Editor’s Note: Some four months ago, we asked an array of local leaders to give us their takes on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our communities. We’re circling back around and asking some of the same leaders and some others about how they see things as we head for the half-year point with the coronavirus. Here’s another installment.
Joel Seaman, Yuba City High School athletic director:
School districts and area athletic directors have been dealt a significant blow this year with the COVID-19 pandemic extending into the new school year.
It forced the delay of fall sports, including football, to December or January across the state with condensed schedules and overlapping problems.
Joel Seaman, athletic director at Yuba City High School, said it is important to have every single sport represented during this pandemic.
“I share one of the CIF’s (California Interscholastic Federation) top priorities, and that is to try our very best to have a spring sports season,” Seaman said in an email. “They had their season canceled last year, and if they were to have it canceled again, that would be tragic. That would mean that they had lost half of their entire high school athletic experience.”
Seaman said that however long the pandemic lasts, it’s important to adapt to the hand that is dealt.
“We deal with it. As awful (as) that is, I don’t really see a choice here,” Seaman said. “It won’t go on forever – it will end at some point – and then we all start picking up the pieces and move on.”
Abide by regulations
It’s important, he said, to keep listening to the experts each day. Seaman believes his athletes are continuing to abide by the regulations set forth by the county and state.
“I think that the athletes and coaches are holding up just fine, people are tough,” he said. “We all need to buoy each other’s spirits the best we can and just keep fighting.”
Seaman said he is encouraged by several things right now, most notably his Yuba City family continuing to fight the spread of coronavirus.
“What keeps (me) up at night is the thought of an athlete or a coach getting seriously ill. We must do everything we can to try to stop that from happening,” Seaman said. “I am encouraged by the adaptability and resilience of everyone involved: athletes, coaches, and parents. We are in a tough time, but we are tough people.”
– Jeff Larson,
Rick West, Wheatland mayor:
As the pandemic continues, he is more cautious and attempts to educate the public when the opportunity arises.
As part of that, Wheatland Mayor Rick West said he believes the community needs to find creative ways to assist local businesses with their ongoing operations.
“For example, restaurant tables outside,” said West. “The Yuba Enterprise Solutions or YES team has been a great resource.”
West said he remains very concerned for the small business community during this unprecedented time and strives to assist them as quickly and as thoroughly as possible when needs arise.
“They are employers and the backbone of our community. We need to support them by purchasing their products and services whenever possible.”
Upbeat but frustrated
Despite all that is going on, West said, his constituents have remained generally upbeat but many have expressed frustrations about the frequently changing coronavirus-related orders and restrictions.
“Hopefully, it doesn’t last another six months,” said West. “If it does, we will adapt and overcome. We cannot give up hope and let the virus beat us.”
West said he is encouraged by the recent increased use of facial coverings in public places.
“I think people are getting the message,” said West. “As a result, hopefully, the new case count will decline in the near future.”
– Lynzie Lowe,