Covid vs. East activities and athletics 2021


Photo by Brian Kabourek

Lincoln East cross country team stretching after practice on Friday, September 3rd. Due to covid 19 athletes are required to wear masks at all times while in the building.

It’s 2021, the coronavirus is still a present threat that doesn’t stop for sports and activities. The students and staff at Lincoln East are doing their best to make sure this year can be as normal as possible for fall sports, school clubs, and other various activities, in the hopes that all are able to continue throughout the year, without much delay. Last year brought many obstacles that challenged individuals to brainstorm the safest ways to continue through the year. In fall of 2020, all athletes were masked, concerts were at limited capacity with masked performers, and many clubs were virtual. This year, some of these policies remain the same, and some which have changed in a step toward normalcy. The athletic and music departments are just a few of those being affected by covid 19 and are a prime example of overcoming obstacles and checking every box to make sure they are able to continue doing what they love.

By the second week of school this year, LPS made the decision to once again require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks regardless of vaccination records. This includes those involved in choir, the musical, and school sports.

Drew Willis, social studies teacher and assistant cross country coach said, “One of the biggest things I have tried to promote, is a culture where kids are wanting to wear a mask, wanting to make the right decisions, whereas your teammates need you to do this, as opposed to being more punishment based, and I think we’ve had pretty good success with that so far.”

Although many things differ from last year, for example, sanitization is no longer required each period, water fountains are now available, and school is at full capacity, the one constant is masks. It’s important to keep a positive connotation surrounding masks in order to keep everyone in the East community and beyond safe.

Masks serve as protection, but also make activities a bit more challenging. “The mask completely blocks off one of the most important facial features which makes it a lot more difficult to portray your emotions,” says senior Laney Beran, who is involved in show choir and the musical at East.

“We can partner dance this year which I am really excited about,” Beran said, referring to last year when they had to dance six feet apart in order to maintain social distance.

Willis and Beran mentioned the difficulties of the past year and the struggles they have gone through in order to keep moving forward, yet both remain hopeful for the year ahead.

“The mood of the team is a lot higher than it was a year ago,” said Willis.

Even though covid is still very much present this year, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. 2021-2022 will be another year of controlling the controllables. Lincoln East’s athletics and various activities will keep doing their best to stay safe and fully functioning.

Be sure to check out East’s website for information on upcoming games, meets, and performances!