Covid-19: Through the eyes of vaccinated athletes

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CREDIT: Andre Davancens | THE MIRROR

Track and Field Coach Fernando Fernandez speaks to runner Uriel Ruiz after a relay race. Both are wearing masks and following covid-19 guidelines.

Now that Californians 12 and older are eligible to receive the covid-19 vaccine, Junior and Senior athletes at VNHS are getting vaccinated in hopes of things finally returning to normal next fall.

“Everything is slowly going back to normal and the vaccine is making this process go a little faster, which is great!” says cheerleader Ashley-Avira Juarez ‘21. “It’s exciting to come back and cheer on other sports as well as get back to competing, and hopefully getting the chance to participate in senior activities.”

Athletes chosen to return to campus for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year are required to follow mask mandates, have their sports equipment cleaned daily, and take weekly covid tests in order to continue practicing with teammates. In order to further protect themselves and their teammates, athletes such as Volleyball player Tristan Timpers ‘21 have received their doses of vaccine.

“Now that I have gotten both doses of the vaccine I feel much more comfortable playing indoors with my teammates. In addition, I know that most of my teammates have gotten vaccinated or are planning to get vaccinated. Since our season depends on how serious we take our safety, we are making sure to take every precaution.”

Cheerleader Coach Renard feels a sense of pride for those who have chosen to receive a vaccine as it shows their commitment to their personal health, as well as the health of others around them, and their commitment to their sport.

“I am extremely proud of the students who have been vaccinated. It makes me happy to know that they made the decision to protect themselves and their families from Covid. I believe in the vaccine and I believe that by getting vaccinated they reduce their chances of contracting this horrible virus.”

Despite having sports seasons at VNHS postponed or even cancelled due to the pandemic, off-season training has started. Under Volleyball Coach Azarly, his team has been training intensively and working hard to get back on track with their daily practices: “Individual drills were done towards the beginning of the season, but now we’re straight into playoff mode. Constantly working on our team chemistry and our ball control. This group is relatively one of the better Van Nuys Volleyball teams to walk through our gym and I’m confident they can bring home a trophy at the end of the crazy season.”

As the school year comes to a close, and thus sports seasons, the vaccine has given hope for athletes to compete in normalized events next season and has allowed current Seniors to finish the remainder of their season.