DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My son had COVID in March of this year. He contracted it while working at a restaurant. He did not have to be hospitalized, thank goodness, but he was down for nearly a month, and still gets tired more easily than he used to do.
He is scheduled to return to college in a couple of weeks, and I am a basket case thinking about everything that could go wrong with him and his health. He was on the track team before the shut-downs, and is planning to go out for it again this year. I just do not know if he is strong enough to handle this and a totally full class load, and a work-study job. I know plenty of kids do it all, but not too many of them are doing it as a COVID survivor.
My wish is that he would sit out the sports for the first semester, and focus on staying on top of his health and his classes, especially since I keep reading stories about the potentially lasting heart problems in young men who have had COVID.
How much should I try to discourage my son from getting back in the middle of a too hectic, too physically strenuous situation? --- COVID SURVIVOR’S MOM
DEAR COVID SURVIVOR’S MOM: I completely understand your concern. This is a topic best discussed with your son’s physician. As I understand it, college athletes are required to have pre-season physicals, at least in the case of NCAA member schools. Hopefully, your son’s doctor is aware of any new recommendations for post-COVID cardiac or other system screenings, and if your son has already had and passed a thorough pre-season physical, that would appear to be a good sign that he’s considered fit to participate in sports. But, much is still unknown about long-term health effects of the virus, even on young people.
Since you have valid concerns about how ready he is for more than just the athletic aspect of his daily life at school, it’s worth it to be honest with him about your worries. It might be worth it for him to consult with his doctor about more than just his athletic readiness, for everyone’s peace of mind.