Science: State Tells Wrestlers to Get Sweaty and All Over Each Other, Just Don't Shake Hands

(AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana, File)

 

Wrestling: If it were a date, you’d have almost made it to third base.

Combatants get all over and up into one another, with spit and sweat bound to fly.

Nevertheless, despite America’s war against COVID-19, Ohio is letting its youngsters take it to the mat.

Forget social distancing, and of course there’ll be no masks.

But the state wants everyone to stay safe.

Therefore, in the name of public health, athletes have been instructed to not shake hands.

I guess you can’t be too careful.

As noted by The Daily Wire, the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s December-1st-revised guidelines are an odd mix.

Under “General Requirements,” people are told to not be touched or seen:

No congregating before or after practices or contests is permitted. Coaches must wear face coverings at all times, including arriving and departing the facility and during active play. Eliminate handshakes pre- and post-match. Eliminate handshakes with coaches’ post-match.

As for wrestling, though the players are about to Harvey-Weinstein each other on the floor, they gotta stay masked and separated ’til that #MeToo moment manifests:

Wear facial coverings off the mat when not actively competing or warming-up. Do not share equipment, towels, facial coverings, water bottles, other drinks or food. If equipment must be shared, proper sanitation must be performed between users. All wrestlers must sanitize their hands before and after warm-ups, at all timeouts, at period breaks and anytime they leave the playing competition or practice mat. All those on the team bench shall observe social distancing of 6 feet.

The wrestling regulations remind me of 2020 movie sets: Everyone’s masked up, but when it’s time to shoot, they’re back to pre-pandemic play: Faces are fine, distance is doable, and contagions are archaic. Then once the director yells, “Cut,” it’s a rigid return to Lockdown Land.

I assume the germs are just really big film buffs.

They must be wrestling fans, too. Hence, those buff guys can get close enough to buff one another’s bodies with their own.

Even so, Ohio’s protecting its referees:

Do not shake hands or fist bump other officials, wrestlers or coaches. At the end of match procedure do not declare the winner of the match by raising the winning wrestler’s hand.

The Buckeye State’s employing a color-coded wristband system:

To conclude the end of match procedure, the official may point to the winning wrestler while raising his/her own arm (with open hand) having the requisite wristband color (red/green) of the winning wrestler.

The Wire observes that, if you’d like to catch someone’s cold, wrestlings a good way to go about it.

Such was laid out in 1995 by University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Professor of Medicine E. Randy Eichner, M.D.:

A recent review of the medical literature (going back to 1966) finds 38 reports of infections from competitive sports: 24 outbreaks or instances of person-to-person transmission; nine common-source transmissions; and five airborne transmissions. It also finds 28 newspaper reports of infectious outbreaks or exposures or issues concerning vaccination. The infectious agents were mainly viruses but also fungi and gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (Goodman et al., 1994).

And let’s not forget the herp:

Of the 24 medical reports of person-to-person spread, most were herpes simplex infections in wrestlers (“herpes gladiatorum”) or rugby players, or other skin infections (fungal or bacterial) in wrestlers, football players, or rugby players. …An outbreak of herpes gladiatorum in 60 (35%) of 175 young wrestlers at a Minneapolis training camp suggests means for future prevention.

Besides a vesicular rash, some wrestlers also had fever, chills, sore throat, headache, and/or enlarged lymph nodes. Some wrestlers were allowed to compete despite a rash. Transmission was mainly by skin-to-skin spread, aided by skin abrasions from mat burns.

No matter, in Ohio, they’ve wrestled with the rules and ruled to wrestle.

I suppose all that contact is fine, so long as they don’t eat outdoors together.

Or, as folks have been warned on the West Coast, go to church.

Or see their families this year for Christmas.

Maybe in California, that’s a work-around: They can congregate if somebody gets put in a Full Nelson.

Currently — many would say — Californians are being pinned by a Full Newsom:

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Bull: ‘Time’ Compares Trump to a Mythical Man-Eating Monster

Debra Messing Tries to Trounce Trump With a Prison-Rape Put-Down, Gets Shanked by Her Own Side

Judge to California’s 3rd Largest County: On Account of COVID, Release Half Your Convicts

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.