs try the virtual plus physical training model. Having a day or two of physical training initially and rest of days as virtual sessions, may be a good way to start. The virtual sessions can be scheduled on InstaTeam, just like the way games and practices were scheduled before the pandemic. This will give a team feel while making it easier for coaches to plan, schedule and conduct the virtual sessions.
These are unprecedented times, and adjustments may continue to come. The important part is we move on with what is and make the most of it.



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