Being Healthy - With Concern For Others
It was more than one month ago, Sept. 23 to be exact, that I wrote a blog on H1N1 and high school sports. Lots of people saw it. I know because many people actually wrote to me thinking I was nuts and that this was only a cold blown out of proportion.
I made a mistake in the blog. I assumed that many coaches and athletes were thinking twice about shaking hands - in the best interest of others. That was my error. It's still happening. So is sharing of water bottles, towels, even the ones that athletes cough and spit in. Surely the world won't end and people will understand, if the traditional act of sportsmanship is put on hold until we get over this flu situation.
Well, not so - and I saw it myself many times this week. No matter how much has been said about proper health care, sanitization, warnings and more - people just don't get it.
Maybe school coaches and athletes figure they're immune from this nasty thing. They shouldn't be. Just talk to some of the athletes - and the ones who have worked hours and hours, months and months to get to finals and are now in sick bay.
Let's see, there is a high school hockey player in Whitby, who is recovering and was in isolation of some sort. There is another in York Region who wasn't playing football this week. In Mississauga, I was out at a school and learned of a basketball player sent home.
And at the cross-country finals in Durham Region, a heavy favorite to finish in the top five, didn't do well at all. Flu? Some say no. It wasn't because the weather was so-so. And classes have lots of empty seats. Many teachers are absent too.
This is high school sports. That's all it is. Whether you believe H1N1 is a pandemic or not, think and play it smart. Don't put other people at risk. I see that finally, my friends at OFSAA posted a message on the website. Same stuff that the public health departments have had out for months.
I scratch my head wondering why this provincial athletic association took so long to communicate this national health concern. Maybe because it's because it had to post information about field hockey and cross country finals first.