I was very much looking forward to the battle in Port Angeles on Tuesday between the North Kitsap and the Port Angeles boys’ basketball teams.
North Kitsap is ranked No. 1 among 2A teams in the state and the Roughriders are big and very good themselves. It would’ve been a blast.
Alas, we’ll all have to wait.
If fact, we’re all going to have to be patient likely for the next two to four weeks when it comes to local sports. I remain optimistic the game is still going to happen and we’re going to get back to some semblance of normal.
But, right now, we’re still not quite at normal. It remains maddeningly elusive. In addition to most prep games being canceled over the winter break, the Northwest Athletic Conference postponed the return of basketball for two weeks to be better safe than sorry about it.
Even before the omicron variant showed up, indoor winter sports was going to be a challenge. COVID-19 spreads much more aggressively indoors than outside. Wrestling has particularly been a challenge with prep grappling being pretty much completely shut down for two or three weeks because of a COVID-19 outbreak that came out of some tournaments in the Tacoma area. I knew when that outbreak happened it would end up affecting some of our local programs because the following week they wrestled against teams that were at those tournaments.
The infection rate of COVID-19 has been rising dramatically the past few weeks. We’re working at home for the duration and I personally canceled a New Year’s trip to Victoria, B.C., because of omicron. But, there’s reasons to be optimistic. Omicron is apparently highly infectious, but all indications appear to show that this latest variant doesn’t seem to cause as severe of illness as delta, especially among the vaccinated.
The biggest reason to be optimistic is that omicron infections seem to have already peaked in South Africa, according to the BBC, the Washington Post and Dr. Anthony Fauci. It spreads very quickly but burns out quickly too. Hopefully, fingers crossed very tightly, this latest COVID-19 surge will peak before the end of January.
Perhaps by February, we will be back to where we were a couple of months ago, and basketball playoffs and wrestling postseason can go on with safeguards.
And then we’ll be back outside for spring sports.
It’s been a long grind. We all have pandemic fatigue. I’m dying to go see live shows again in Seattle. I’m dying to return to Canada without having to get a PCR test. I’m dying to return to normal. But it appears we still have a ways to go.
And I will reiterate for the umpteenth time that we will get back to normal faster if we all get vaccinated and all get our boosters.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at [email protected]