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    First, Do No Harm

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    Experts are concerned about educational institutions’ reactions to the latest wave of Covid infections. While colleges with significant rowing programs including Princeton, Middlebury, and Cornell make adjustments like switching to online exams and early departures for the holidays at end of fall semesters, there is concern for the overall well-being of student-athletes.

    “I am worried about student mental health in places that might become really restrictive in the face of a new variant,” Shira Doron, an attending physician and epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center and an associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine told the Boston Globe.

    IRA commissioner Gary Caldwell, who worked to pull off last year’s successful and safe regatta, knows the value of students being able to continue rowing, with appropriate precautions, through the ongoing pandemic.

    “The most common refrain we heard from athletes and coaches at last spring’s IRA championships was how grateful they all were for the steps toward a return to normalcy that rowing provided on a daily basis,” Caldwell told Rowing News. “Athletes reported sleeping better, and how wonderful it was to be back as part of a team, with the previous months’ social isolation especially over the winter as a huge downer.”

    The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds schools that Covid-19 policies are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk and that school-supported programs are fundamental to development and well-being.

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