Will COVID Sideline the College Football Season?

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The odds are not good for college football conferences that have decided to press forward with their fall season despite the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

The Big 10 and PAC 12 have decided not to play sports in the fall, but the SEC, the Big 12 and the ACC say they will proceed with college football while still keeping players safe from the coronavirus.

“I do predict, because we’ve already been seeing it in those sports that have been very diligent, that there will be transmission and they will have to stop their games,” said Dr. Colleen Kraft, an NCAA medical adviser and a professor of infectious diseases with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. She was one of several experts who recently briefed the media on navigating college sports during the pandemic.

Ultimately, the nationwide debate over college football is occurring because the United States has failed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in an effective manner, said Dr. Brian Hainline, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the NCAA.

“When we started talking about return to sport in April, we were envisioning there would be a continued downward trajectory of COVID-19 new infections and deaths, that there would be a national surveillance system, national testing and national contact tracing that would allow us to really navigate this pandemic,” Hainline said. “That hasn’t happened, and it’s made it very challenging to make decisions as we approach fall sport.”

About 1% to 2% of NCAA athletes are already testing positive for COVID-19, Hainline noted.

Despite this, and despite increasing COVID-19 infections and deaths, some conferences have decided to “sort of dip your toe in and see what happens,” Kraft said.

Colleges are taking steps to protect players, including having them practice in small units and experimenting with innovations such as internal face masks that are part of the football helmet, Hainline said.

The problem is that no matter how stringent your university’s COVID-19 policies, your players will be sharing the field with another team at game time, Hainline said.

Continued

“The greatest risk when it comes to football is when you have one team competing against another team and you have to be certain both teams have been following very strict standards, so you’re not taking one team that’s been a relatively secure bubble and all of a sudden expose it to another that’s not,” Hainline said.

Campuses a hotbed for COVID spread

Also, no matter how hard school officials work to make sports an infection-free environment, players will still be spending a lot of time off the field in situations where they face infection they can then spread to their teammates, said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an NCAA health adviser and executive associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine.

“We can do all the planning we want to have safe sports, but what happens outside of sports is really where the problem is,” del Rio said. “It’s the fraternity party. It’s the other things that can happen.”

This month already has produced a number of examples of college students thumbing their noses at COVID-19.

University of Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted a photo Sunday showing dozens of tightly packed people, most without masks, waiting to get into a popular bar.

“Who wants college sports this fall?? Obviously not these people!!” said Byrne, whose team is in the SEC.

ACC member University of Louisville kicked three soccer players off its team and suspended three others after they hosted a COVID-19 party, according to news reports. The men’s and women’s soccer teams, field hockey team and volleyball team had to cancel their workouts after 29 COVID cases were reported.

Meanwhile, an entire sorority house at Oklahoma State University is under quarantine and isolation after 23 members of Pi Beta Phi tested positive for COVID.

“I would encourage schools that there be significant education for those athletes about how to minimize their risk of getting infected,” del Rio said. “Their risk of getting infected is going to be in the community, because there’s so much transmission in the community.”

Athletes infected with COVID-19 face serious and potentially career-threatening illness, Kraft and del Rio said.

Continued

For example, they are at increased risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by a viral infection that can cause dangerous irregular heart rhythms.

“You can absolutely not train when you have a viral syndrome because there’s a risk of myocarditis. This has been around for a long time,” del Rio said.

Some warning-sign guidelines

The NCAA has set a five-item mandate under which schools must pull the plug on their athletic programs, Hainline said.

These include:

  • A lack of ability to isolate positive cases or quarantine high-risk cases of COVID-19 on campus.
  • Insufficient ability to test for COVID.
  • Campuswide or local community COVID rates that are deemed unsafe by local public health officials.
  • Inability to contact trace and prevent outbreaks.
  • A lack of capacity in local hospitals to deal with a surge in COVID cases.

“If the local [hospital] infrastructure of a particular school is really imploding and can’t accept any new cases, you can’t go forward with fall sports,” Hainline said.

Del Rio noted that in Georgia, 98% of the hospital beds and 97% of the ICUs are now filled.

“My advice is that we hold off and control this virus,” del Rio said. “That would be my priority number one as a nation.”

Colleges that press ahead with fall football have one other hard decision — what to do with the fans.

Schools like Texas A&M University and Florida State University have announced that football attendance likely will be limited to a quarter to a half of their stadium’s capacity, Bloomberg News reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Colleen Kraft, M.D., professor, infectious diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Brian Hainline, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, NCAA; Carlos del Rio, M.D., executive associate dean, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; media briefing, Infectious Disease Society of America/NCAA; Aug. 13, 2020

Copyright © 2013-2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Coronavirus Daily Digest: May 29, 2020

The CDC presents expansive guidelines for reopening American offices. Infections and deaths are still rising in a dozen states. And for the first time ever, the Boston Marathon is canceled. Here’s the latest news on coronavirus:

