I’d like to propose a radical idea. We are all hockey players.
Hear me out.
If you look around you, you will see that Covid is decimating the arts. More tragically, I have witnessed through conversations with women close to me as well as direct observation, is that this decimation is disproportionately affecting women and girls.
From a sociological perspective, the piecemeal suspension of activities is nothing short of unfair. We are bending over backwards to ensure that our children can play sports in direct contradiction of Covid safety. And let’s be clear, by sports we mean any activity that has a path to the Olympics, or has a multi-billion dollar professional league that athletes aspire to. Dance, yoga, and spin classes (just to name a few) are being shut down.
Here in British Columbia, Canada we are seeing businesses getting shut down in the name of covid safety. Some of those businesses are specifically being called out by the Province of BC Government Even worse, activities that are predominantly female-centric in their demographic are being disproportionately targeted. I am hearing from friends and family (being an American living in Canada) that this is not isolated to Canada.
Yesterday, dance studios were called out specifically to be shut down as well as all other indoor activities (emphasis on the word “activities”). Where things really go off the rails is that this suspension of “activities” does NOT include sports. Hockey, for example, is allowed to continue in phase 3 activity (which means games can be played). This means that boys/men can skate around for 60 seconds to the point of exhaustion, and sit next to each other, gasping for breath…without masks. Soccer, basketball, and other “sports” get to continue. But dance does not. This is a very multi-layered onion, but the fact is that dance studios are far safer than a hockey bench (I’ve been in both and seen this with my own eyes), but these girls are being told they can’t do what they love. Adding insult to injury, they have to watch as their brothers (and sisters) get to go and play their “sport”.
What happens if we simply think of everyone as hockey players? Hockey is safe, right? Can dancers practice their sport indoors as long as they wear pads and a helmet? Surely shin guards will protect the girls from Covid. Granted, they will look a bit silly with pointe shoes, but at least they will get to practice. I’d even lay money on the athleticism of a ballerina being able to dribble a basketball while “en pointe”.
As a parting thought, have a look at the above image. This is a common dance studio around the world right now. The dancers are not allowed to touch. They have to stay in their squares, and everything is sanitized. This image was taken in the summer of 2020. If I took the same image now, you’d see many, if not all, of the girls wearing masks.
It seems that all we should do is put a different uniform on these dancers and call it hockey. Anyone else who can’t work, or has been shut down, don yourself some goalie equipment and head to work.
We are all hockey players.