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COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 1

The Disorderly Fighting of COVID-19 and Those in Athletics

Makayla Hamilton

Georgia Southern University

Context

Starting in late December 2019 was the outbreak of the severe penetrative respiratory

disease coronavirus 2 virus, also known widely as COVID-19. Originating in the Wuhan

Province of China, the virus spread rapidly around the world for the next few months, especially

in the United States. To date, The United States has accounted for 29 million cases and 525,000

deaths.

As a result of the rising correlation of the population and recorded, government officials

made selections to slow down the development of the lethal and novel respiratory illness. The

day to day lifestyles of the world were disrupted as government-issued stay-at-home orders

closed many businesses, canceled sporting events, and in-person educational institutions. These

adjustments resulted in at least more than 23 million Americans filing for unemployment

insurance and many others being positioned on furlough, working decreased hours or for

decreased pay, or assuming new roles inside their organizations. (Winkelmann & Games, 2020,

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 2

20). Health care specialists have been also affected through the COVID-19 pandemic. According

to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment declined for dentists, physicians, and other

health care practitioners by 1.4 million during April 2020.

As it turns out, Athletic trainers (ATs) are health care specialists who are nationally

licensed and recognized by the American Medical Association. They supply care to various

patient populations, such as work (industrial, military, occupational), life (recreational sports,

clinics, hospitals), and extracurricular (secondary schools, colleges, universities) athletes all

through the United States and globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a ripple impact on the

profession, characterised by using layoffs and redistribution of the body of workers to the

vanguard of COVID-19 administration at health center emergency departments. Others have

been able to proceed their jobs with the use of virtual health care by using telemedicine to have

interaction with patients around the country (Winkelmann & Games, 2020, 20).

Findings

Many Changes Around Many Areas

Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of sports has found itself

working to relieve past postponed competitions, launch new and reconstructed seasons, and

analyze the advantages and disadvantages of conserving aggressive events with or without

supporters present. Athletes, coaches, parents, and sporting stakeholders proceed to experience

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the impact on the Coronavirus; at the same time as sport businesses have made magnificent

strides to save seasons (and careers), it has no longer passed in addition to giant sacrifice and

stress. Athletes are discovering themselves removed from their families, residing in bubbles and

quarantined areas in order to compete, and performing in arenas of digital fans and limited

seating. Coaches are making an attempt to run practices and education camps with appropriate

social distancing pointers and while imposing mask policies. Athletic trainers, electricity, and

conditioning coaches are working jointly now more than ever to make effective athletes capable

of returning to play safely after taking a whole lot of time off from training and/or competing.

Although athletes and sports followers alike are excited for the return of competition, concern

lurks in the shadows as players, coaches, and body of workers proceed to check a positive test

for COVID-19.

Opinions and Judgement from Athletic Teachers

Because of the abrupt transition of the in-person framework of athletic training, many of

those people have taken a sort of adaptability to maintain the same results while changing their

routines. As with the aforementioned, athletic trainers, coaches, and conditioners are in the

ballpark for this. Through many collegiate establishments, gyms, and even high school, various

people involved in teaching and training athletes and physically active people have been dealing

differently with the new rules of interacting with each other whilst keeping the same goals

aligned.

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Beginning in the high school section, Amy Boyer is an athletic training program manager

at Athletic Coast Athletic Club in the Virginia Area. For 16 years, she has been a physical

therapist and trainer. With her organization, ACAC, they have been responsible for “providing

licensed health care professionals that provide preventative services and emergency care as well

as diagnosis and rehabilitation and medical conditions to public and private high schools in

Central Virginia” (J. Harvey, 2020). With some of their tasks, they make sure that athletes have

water and ice on the playing fields and in the game, as well as well-stocked medical kids. trainers

provide follow-up care required for the athletes, communicate with parents and coaches on any

issues, complete daily documentation and prepare the athletic training room for the next day.

With the virus and pandemic into play, these duties are increased for another one to two hours.

Boyer stated that a crash course was implemented for those additional duties during summer

2020 workouts. Temperature checks and screening questions with athletes and coaches, putting

emphasis on being vigilant with cleaning and sanitizing, as well as athletes and coaches

maintaining proper physical distances. If one needs to be tested for COVID-19, it would go

through the athlete’s health-care provider. Boyer said that “From there, our athletic trainers

would be informed of the results of the test. As with anything medical, our athletic trainers must

abide by HIPAA regulations while protecting the athlete and likewise any other athletes and

coaches that may have been in close contact with them” (J. Harvey, 2020)

Next level is the collegiate. Jacob Moore (Football Athletic Trainer, East Carolina

College) and Mike Nicola (Assistant Athletic Director, University of Nebraska Omaha) have

both stated one of the most difficult challenges is dealing with ever-changing guidelines for the

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 5

virus whilst within the guidelines of the NCAA and whatever conference they are in

(AthleticDirectorU). Erin Chapman, another assistant athletic trainer at the College of Brockport

State University in New York, built on her already established relationships and the increasing

knowledge of the coronavirus to become the main resource in her area of all these COVID

subjects (Higgins, 2021). She in her own words stated that “By diving right into COVID-19 and

what we would need to do as a campus and in athletics, [the administration] saw that I was the

go-to person for questions. I became as knowledgeable as possible” (Higgins, 2021) Many

people have and are going through numerous modulations and adjustments to keep everyone safe

and secure and doing the things needed to be efficient with their bodies and goals

simultaneously.

