Late last week, it appeared that winter sports were going to begin with the basketball teams playing GW on Monday and Tuesday.

Then the news broke around lunchtime Monday that all sports were being put on hold until at least the end of the week due to the high positivity rate in Halifax County.

For more information on the numbers, please read my article on the postponements.

This was a decision I know was extremely hard to make, but one I completely understand and support. The coronavirus has been steadily infiltrating our community, and the current numbers and predictions are alarming. It is starting to hit close to home now with many people I know testing positive for COVID-19.

While we have known how quick the virus spreads for some time now, it really doesn’t click until it is happening in the community you live in. It isn’t going to get better for some time if we do not do our part in stopping the spread of the virus. Not doing our part is why we are still in this situation in the first place.

I know it is frustrating. I am just as frustrated as many of you, but that doesn’t mean I am going to go out whenever I want to wherever I want.

We have to be smart about this.

Wearing a mask and not going out to public places unless it is a necessity are not a political issue. No one is trying to control us. They are trying to look out for us and keep us safe. It is so upsetting to see basic health protocols to slow the spread of a deadly virus turn into a political talking point.

I went out over the weekend to a meeting that was necessary, but not job-related. It was not in this county, but when I went to the meeting the person I met with was not wearing a mask. I get it. That is his choice. I had my mask on so I felt OK, but it just brings my point across that it isn’t hard to wear a mask. It protects you and those around you, and by doing so we may be able to slowly drop these case numbers.

Now we know winter sports and the rest of the high school sports seasons are now in jeopardy. It has been touch and go for some time now. I feel like each edition of the paper includes either an article on sports returning or sports being postponed. I can’t imaging the stress and tough decisions that athletic director Allen Lawter and Halifax County High School principal Michael Lewis have had to endure for months on end. The constant changes, combined with trying to get the kids back to sports — and trying to keep them safe at the same time — has to be draining.

I know this, because I am drained. Just for me trying to figure out when or if I will be able to cover games and making plans or not making plans and then things getting postponed has run its toll. I have mentioned before that in my head this was only supposed to last two weeks. That was my thought process when everything first happened. Here I sit 10 months later and things are worse than they’ve ever been.

Time will tell what happens next. I want for these kids to be able to play their season, but safety is first and right now it isn’t safe.

Let’s all keep doing our part, if not for yourself, at least for the kids that want to play what will amount to their last high school game ever for many.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV