mask football game

It seems that just because things are opening back up, people have forgotten about wearing masks. People are returning from sporting events wondering how they got COVID-19 when it’s actually very obvious. 

In July, I went to two WWE events. They were both at indoor arenas in Texas, but at the time, the CDC was saying if you were vaccinated then you didn’t have to wear a mask. 

Me being asthmatic and knowing that the vaccine didn’t give you 100% protection, I decided to still wear my mask. I was one of few people wearing one in the 16,000-person crowd. I was so glad I did because two weeks later, the new surge in COVID-19 cases began. 

Fast forward to last month when I went to the LSU versus UCLA game. The game was outdoors, but in the state of California, they were still requiring masks. Sure the people wore their masks on the way in, but as soon as they made it inside, you could barely see a mask in sight. 

I don’t think you should have to always wear masks outside. Especially in this heat, that’s just miserable. But if you’re at a large capacity event like a game or concert, and you’re not actively eating or drinking, I think you should be wearing a mask. 

So what’s my point in all this? I think people are being irresponsible. We are all rightfully tired of masks, but is it truly that hard to wear one for a few hours to keep you and those around you safe? I don’t think so. People in other countries seem to have no problem doing it, so why can’t we? 

Some stadiums are enforcing proof of vaccination, others are requiring health checks or mask mandates that people don’t follow, but as an individual, I think everyone should do their own part. 

Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida in Tampa spoke to Kaiser Health News about the safety of going to packed stadiums even if you’re vaccinated. 

“I am a die-hard sports fan, but I would not go to these events right now,” Salemi said. 

Again, outdoor events are less likely to lead to infection, but if you’re not wearing a mask and are in close proximity, that less likely becomes more likely. 

“Sitting within just a few feet of 10 or 20 screaming fans watching football, baseball, soccer or an auto race at a stadium reduces that safety margin,” Salemi said. 

Of course, I’m not a hypocrite. I just described two sporting events I went to. But I am also vaccinated, was wearing a mask and took a COVID-19 test before the football game to be safe. If you’re planning to attend these games, I highly suggest you do the same. 

Dr. Dale Bratzler, the chief COVID-19 office at the University of Oklahoma, isn’t against vaccinated people going to games. But again, he highly suggests attendees wear masks and even consider double masking. 

Whether you make an effort to be protected while attending these games or go about your game day experience like everything is normal, please stay safe. I am not saying you should stop going to games, but everyone could be making a conscious effort to do better to protect themselves and others in attendance. 

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