Examples and Suggestions to Combat

Over the previous year, collegiate athletic trainers on campuses huge and small have

stepped up to ease up the spread and slow down the COVID-19 pandemic. While many ATs have

transitioned to testing and even vaccinating in the athletics department, many establishments

have done certain tasks to help both sides in the fight, even letting their athletic trainers take the

lead for the complete campus as indispensable health care providers. Practical and tangible

examples of results?

In the Journal categorized by Winkelmann & Games, 611 ATs participated in a survey to

explain the job status, duties, and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine was a

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 6

big thing, with over 40% providing it during the pandemic, although the same percentage was in

use before as well. Telemedicine is the broad use of technology (eg. live video, short, multimedia

messages, telephone calls) by health care providers to deliver an array of services, including

evaluations, follow-up appointments, and interventions (Winkelmann & Games, 23, 2020).

Associated for Applied Sport Psychology made an article of tips for both exercisers and trainers

alike for how to navigate including being aware of burnout, self-care, and seeking help for the

mental component (). A Dakota high school AT named Mark Schoenfelder focused on athletes’

lungs. A certain procedure they do is 50 percent max of 15-20 minutes of exercise and then

progressing from there. They limit the amount of aerobic activity you have (Feldmann, 2020).

Another AT in Indianapolis named Lindsey Foust deals with high school athletes as well in her

clinic Parkview Sports Medicine. Students take a self-screening assessment on their phones

before they come to practice. If they don’t have access to it before they get there, computers are

set up for them so they can check in with a coach before starting practice (Parkview Health,

2020). At Erin Chapman’s localization, 5,000 students, faculty and staff are tested weekly. She

was a part of the planning and prepping process for bringing those on campus safely, sitting on

committees and task forces. In addition to the coordination of the testing site and organization of

tests, she also manages about 20 volunteers daily on site to administer tests and organize pool

samples, and handles timesheets for student workers at their site (Higgins, 2021). Because sports

is so much of a physical sport, there is a lot more upkeep of being cleanliness and following

directions. That comes with the sort of responsibilities as with what Erin is doing. Keep everyone

safe, be safe and diligent, and pay attention.

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 7

Reflection

The massive tidal wave of COVID-19’s spread has really taken the world, specifically the

United States, by storm. Not since the Spanish flu of 1918 has a virus spread deadly into a

pandemic, and the United States has not really faced a situation like this in modern times to

where many businesses have to be isolated for an indefinite period. Of course in times like this,

tribulations can be a shock to many people where they may not be prepared to be resourceful.

The space of many people in one area cannot be made and careless mistakes are taken aback.

Thankfully, we can say in this particular world of athletics, people can adapt easily and can help

the same amount of people before, during, and after a spread. Many ATs and conditioners have

expressed their plans, concerns, and ways to contrast the limited guidelines. There has also been

a more concerted effort of care for others due to the issue being health-centered. In the world of

athletics, the need to adapt and be flexible is crucial. With COVID-19, that need has been

elevated. Most athletes and coaches wish for the day they can return to action safely.

Everyone wishes to get again to normal, however there is a chance we may not get back to what

regular was. Instead, we have the chance to make matters better and examine from the

circumstances we have in front of us.

What does that mean? At the moment, it means paying even greater attention to little

details and being diligent each and every day. It means making sure matters are getting sanitized,

that athletes and coaches are social distancing and adapt… to the everchanging guidelines.

Ultimately, ATs are just one piece of the pie that other industries and careers are going through

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 8

during this pandemic. It needs to take every single industry and person in the economy to take

this outbreak seriously and combat this so everyone can live safely and soundly.

References

the Association for Applied Sport Psychology Founded in 1985, & the Association

for Applied Sport Psychology. (2020, October 14). Navigating a Pandemic: Tips for Athletic

Trainers Serving the Sport Community. Navigating a Pandemic: Tips for Athletic Trainers

Serving the Sport Community | Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

https://appliedsportpsych.org/blog/2020/10/navigating-a-pandemic-tips-for-athletic-trainers-servi

ng-the-sport-community/.

An athletic trainer’s perspective during the pandemic. (2020, July 21).

https://www.parkview.com/community/dashboard/an-athletic-trainers-perspective-during-the-pan

demic.

Feldmann, M. (2020, September 30). HEALTHBEAT 4: How COVID-19 is changing the

jobs of athletic trainers. KTIV.

HEALTHBEAT 4: How COVID-19 is changing the jobs of athletic trainers

.

Harvey, J. (2020, August 17). Local athletic trainers learning and adapting to COVID-19

challenges. The Daily Progress.

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 9

https://dailyprogress.com/sports/local-athletic-trainers-learning-and-adapting-to-covid-19-challe

nges/article_f2640a5f-e1ba-569e-bef7-c2d9c0382db4.html.

Higgins, C. (2021, March 1). AT Irreplaceable in On-Campus Testing, Care. NATA.

https://www.nata.org/blog/claire-higgins/irreplaceable-campus-testing-care.

https://athleticdirectoru.com/. (2020, November 20). Experts’ Roundtable: Inside the

Current Challenges for Athletic Training. Athletic Director U.

https://athleticdirectoru.com/articles/experts-roundtable-athletic-training/.

Winkelmann, Z. K., & Games, K. E. (2020). Athletic trainers’ job tasks and status during

the COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A preliminary analysis. Journal of Athletic Training, 56(1), 20–30.

https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-0275.20

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 10

COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 11

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