The only time I leave the house these days is to curl, and I’m very glad I get to do that still…Or got to. See, literally yesterday, I already had this post written and ready to go, but I got an email that my area is regressing back to a stricter lockdown and the curling club would be closed for a bit. My area isn’t as bad as big cities like Toronto, so I’m really hoping we’ll be back in action in a few weeks.
I registered for this season of curling way back in June with fingers crossed that Coronavirus numbers would be down enough to allow curling clubs to open, and luckily things worked out enough.
All throughout the summer, my family and I were very cautious about what we did and where we went. Any time I interacted with friends in person, I was, as per usual, the cop of the group, scolding those who disregarded social distancing and ensuring I was at least being safe. That’s why I’m glad that at curling, that work is done for me because my club has done a lot to protect us and comply with all rules from the province as well as from the larger curling organizations, so I really do feel safe there.
Curling is luckily a sport where there isn’t a lot of human contact to begin with, so gameplay hasn’t changed too much. Masks are mandatory, obviously. There’s only one sweeper allowed at a time, which is fine, though I’m not thrilled that skips can’t sweep any rocks in the house, no matter what. Now we gotta just, like, beckon the rocks further through the house the way you would a puppy, only rocks don’t have eyes. Curlers also have to stand at certain spots on the side of the sheets now. There’s apparently a whole process as to whose supposed to be standing on which spot when, but no one really knows it, so we just kind of all space out and stand at whatever spot is free.
As for off the ice, we’re only allowed to socialize with our own team at certain spread out tables, and we have to order drinks by texting the bar. Almost everyone at curling is super nice so I don’t mind the smaller groups and can handle whatever team I’m put on.
I know I’m lucky to even curl a little bit this year. A few clubs in other areas near me didn’t even open at all because of low numbers. One lady on the board told me we’re running at a loss, but at least there’s some income and the few employees can work. And I don’t blame the people who didn’t join this year as I know it’s scary to do group activities, and since a lot of curlers are a lot older than me, they’re more at risk. I hope next year things are better and we can play at full capacity again in peace.
As I said, Covid numbers in my area have luckily been pretty low in the grand scheme of things, so I’m really hoping we can stay diligent and get through this winter. We’re ready to rearrange game schedules to accommodate changes and do whatever it takes to make sure it all works out. Having that social and physical activity will be more important than ever during the cold, dark months, and that goes for the hockey leagues my brother and father are (were?) in too.
This is me once again being very grateful that Canada and Ontario have responded pretty well to this pandemic and we’ve adjusted safely enough. I shudder to think about curling clubs in America.
Curling may also be one of the few sports that will be on TV this winter. Keep an eye out for that if you’re desperate for something to watch. It’s never too late to get into curling!
That’s all for now!