Two glorious Saturdays of schoolboy rugby has been halted nationally because of a #Covid cluster outbreak in Gauteng. It defies all common sense.
There has not been a single schools rugby match cancelled in the Western Cape since proper scheduling resumed a fortnight ago.
There has been no knock-on effect from the several schools festivals held a month ago.
There have been issues in Gauteng in the past week. Take action there, but why make a blanket decision for the country’s schools sport?
It is absurd.
One shoe size does not fit all.
It is the story of every Covid related decision being made in this country specific to sport.
It makes me livid that I can see packed restaurants and packed shopping malls every day, with thousands bumping into each other and certainly not maintaining a social distance. In restaurants, the moment you sit down the mask comes off and 100-150 people are crammed into an indoors area.
The result has been ‘life as we knew it’.
The most ridiculous of all has been that the school children, who were allowed to play against each other in rugby, were not allowed to have their parents at the matches. No spectators.
So the parent can drive the kid to school, live in the same household of the kid, but not stand at a field, metres apart from anyone else and watch the kid play?
Excuse the crass expression of how I feel right in this moment.
Schools rugby was the one escape for those kids. It was a wholesome and healthy embrace for the teachers who have to continue to inspire these kids on a daily basis at a time when we are asking kids to sacrifice being kids on a daily basis.
I don’t get how crowds are not allowed into sports stadiums and have asked this question publicly for the past year.
The London-based Times on Wednesday, 19th May, headlined a story as below
BIG EVENTS WITHOUT MASKS ARE NO RISKIER THAN SHOPPING, COVID TRIALS SHOW
The article, written by Chris Smyth, quoted data from United Kingdom government trials.
‘Data from the events research programme is understood to have found that with screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors the risk of virus transmission can be significantly reduced, reducing fears that sports matches and concerts could cause the big outbreaks,’ wrote Smyth.
In the South African context, the decision from the Council of Education Ministers to suspend all contact sport based on cluster cases among certain Gauteng schools, is based on as much science as the banning of cigarette sales. There isn’t any.
Cigarettes now are smoked and sold as if the ban never existed.
Schoolboy rugby is once again banned as if it never existed.
When is the madness going to stop?
When is the fearmongering going to stop?
When is logic going to be applied to every situation and when is it going to be appropriate specific?
SA Rugby Magazine report detailing the statement of the suspension from the Council of Education Ministers.
According to the release, the Outbreak Response Team determined that the risk of transmission was high when engaged in close contact sports, especially with people who do not live together.
The suspension will be in place until the clusters outbreak is over with no further cases reported, including in preparatory schools.
Also on www.keo.co.za