Let the Kids Play!

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As the parent of three school-age children in San Mateo County (CA), I am frustrated by the inability of the State of California and San Mateo County to provide clear guidance as to when youth sports competition in the County can resume.

To be clear, the State and County currently allow small groups of children to practice sports together, provided they don't share equipment and remain six feet apart. But some sports (baseball and lacrosse, for example) cannot abide these rules, making competition/games impossible.

I have asked San Mateo County health officials if they have data showing the dangers of transmitting COVID-19 via shared sports equipment (they don't). To my knowledge, no one, including the State of California, has done this research.

I'm as concerned as anyone about the risks of transmitting COVID, and I agree that everyone, including children, should take care to avoid transmission. But are we sure there is a risk of kids spreading COVID via shared sports equipment? And aren't there steps kids could take to protect themselves (and the community) while still competing? Players could wear masks. Games could be played outside. Kids could wash their hands during games. Temperatures could be checked beforehand.

Clearly it would be difficult for kids to stay six feet apart while playing, but given the other measures (masks, outdoors, etc.), distance seems like a lesser issue.

The purpose of this petition is to get our kids competing again. Practice is fine, but without a purpose (the incentive of playing games), kids will eventually lose interest.

I would like our elected officials and health representatives to provide clear direction as to when youth sports competitions can resume, and to share data about the risks of COVID transmission via shared equipment, if it exists. I hope you will join me in supporting this request for guidance and transparency.