Jim Porter

Jim Porter, a longtime certified athletic trainer from Las Vegas with plenty of national and international experience, spoke forcefully that California "will have" prep sports when Jan. 2021 rolls around.

There is, says a local physician, “so much resistance to doing the right thing.”

It’s one reason why this doctor, who predicts there won’t be a high school athletic season when a 2021 calendar kicks in, wants to remain anonymous. 

This M.D. was asked bluntly, “Will there be a season?”

“No,” said the M.D., adding, “No. No.”

The reason, said the M.D., now 67, “Is that we’re not getting closer to any medications.” COVID-19 vaccinations have yet to appear as well.

Throw this in: Jim Porter, 69, a highly respected, Nevada-based licensed trainer from Las Vegas, now retired, makes two key points.

One: California, he says, “has about 80 percent of its schools that don’t have certificated medical trainers. Who’s going to monitor all this? The school nurse?”

The other point is simple: High school athletes aren’t as much at risk, but they could transmit the virus to people at home, namely, “Dads, moms, grandparents, you name it.

“They’re the ones at risk.”

Porter, however, predicts that California will allow athletics to take place after Jan. 1.

“Parents,” he said, “aren’t going to put up with their kids not having athletics.”

Area high schools, meanwhile, are at Phase I in training its athletes for a winter season of sports ⎯ namely football, cross-country and water polo ⎯ once January rolls around.

Phase I is training only ⎯ masks, social distancing at 6 feet with temperature checks, without sharing equipment. That includes not sharing a ball, or being allowed to work out in weight rooms and various other methods that create physical connection between athletes.

There are hopes, fading a bit, perhaps, resting on whether or not there will be medication or a vaccine in place. It could not only save society, but would reinvigorate a prep sports schedule that’s already lost spring sports in 2019, while fall sports in 2020 was delayed.

All of which centers around the COVID-19 disruption that has stalled plenty of worldwide activities.

Prep sports, a fraction of what’s taking place on area campuses, is just a small portion of that activity. While coaches and athletes are begging to participate, health officials seem to be leaning against it.

In San Bernardino County alone, the current status ⎯ as of Monday afternoon ⎯ was Purple. If the county moves into the Red phase, it would create extra options for sports training.

“I don’t see that happening ⎯ it could,” said the local M.D.

Porter counters with this: “Outdoor sports are not going to be a problem.”

He drifts from the college and professional landscape, which allows testing and other costly procedures, to that of prep sports.

“The CIF,” he said, referring to the high school governing body, “has put in place the procedures to allow sports. If the governor gives us an opportunity, then we’ll have sports.”

The identity of this anonymous doctor was preserved for this report, due mainly to their own risks. The M.D. has plenty of experience in athletics, ranging from youth sports, high school, collegiate and national exposure to sports ⎯ all volunteer work.

“It’s the coaches, parents and grandparents that are going to die [from COVID exposure],” said the M.D. “Kids interact with their families.”

It might seem safe, said the M.D., to train in cross country or track & field.

“If you breathe outdoors in freezing weather, you can see the air release from each person. You’re sharing everybody’s air.

“Unless you run, or compete, in a mask.”

Porter doesn’t agree, saying any exposure “needs to be at about 15 minutes” to take effect.

Question: Who has the higher calling between an M.D. and Porter, the licensed trainer?

“I do,” says the local M.D., fully aware of Porter’s recognizable career that extends internationally.

Both men noted an August wrestling tournament held in Iowa, the U.S. Senior Nationals, in which a chlorine mist fell upon anyone that entered that area. Temperatures were taken and everyone was in full protocol.

“There were no cases of COVID,” said Porter.

The local M.D., also on hand at that event, agreed. 

There’s a key, said the M.D. “to all of this.”

Over 1,000 deaths have been recorded by San Bernardino County since tracking first started earlier this year. San Bernardino County is closing in on 70,000 cases, according to website tracking.

“It’s political, as anyone will tell you,” said the M.D.

A vaccination?

“By January or February,” said Porter, noting they should be given annually. “A large part of the population won’t take it.”

Each state, he said, will decide.

“They’ve identified five COVID viruses. Somebody created this in a lab. We don’t know yet. It could take us five years to figure that out.”

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