Although Marist has closed for the rest of the semester, all students are still dealing with the struggles that the coronavirus has created. Most are doing so from their homes, some of which can be found all over the world. Marist athletes can be found anywhere from here in the United States to Egypt. All are having unique experiences, depending on their location, and each have different hobbies that are helping them pass the time.
Dwayne Menders, a wide receiver on the Marist football team from Miami, Florida, describes daily life there as typical to the new world. Those going out “into the real world” wear a face mask when heading to stores that have been deemed necessary, which is similar for many other athletes located throughout the world. Madison Sweeney, a diver at Marist who is also in Miami, added that some places – beaches, namely – have begun reopening.
Lacrosse’s Annie Sheehy from Wilmot, New Hampshire, described their protocols, which were very similar to Miami’s.
“In New Hampshire, only essential businesses are open,” she said. “You are not required to wear a mask if you do go out, but [it’s] highly encouraged. As of right now, [New Hampshire] plans to partially reopen on May 15.”
Christian Curti plays defense on the soccer team and is from Ontario, Canada. They are also living a life that has left only essential business open. In Gatineau, Quebec, water polo’ Myriam Lizotte describes additional rules that have been set in place for Canadians there.
“People over the age of 70 are obligated to stay inside their house and cannot leave their house. We are also not allowed to be in contact with anybody older than 70,” Lizotte said. “If you have visited any country in the last 14 days or you have symptoms, you are not allowed in any buildings. You are also not allowed to travel in different regions, so if you live in Montreal you are not allowed to leave Montreal. Polices will stop you.”
In Tucuman, Argentina, Augusto Gonzalez Bonorino, a tennis player, described their current situation as “a full national lockdown…even though cases are low the government wants to prevent an outbreak.” In nearby Catalonia, Spain, another tennis player, Nestor Giribet Lopez, described yet another national lockdown deeming only essential businesses to remain open. However, they are also being advised to wear masks and gloves when going out. They have also just within the past couple of days allowed citizens to go out for exercise but only if they follow a specific schedule and social distancing rules.
“For instance,” Lopez said, “14-year-old people or older are allowed to walk [or] exercise from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.”
Tennis player Kian Yazdi is residing at his home in London, England, where they are also quarantining with only essential businesses open, though they are not required to wear masks outside. He also mentioned that grocery stores are only allowing one person from the family to enter – the other family members must wait outside.
He also mentioned that they are only allowed one form of exercise. “However, they can’t keep track of how much we do… it’s not like we have to sign a form before going outside like some other countries are doing.”
Murray Coueslant is a swimmer from Aberdeen, Scotland, which is a part of the United Kingdom and described similar protocols to London but also mentioned a sort of “fun fact,” if you will.
“All secondary school exams were cancelled, something which did not happen during either of the World Wars,” said Couselant. “Universities are not returning to in person instruction until November at the earliest at this point.”
Water polo player Shinae Carrington is from Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Upon arriving home, she was required to quarantine for two weeks. One week in, the country went into full lockdown.
New Zealand has been setting their protocols using an alert level system that they have in place. The system has four levels, and Carrington says they were in level four at first which caused everything but essential business to close and for all people to stay home.
“We had to stay in our ‘bubbles’ for five weeks,” Carrington said. “We have successfully stopped community transmissions, so yesterday we were able to move to level three which has opened up our economy more.” That means shopping is more permitted. Carrington mentioned that in particular.
Out of all the athletes that responded to be interviewed, only one was unable to return to their home country. Ahmed Sallam, a swimmer, is originally from Cairo, Egypt. However, he is currently residing in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“Because of the virus, my country closed its international borders and cancelled all the flights,” Sallam said.
While the athletes have been stuck in quarantine, they, like many of us, have found ways to use their extra free time and get through what can sometimes feel like a long day being stuck in the house.
Many athletes have been playing games and video games to help pass the time. Lizotte has been playing a game named Catan. Coueslant has been playing on his Nintendo Switch with his brother, as well as learning new ways to solve a Rubik’s cube. Curti, Bonori and Lopez have also been playing video games, which allows them a way to still interact with friends.
Many of them have also been sure to keep themselves active so they are prepared when their season comes back around or when they can play again.
“My family and I have taken up badminton and have a family competition every night,” Carrington said. “[I’m] also trying to keep my fitness up, so I have been working out. Other than that, I have just been chilling at home and trying to catch the last bit of the warm sun before winter sets in.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and meditation,” Lizotte said.
“To pass time, I have a wall outside my house which I play tennis against,” Yazdi said.
Menders was the only athlete that mentioned a fitness routine that was requested by Marist coaches. “For past weeks, I have been following the weight room program that our head coach had sent us,” he said.
While coronavirus has put the sports world on hold, it has given athletes and others something to look forward to in a post-quarantine world. As some places have begun to lift restrictions and loosen protocols, it seems as if a normal way of life may return in the distant future. For now, and no matter where, it’s all about finding ways to pass the time.
Header photo by Marist Athletics