COVID-19 has been a struggle for many, including the Gym-Masters team here at Southern. Last semester, a member tested positive, and the entire team was put into quarantine for two weeks. This semester, the team has been able to continue despite the difficulties and has implemented new precautions to try to keep everyone healthy and safe.
In the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, Gym-Masters members were given a waiver which states the potential risks of Gym-Masters, according to Gym-Masters coach Richard Schwarz. Since the beginning of the academic year, Schwarz said three team members have tested positive for the coronavirus. To his knowledge, all three members contracted the virus off-campus. To further prevent the spread, Schwarz said the team works in small groups of the same five to six people and records all practices. He said he is pleased to see how the team has “protected each other by calling [him] when they did not feel well and [missing] practice for the safety of others.”
According to sophomore theology major and second year Gym-Master Kedrick Larson, before practice, Gym-Masters must go through wristband and temperature checks separate from the daily checks required on campus. After practice, Larson said the team vacuums, wipes down surfaces and sprays equipment with electrostatic sprayers. In addition to the cleaning, Gym-Masters must wash their custom-made masks that are used only for practice, according to Larson.
An event that is in the planning process is the annual Home Show, which will look different from past ones. Schwarz has set the date for April 10 and has limited the Home Show to only Southern students. He said he will provide “noise makers” so people can make noise while not yelling or screaming, and will require people to keep six feet of social distance.
Schwarz said the team will be sharing a storyline about “Gymmasticitis,” and the show will be filled with “humor, excitement and contemplation.”
As they continue to plan for the big event, Gym-Masters members are also aware of the fact that there will be complications due to COVID-19.
Cameron Hodges, a captain on the team and fourth year Gym-Master, said Home Show “could be complicated … if Gym-Masters in certain routines are quarantined.”
Despite the circumstances, Larson said the team has relied on each other.
“Gym-Masters is like a family,” Larson said. “We can lean on each other. And having worship before practice helps us get closer to God, too.”
Larson said he is also excited to perform in the Home Show “and to showcase the skills that God has provided us.”