Despite the NFL’s effort to require masks at stadiums, like Heinz Field, they are still packed.

At long last, the NFL season has arrived, and with it comes a new level of fear and concern.

For many, the NFL season is a welcomed distraction from life’s problems. Under the current world conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may bring a new set of problems or concerns for some.

Despite COVID-19 cases having been on a steep rise since June, it seems as though many members of society have moved on from the issue altogether. The opening weekend of the NFL season was a sight to behold as there were multiple stadiums filled to capacity.

Every NFL stadium can seat a minimum of 60,000 fans, and every single one of them was packed with energetic football fans who have been deprived of live football for over a year.

It seems as though many people and organizations merely act as though COVID-19 does not exist, or it is just a nuisance not worth giving any thought to.

Some may try to justify having 60,000-plus fans in a stadium by arguing that the venue is outside and in a safer environment because of this. To anyone who has been to a professional sporting event, you are well aware that personal space is not something that is in surplus at large stadiums and arenas.

While many fans are seen wearing masks, there are obviously going to be moments where fans have to take them off to eat and drink. There are also undoubtedly going to be some fans who simply refuse to wear them when the staff and ushers are not around.

Many concerts and large gatherings have started implementing proof of vaccination to get into events, but as of now there is no such implementation in the NFL.

For the Maroon Five concert that will be held at The Pavilion at Star Lake, all attendees are required to show vaccination status and to have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the concert. This is something that is completely possible for NFL stadiums to require or to implement something beyond just checking facemasks upon entry.

Now, we are not saying that non-vaccinated individuals should not be allowed at games, but perhaps have a vaccinated section that can be seated at normal capacity and have a non-vaccinated section that is socially distanced.

While this may be an inconvenience to some and may seem archaic, it is to stop the spread of COVID-19. The numbers keep rising, and it will be interesting to see how these statistics are affected after a few weeks of packed stadiums for the NFL and other major sports leagues.

While the death rate for this virus does not seem all that concerning to some, there are plenty of individuals who are deeply affected even though they were not killed by the virus itself. These people are referred to as the COVID-19 “long-haulers”. They have long-lasting damage to different body parts like the lungs and heart for many.

Even some young and healthy individuals can have an adverse reaction to this virus. Sadly, it seems as though many people only seem to care once the virus has directly affected them or someone they know.

With the surge of new variants of COVID-19 popping up and less adherence to social distancing, it seems as though we are on a collision course with another outbreak.

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