By: Kathryn Peterson, For the Clock
Cancellations. Shutdowns. Mask mandates. Vaccinations. COVID-19. For the past year and a half, the world was hit with the unbeknownst and fairly mysterious virus that has seemingly struck every individual off their feet. This pandemic left those questioning the stability of our country and how much we can truly handle. Many thought how could we ever jump back from something like this? Well, you’d be surprised, but we chose to take one day at a time and manage to get back on our feet to resume where we left off. It certainly took some time and a little bit of patience to reach this point, but there was surely no hesitation to take any chance we had to go back to “normal”.
Plymouth State, amongst the countless others who were struck by the impact of COVID-19 like University of New Hampshire and Colby-Sawyer, has had a great deal unravelled specifically for Plymouth State athletics. Travel for games and meets were restricted, and there were cancellations of practices, games, and fans. The good news is that PSU games are once again taking place and are accessible to the public. According to Ellie Wilson, a member of the Plymouth State swim team, she added “we are only obliged to wear masks on deck thankfully and we can finally have friends and family back in the stands”. One difficulty is that other competitor schools will not allow games against schools if the rivals have not been COVID- 19 vaccinated. Plymouth State University is strongly encouraging students and staff to be vaccinated, despite the fact that the university is not allowed to mandate it by law.
Unfortunately, since several teams have already canceled games against PSU due to teams not being vaccinated, it has become difficult to compete with just half of the season left on the schedule. Senior Kaitlin Turmel added “a lot of teams will have to replay each other in order to make up for the schools that we won’t be able to play against. Since PSU is allowing fans in the stands I strongly encourage people to get out and go support friends and other teams,” says Junior Zoe Boyer.
PSU athletics will always remain strong with our diligent and hardworking faculty, coaches, and athletes contributing every ounce of time to appreciate the time we have together. COVID-19 has affected us in the short term, but in the long term: we will forever be united as the Panther community that we always have been.