I took the last few days off from reading all the emails and texts I get regarding all the hockey programs being effected in one way or another by the COVID pandemic. Sometimes there is simply too much information to sort through.
After catching up though, one thing has become very clear. Many parents are now suffering from what I will call COVID Denial Syndrome.
So many parents, all over the world are screaming at governments to allow their children to play that its likely the government can’t even hear their voices. There are so many perspectives that there is no clear message about why, during a pandemic, children should be allowed to play.
When the Yale hockey team, who is spending tens of thousands of dollars on COVID prevention protocols, yet has 18 players test positive, there might be a problem.
Or when New Hampshire shuts down hockey for two weeks because of documented infections from ice hockey games, there might be a problem.
Or when the QMJHL is shut down after one week due to two teams getting infected, there might be a problem.
A new publication in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes how an indoor hockey event became a “super spreader” event.
I understand players want to play, and parents want to have their children on the ice for many reasons. Arenas need players on the ice to survive.
The argument that hockey players are protected by their equipment though simply doesn’t hold water. There are too many fact based incidents now that playing hockey regularly if one person is infected, will likely lead to more people being infected.
Too many people are taking too many different approaches at managing their COVID environments. There is not one set standard, and that is the biggest problem.
The second largest problem is that even if there was one set standard, half of the people wouldn’t follow it or would argue that having that standard somehow infringed on their “rights”.
Because of these things, even with absolute proof of infection instances, we have COVID Denial Syndrome.
One lady called me a week ago and asked if I would write an article on how the Illinois Governor was handling youth ice hockey improperly and that the kids should be allowed to play.
I asked her how she would feel if her child got infected and died because another child on another team that didn’t have the same safe living environment was asymptomatic and infected her child during the game.
She didn’t answer the question of course. She stated that I was cruel to suggest her child could die. COVID Denial Syndrome.
Another team owner who experienced a COVID outbreak on his team called me and asked not to publicly out his team for having to deal with it. Even after managing it successfully and having everyone recover and no hospitalizations.
He was more afraid that people would know that it actually happened and it could hurt his business. Rather than have everyone know that his pandemic plan worked, he wants to forget it happened. COVID Denial Syndrome.
Make no mistake, we will all likely get it. Some of you reading this right now will get it and some may die. Living in denial though will not lead to a pandemic solution and will not return things to normal more quickly.
COVID Denial Syndrome will extend the pandemic because those people who have CDS will not work toward prevention.
Seven months of this now. Still, after seven months, no one can come together with a comprehensive plan, and half of the people wont follow if one is presented.
Psychotherapists must be laughing at just how dis-functional all of this is.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser