Freedom (at least for now)


Kaden Gass, Staff Writer

Today marks a very special day for all of us living in Yamhill County: today, our Covid risk level decreases to high. Now I don’t know about you, but as an indoor athlete, this is everything! We can finally have more people attend practices and because of this drop, I can see my team for the first time since mid-November.  

Covid has made me realize something: I take the little things in life for granted. I never thought that I’d be going through the 21st year of my life without ever going to a club or a bar in a normal setting. It’s kinda funny—I dreamed leading up to my 21st birthday what going out to a club would feel like. And boy was I excited to experience that! Little did I know that I’d most likely have to wait till my 22nd birthday for such a feat. 

And not only that, but indoor dining returns to McMinnville and I’m VERY excited to go back to Two Dogs during their happy hour. I’ve realized that indoor dining and going out with friends is such a fun and important part of my life. Being able to go out and have a drink and get food with my roommates reminds me of a simpler time in my college life and gives me a sense of normalcy in a Covid-dominated world.

Athletics-wise, I’m so happy that our team gets to practice as a unit before conference starts next week. Talk about great timing and being smarter on our counties part. Chemistry plays such an integral part in not only an individual’s success but the cumulative success of the team as a whole. Especially for these freshman and sophomores that really haven’t seen what regular yearly play looks like, it’s nice to start getting back and preparing for conference. 

Every Linfield team, in my opinion, is dominant in our conference, and I think a big part of that success is the Linfield bubble and how that bubble creates “The Linfield Experience.” The thing that I admire about this school, whether you like or not, is that everyone—and I mean everyone—knows about you. But because of this, people create bonds, and they grow socially, academically, and athletically. And this translates into the dimensions of the teams all of us play on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know that being in high risk still isn’t ideal overall, but it opens up so much opportunity for a lot of people, not just athletes. My hope with this is that people will still remain cautious about the virus, but during this time, they can enjoy parts of life that we haven’t been able to for quite a few months. 

When I think of college specifically, I think of the educational aspect, yes, but also the small times in between when you create bonds with people, go out and have fun, and just live the college lifestyle, which is something that Covid has denied almost half this school. And so while yes, I acknowledge the threat of the virus and still urge everyone to not be dumb, it’s nice to have a little freedom as a reward for doing a good job handling the pandemic.