Modern technology and medicine are truly marvels to behold. However, the limits of these technological and medical advantages are being tested under the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is leading to new ideas concerning not only how to deal with the pandemic effectively, but also how to improve society moving forward. Sporting events in particular have had to bend over backwards to adapt to these new circumstances. Here’s what you need to know about how sports stadiums are combatting the pandemic.
The most prominent way for sporting events to go off without a hitch is remote viewing. By eliminating the on site audience from the equation, sporting events can reduce the risks associated almost completely. The danger inherent in a sporting event during a pandemic is that stadiums tend to be packed wall to wall with patrons in seats no more than an inch apart, well in excess of the recommended distance of six feet. As an alternative, many sporting events have gone digital. Instead of bringing an audience into the stadium, sports teams will play matches as originally intended with the only difference being that the audience can tune it remotely. This concession can have the additional side effect of making these illustrious sporting events more accessible to the general public. For example, a small group can go to a restaurant or cafe and use a wireless kiosk that can provide internet service with which to tune into the game in a much smaller crowd or from the comfort of their own homes.
Another reason that remote viewing is such a great alternative to on site attendance during the pandemic is that safety precautions would severely inhibit any establishment or event that would ordinarily pack a large amount of people into a relatively small space. As mentioned above, the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 include social distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals. This is generally not widely enforced, because smaller groups that are attending an event can also help to inhibit the spread of the disease. In other words, a group traveling together could already be compromised, so it can be better to let them remain close knit to give others room to breathe. However, these regulations are enforced when and where possible. For example, seats in a stadium would have to be cordoned off so that each available seat would fall outside of that 6 foot radius. Following the CDC guidelines will continue to be of the utmost importance when sporting events are once again open to the public, as well, because failing to abide by them can kickstart the problems all over again. With that in mind, these regulations will likely continue indefinitely in the wake of the pandemic.
The Near Future
When sports stadiums open back up when the coast looks clear, you can expect that much of the above will become part and parcel with the experience of attending a sporting event. It’s hard to say how long that might last, and some Asian countries have adopted face masks as a casual article of clothing, having been seemingly permanently altered by the previous SARS pandemic. Likewise, you’ll continue to be expected to wear a facial covering and maintain a safe distance from strangers when attending not only sporting events, but also any number of public social events for the foreseeable future. This will be disappointing to those who find these restrictions overbearing, but the fact of the matter is that these precautions are currently, and will continue to be, necessary in order to get this deadly disease under control, at least while a vaccine is still in development and not widely available.
Sports have long provided a vital service to humanity. It provides a much needed break from the real world and the troubles therein. There would be no better time for that kind of distraction, but you’ll have to accept that its current iteration isn’t what you’re used to, but you’ll have to get used to it for the time being.