  • Let’s talk reopening: The CDC has issued sweeping new guidelines on the safest ways to reopen offices. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio expects up to 400,000 residents to head back to work in the first half of next month, as the city prepares to begin lifting some of its most stringent coronavirus restrictions. Illinois is joining many of its neighboring Midwest states in reopening some retail shops, restaurants, salons, and other businesses today, but Chicagoans will have to wait.
  • The panel assembled by President Donald Trump to confront the pandemic has been sharply curtailed while the White House looks ahead to reopening.
  • Requiring patients to visit a hospital, clinic, or medical office to get an abortion pill is needlessly risking their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of physicians allege in a lawsuit that seeks to suspend the federal rule.
  • Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon for the first time in its history, ending a 124-year run that had persisted through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption and even another pandemic.
  • Even as the pace of new infections quickens — with nearly 700,000 new known cases reported in the last week after the pathogen found greater footholds in Latin America and the Gulf States — many countries are sputtering into reopenings at what experts fear may be the worst time. In South Korea, more than 500 schools closed again as the country moves to stamp out a resurgence of the coronavirus in the capital, Seoul, and its surrounding metropolitan area.
  • A New York Times reporter and photographer are driving more than 3,700 miles to document life as Europe reopens, where surreal moments now seem normal, and normality surreal.
WebMD Health News

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Mistakes That Weaken Your Immunity And How To Fix Them

You must have played the game – Mario, right? Remember the mushrooms Mario used to bump into to get energy and protect himself? That’s pretty much how immunity works in your favour. If you have good immunity you can easily get over flu or even a pandemic causing virus, like Covid-19 without much difficulty. Immunity acts like a resistance shield to protect your body from foreign organisms. That’s why it’s super important for you to keep your immunity high at all costs.

Mistakes That Weaken Your Immunity: 

These are things that you need to stop doing right away to raise your immunity level with ease. We are going to talk a lot about your daily habits and gut health because that’s what impacts your immunity the most.

Intake Of Junk Or Processed Foods

We know how difficult it is to cut down on your cravings, many people even incentivize themself with pizzas and cheeseburgers on their cheat days. Now it may sound like the best thing to do but a diet with high carbs, sugar, and salt is not helping your body or immunity even one bit. Studies say that the intake of junk food depletes the good bacteria in your gut allowing the bad bacterias to do worse. Studies say that junk food creates an imbalance of microbiome in the gut that causes inflammation and results in poor immune function. The over intake of sugar, salt, and fats in junk food restricts the growth of good bacteria that helps to produce a fatty acid called butyrate (butyric acid) which works to reduce inflammation in your gut. 

Enjoying Party Drinks Way Too Much

Drinking alcohol has become a part of lifestyle for many and there’s nothing gravely wrong about it. But the problem comes when you don’t draw the line between casual drinking and daily indulgence. Having a heavy limit of alcohol disrupts the balance of the microbes in your body. The good bacteria from your body get flushed out while the bad bacteria enter your bloodstream making you feel sick. Yes, the phrase “feeling sick to my gut” is a legit biological thing. So if you’re aiming at keeping your immunity high, you better put a limit on your pegs.

Smoking

Aren’t you hating this article already for pointing out everything that you (possibly) love doing? Well, such is life! Studies say that smoking causes excess buildup of mucous in your respiratory tract, thus exhausting your lungs in pushing out toxins. This makes you more susceptible to infection caused by virus, bacteria or other antigens. Smoking also restricts the growth of antibodies in your blood. Now, you wouldn’t soo many things going wrong inside your body especially when your immunity is low, correct? The magical word is “QUIT”.

Being A Couch Potato

If you look around you and you could only see comfy spots 24 hours a day, you’re doing it all wrong. It’s a known fact that working out helps you to keep sickness at bay. We’ll tell you how it works – for basics – when you workout your body temperature increases which helps in preventing the growth of infections. Working out also helps to increase antibodies and WBC (white blood cells) which helps to fight against infection and bacterias. A recent case study on immunology suggests that an aerobic exercise of fewer than 60 minutes stimulates the innate immune cells that improve the resistance to pathogens and cancer cells. (Interesting, right?) 

Bonus information: Doing daily workout strengthens your immune system cells and delays the course of age-related immune dysfunctionality. That’s like a cheat code for extending youth, who would say no to that? 

Over Stressing

We can’t stress enough on the fact that stress doesn’t help in any situation, not denying that a stress-free life is a thing of euphoria. Chronic stress and being tense release adrenaline and cortisol hormones in your body that eventually lowers down your immunity. The best way to tackle this is to give yourself just 1 hour in a day think about everything that’s bothering you. Make a note of this and in the rest of your productive hours tackle your problems with calm. Keeping yourself away from anxiety triggering situations will also work in your favour.

How To Strengthen The Immune System?

Lucky for us, boosting the immune system isn’t very difficult: 

  1. Start exercising or involve yourself in physical activities
  2. Eat your greens and nuts 
  3. Include food items in your diet that are rich in Vitamin C & A 
  4. Get a good amount of sleep 
  5. Maintain good hygiene to avoid infections 
  6. Start addressing your chronic stress 
  7. Take 15-20 mins of sunlight as Vitamin D is a great immunity booster 

Hope you all are strong and secure. Share this article with your folks and comment down if you have more suggestions to strengthen immunity. 

The post Mistakes That Weaken Your Immunity And How To Fix Them appeared first on Gympik Blog.