Covid-19 upends gym-class activities

Raven Morgan, Staff Writer

With the likeliness of Covid-19’s spread increasing at each student’s uncovered breath, new restrictions have been added to classes involving heavy respiration.

“The district rewrote curriculum for the P.E teachers to use and they have them rotating so they’re not outside for more than 30 minutes at a time,” Assistant Principal Catherine Halbuer said. 

The restrictions also include no student access to the locker rooms and a requirement that face masks be worn at all times. 

“We have to work out in whatever we wear to school so that kind of affects what I wear,” freshman Faith Collins said.

Greg Eller’s weight-training class, for example, involves about 30 minutes in a classroom which Collins considers similar to a study hall. Then, students walk two laps around the track and do a small workout in the gym to end the class.

“I wish we were able to do more intense workouts,” Collins said. “I had signed up for weight-training and we can’t even use the weights.” 

In order to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, students are not permitted to handle equipment including balls and weights in an attempt to decrease any unnecessary cross-contamination. With social distancing guidelines set in place both inside the gym and out on the track, Collins said she feels comfortable overall. 

“I think safety-wise the regulations are perfect and are going to keep everyone safe,” she said. 

Seventh-grader Jackson G. said he is not confident that the precautions will help prevent students from spreading the virus. 

“Not many people take the mask thing super-seriously,” he said. “I see people pull it below their noses.”

He said his time in gym class could be improved by spending more time being active rather than sitting in a class.

“I wanted to do more sports,” he said. “But they do the best they can.” 

 Halbuer said she understands the difficulty students and staff are experiencing while making the adjustments.

“The whole situation is in such uncharted territory,” Halbuer said. “I don’t know what other options are out there for improving things to make it better for the kids.”

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools policy prohibits the inclusion of middle-schoolers’ last names on district-sponsored websites.