A “normal” season for extracurriculars? – The Oracle
It’s the fourth semester of COVID-19 and extracurriculars from football, to debate, to the theater, all are in the depths of a normal semester.
The precipitous increase in the COVID-19 Delta variant throughout the summer and fall appeared to threaten another semester of closings, cancellations and disruption; So far, activities, shows, events and games have not been crowded.
COVID-19 cases continue to increase steadily week after week, and have been since early July. Hospitalizations over an average of seven days hover around 1,000 patients per day according to the Minnesota Department of Health, one of the highest we have seen during the pandemic; compared to the double of last November and December during the winter wave, when we did not have widely available vaccines.
While campus buildings remain mandatory mask spaces (with varying degrees of compliance), athletes returned to the field, court, weight room and pool deck without their “freedom muzzles.”
“The swimming and diving team are quite good at carrying [masks], many of us wear them on deck until we practice too. Sophomore Taylor Atkins said. “Many of us are also vaccinated.”
The percentage of students and staff on campus who comply with Hamline’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements remains a mystery. The campus community continues to operate knowing that a majority of the campus is vaccinated, with faculty and administrators having clearer access to information.
The Hamline Theater returns this semester, in person, for the first time since the start of the pandemic; and the actors were also given the green light to perform without a mask.
During the previous year Dr. Laura Dougherty conducted a play in the spring that was recorded and performed virtually. The dance ensemble performed a live broadcast rather than performing in person as well.
“So before there were any real concerns about the Delta variant, I had asked the Provost, what are we going to be able to do?” Because that wasn’t what we were trained to do [digital theatre]… I like the idea of the theater being a fleeting event and I like the idea of the theater, which is that we all share the same space telling stories of people who are there watching us tell stories. Dr. Jeff Turner, who runs Hamline’s fall production “Our Town,” said.
“The provost made a deal with Mel, [the COVID-19 Coordinator, and the COVID-19 Response Committee] that if athletes can train without a mask and play without a mask, especially indoors… ideally maybe we should be too, ”said Turner.
While performers will end up being maskless and could technically practice maskless now, they’re not there yet.
“Mainly there are times when an actor really just needs to work their mouth around part of the tongue, but in general we probably rehearse 96% of the time with masks, and I’m always in a mask. , a team, a scene managers are all always masked, everyone who visits space, ”said Turner.
The show is scheduled to take place from November 12, capacity and social distancing will be limited as much as possible. The cast all plan to get tested before the show opens, and Turner said he wanted to ask attendees to show proof of vaccination at the door.