Post Editorial: Don’t let the county health department cancel high school football, choir, band and cheerleading


Santa Clara County’s chief health officer, Dr. Sara Cody, has told the public schools they can’t allow choir, band or cheerleading this fall. And it looks like she is planning to ban high school football too.

Cody, who is the un-elected lead official in the county’s fight against the coronavirus, said she hasn’t made a final decision about high school athletics. But a “guidance document” she released on Tuesday says, “Do not allow electives and extracurricular activities in which physical distancing (at least six feet) and face covering … cannot be maintained at all times.”

How do you play football with physical distancing?

It appears she’s decided to cancel football but didn’t want to have a headline in the papers during the week saying that. So she’s waiting to release that news on a Friday night or weekend, when fewer people are paying attention and the backlash won’t be as strong.

It’s obvious from her “guidance document” that football, where players come into contact with one another on every play, won’t be happening if she has the final word.

Oddly, Stanford University, which has some of the world’s top doctors on its faculty, announced yesterday it will play football this fall.

Health officials and politicians like to tell us that they make their decisions based on “data” and “science.” They grab the moral high ground by saying they’re trying to protect us. They say that so that people won’t challenge them.

From the Santa Clara County Health Department’s COVID-19 Dashboard on July 2, 2020.

But the county health department’s online COVID-19 dashboard shows the number of people killed by this virus in the county under the age of 30 is 0.0%. On the other hand, people 60 and over represented 82.9% of the COVID-19 deaths. So the data shows this isn’t much of a problem for young people.

Mental health considerations

But canceling these extracurricular activities can cause real harm for youth. Adults forget that young people are also under stress during the shutdown order. Taking away activities that many high schoolers love will create unnecessary mental health problems.

And given Palo Alto’s recent history of youth suicide, it would be best to give careful thought before negatively disrupting the lives of teens.

For many students, school sports are their lives. The only reason they work hard in academic classes is to maintain their athletic eligibility. And they’re not just trying to set records on the playing field, but they’ve also developed close friendships with their teammates.

At a time when students have been isolated at home for months, sitting in the bleachers and rooting for their classmates on the field can be a unifying experience.

And we’re going to cancel all of that?

Push back

Palo Alto school Superintendent Don Austin, fortunately, is going to push back, especially when it comes to ending choir, cheerleading and band. We hope other superintendents join him, and convince Dr. Cody to allow these activities.

If you’re a parent or grandparent of a student athlete, band member, choir member or cheerleader, get on the phone today and let the county officials in San Jose know that you don’t want these extracurriculars canceled.


  1. I agree. Cancelling extra-curricular activities is insane, esp considering the fact that these kids have been cooped up since March.

  2. You know I think that during these sports kids should be asked to cough on their hand to be able to inflict poison damage on their enemies

    • I wish people would cough on me. With all the isolation, distancing,disinfectant use and lack of handshaking and hugging, my immune system has been suffering and could use some germ exposure.

  3. The PAUSD superintendent is asking the school board to approve a plan that doesn’t let secondary students back in school indefinitely and only permit elementary school students back in school half time. It would be seriously misguided to have students play football while failing to offer any in-person instruction.

    PA Daily Post, why do you care more about football than letting students attend school?

  4. What gives the tyrant Sara Cody the authority to make such decisions that harm the lives of our children? She is not even an elected official. Even governor Newsom has no right to mandate any orders after the emergency has passed. The legislature makes laws, not governors. Why are we following these orders without the consent of the governed. We need to stand up and take back our civil liberties to conduct our lives as we see fit. All these officials have nice cushy jobs while the citizens of CA are suffering under their tyrannical dictates. Stop this insanity! Know your rights. Look up Look up, Peggy Hall’s website. We are being played, folks, for a nefarious agenda. If the government really cared about you, would they have again bailed out the 1%.

  5. I hope our schools ignore her orders and reopen with all the extracurriculars. It would be a “teaching moment” for the teens where they would learn that officials aren’t always right and that they should question authority.

    • I couldn’t agree more, children have virtually no risk of dying or serious illness from the virus, and the vast majority of teachers and staff face more risk from seasonal flu than Covid-19. But local and state governors, along with their supporters in the media, have conditioned so many people to be afraid of what is basically a common cold virus, that I don’t feel optimistic of that happening.

  6. You’re not going to stop a virus. The best you can hope to do is flatten the curve so as not to burden hospitals. New cases are up but the good news is that our hospitals have very few Covid patients. Remember 99% of people who get this virus fully recover. Nearly all who die had a comorbidity that would have killed them, perhaps on the same day.

    • Actually, we’ve more than flattened the curve on cases – assuming that was ever the right goal -and deaths are now at March baseline levels, but the numbers are politically corrupt as many states and localities have changed their criteria for identifying a “positive” Covid case that in certain areas, telling your doctor that you have a cough and nothing more over the phone is enough to count as a Covid case.
      Plus, testing has skyrocketed from a total of 8,000 tests in all of February to over half a million per day now. And the average of age of these recent Covid-positive cases is about 35.

      You mentioned that nearly all who died had a comorbidity. In fact, the average person who died of Covid (or with Covid, to be more precise) had closer to 3 comorbities and was 80 years old.

  7. This is a public health emergency. I doubt Dr. Cody is considering doing this without taking all of this into consideration. It is a special time.

    • You’re giving County health officials too much credit. They are not elected, pay no price for endorsing restrictions that destroy lives and jobs, and have political biases like any appointed official. Look at how Fauci initially said masks were unnecessary but later changed course after political pressure. Look at how the scientist from WHO who found asymptomatic carriers rarely spread the virus had to basically apologize and qualify her position after being abused by the press.

      It is a special time alright, election year.

  8. This is not a disease that kills the young. I would understand this order if kids were getting sick and dying but that’s not happening. This virus targets the elderly and those with health issues like diabetes.

  9. We should blindly obey the government authorities and never question their orders. Asking for data is disobedient. Debating the merit of an order is anti-American. This is a country where we accept orders without question. If you ask too many questions, the police will pay you a visit. Celebrate the 4th of July at home. Do not congregate in groups or in any way endorse the actions of those who fought for our independence. That’s over with. Now is a special time where freedom will be curtailed.

    • All true, unless you’re out rioting and looting, then everybody will make all excuses why “protesting” is more important than staying home.

      • I love it when CNN or MSNBC has a reporter on the street saying “it’s a mostly peaceful protest” and behind the reporter is a building burning to the ground.

Comments are closed.