Arts and sports have become a completely different experience for all students this past school year due to COVID-19. The health restrictions have completely changed the exciting aspect of sports and art. I believe the restrictions are unfair between both of them, though.
Sports activities have more leniency when it comes to the restrictions than arts like band and choir. Teams are able to play games without masks on, while band and choir have to have masks on at all times, no matter the situation. According to the Arkansas Department of Health the mask requirement for sports is that it requires face coverings at all times, except when actively participating in athletic activities when a six feet distance is not available and when a face covering gets in the way of the activity or active exercise. Whereas it states for band and choir that musicians, singers, and all participating students must wear a face covering at all times, along with maintaining appropriate 6-foot distancing.
Choir also has a lot more requirements for the type of mask, whereas, for sports, it doesn’t state any preference. It also says how choir must stay six feet apart and face the same direction, where for sports, it doesn’t matter.
I am not at all saying that I think that sports should be required to wear masks to play and stay six feet apart, because that is just a disaster waiting to happen. I am saying that I do not think choir should be required to wear them or stay 6 feet apart while performing or practicing. Choir with masks on is absolutely exhausting. I often get lightheaded trying to breathe while singing, because the mask just gets sucked into your mouth every time you try to take a deep breath. It also makes your voice quieter and makes it much more difficult to hear others and tune to each other, and the six feet apart requirement definitely does not help with that. Musical arts are just as important as sports to many, therefore they should be treated the same.