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ArrowChop: Are the “pods” that NFL teams are proposing safe?

Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.

To allow fans to enter the stadium and watch the games, the NFL is considering the usage of “pods” for this to happen. The “pods” are defined as groups/clusters of people who will sit together in a certain section and watch the game.

All of the fans, of course, will be required to wear masks all throughout the game. The teams that are contemplating these pods include but are not limited to the Chiefs, the Cowboys, and the Patriots. With that being said, we must decide whether or not these pods will be effective to keep fans safe, so let’s break down both sides of the aisle to find that out!

The pods will be safe and effective

A major point that is brought upon in this argument is that each pod will be separated from a safe enough distance from one another. These pods will follow the CDC guidelines and they will be separated at least a minimum of six feet apart from each other. Fans won’t have to worry about too many people clumping in one spot and the risk of infection will be greatly minimized due to this.

Adding on to that last sentence, the pods won’t have as many people as you think. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, states that “It’ll be in pods of possibly five, 10, 15 different people. Our stadium is well-suited to put together (a) number of people that have elected to come and want to watch the Dallas Cowboys play. I won’t speculate on a number.”

This means that the pods will be quite small and this would give fans a sigh of relief that they can watch the game without worrying about a high chance of infection. I’m sure none of you want to catch the virus.

Another key point that is brought up is that all fans/people in the stadium will be wearing masks. The masks do their part to stop the spread of the virus.

For instance, in New York a study showed that “the daily new infection rate dropped by 3% per day after a policy requiring that people wear face masks or coverings in public took effect” and it helped save 66,000 New York citizens from becoming infected from April 17th to May 9th.

No matter what you believe about masks, it’s always good to have these precautions in place to limit the spread as much as we can.

The pods won’t be safe and effective

One point that stands out is the clump of people together in one area as fans may be infected if they stay too close together and for a long period of time. While each “pod” will be separated accordingly, the fans in the pod will still be very close together.

When someone catches a type of cold/virus, the closer they are to another person increase the risk of that same person catching their sickness; moreover, since some people with COVID are asymptomatic, they could pass it on to someone without their knowledge.

Another point is that the teams that proposing the pods aren’t guaranteeing that you’ll be safe from COVID. The Patriots, for instance, sent out a terms and conditions contract stating the following:

“I voluntarily assume all risks, hazards, and dangers, including the risk of personal injury (including death), the risk of exposure to communicable diseases, viruses, bacteria or illnesses, and the risk of lost, stolen or damaged property, incident to each event I attend at Gillette Stadium, and whether occurring before, during, or after each such event. AN INHERENT RISK OF EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 EXISTS IN ANY PUBLIC PLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE PRESENT. COVID-19 IS AN EXTREMELY CONTAGIOUS DISEASE THAT CAN LEAD TO SEVERE ILLNESS AND DEATH. ACCORDING TO THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, SENIOR CITIZENS AND THOSE WITH UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITIONS ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE. BY ENTERING THE STADIUM AND STADIUM GROUNDS, I VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL RISKS RELATED TO EXPOSURE TO COVID-19.

To break it down in simpler terms, any fans WILL still have a chance to catch COVID as the virus exists in any public area and that the fans must understand that this risk is in effect. It doesn’t look like a good idea no matter how you put it as everyone in this country wants to end this pandemic as quickly as possible. The less large social gatherings we have, the better it is for everyone else.

In closing, this is the case for if the “pods” that the NFL teams are proposing are safe or not. Do you think they are safe? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion!

Thanks for reading and have an amazing day!

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