Coronavirus Chronicles — Safety and Sports, Continued

The previous post mentioned the new Centers for Disease Control guidance for school sports administrators, which includes the types of cooperation they should look for from coaches, teachers, and parents:

Space players at least 6 feet apart on the field (e.g., during warmup, skill building activities, simulation drills, while explaining rules)…

In the old days, parochial schools held very sedate parties for teenagers, to teach social graces. If a couple slow-danced too close, an adult chaperone would step in to tap the boy’s shoulder and say, “Leave room between you for the Holy Ghost.” Now, the warning would be, “Leave enough space for two wheelchairs,” or the length of a medical exam table, or the distance from top to bottom of a shower curtain.

Once again, adult chaperones are needed to keep the kids away from each other. Parents are urged by the CDC to stick around at athletic practices and events, and remind their kids about the mask and distance rules. All staff, parents, and everyone else involved, must set the example, and forget about handshakes or (shudder) hugs.

And keep participants apart unless nearness is absolutely necessary to the sport. Before the official starting time, athletes are asked to wait in cars with the adult/s who brought them. When the event is over, no lingering or mingling. Parents are also asked to bring support materials:

Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene. Supplies include soap, water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, masks (as feasible), and no-touch trash cans.

The planet is a victim, too

The pandemic has affected the travel industrial complex in many ways. Toll roads are struggling. Traffic dropped a lot in March and April of last year, and air pollution went down for a while. But people still have to go places, or at least, we successfully convince ourselves that we have to. In Manhattan, traffic is said to have almost returned to pre-pandemic normal. In September, reported,

As state and local governments begin reopening, businesses and in-person activities have led to an increase in vehicle miles traveled in cities across the country. Today, “vehicle miles traveled (VMT) nationwide is almost back to where it was in March,” said Laura Schewel, CEO and co-founder of StreetLight Data.

Just so you know, both these excerpts are from an article described as sponsored content from IBM. It goes on:

Current trends show an increasing preference for the personal car. A rise in single-occupancy vehicle commuting could cause a massive influx in road traffic, causing huge congestion and delays going forward.

Of course, people want to be in their individual cars if possible. Subways and buses can be death traps. After years of training the public to lower poisonous emissions by carpooling, and building special highway lanes to reward high-occupancy vehicles, it is a shame that the authorities now have to cater to the pandemic, which tries to ruin everything. The CDC advice to everyone partaking in youth sports is,

Limit the use of carpools or van pools. When riding in an automobile to a sports event, encourage players to ride to the sports event with persons living in their same household.

Another thing parents should absolutely do is, notify the school if a child has one of the co-morbidities that make COVID-19 extra dangerous. Any adult with a connection to youth sports will find a plethora of helpful ideas, along with resources like coach checklists, posters, etc., at the CDC site.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Considerations for Youth Sports Administrators,”, 12/31/2020
Source: “Q&A: Coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on tolling industry,”, 09/04/20
Image by Paul Sableman/CC BY 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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