By Shayaan Tirmizi
Long Island Lutheran High School
After staying at home for over a year, people are finally beginning to go out in large, outdoor, public gatherings again this summer. Many fans are especially excited to return to Fairfield Properties Ballpark to see the Long Island Ducks play again. People like season ticket holder Dorothy Straus are happy to be back. “No mask, normality is coming back, and I’m very happy about it,” she said.
Stony Brook University alum Nick Musumeci, 24, was ecstatic to be back at a ballgame. “It’s just nice to be back at a ballgame for a change,” he said. “I miss this.”
While masks weren’t a requirement at the ball bark, some fans chose to wear them. Spectator Tinamarie Zuber was cautious about the COVID-19 variants. “I wish more people had masks on,” Zuber said.
And even with another variant of COVID-19 rapidly spreading, Dr. Sharon Nachman, an infectious disease specialist at Stony Brook University Hospital, described sporting events as safe. “You’re probably okay because you are in an open area, and you’re really not breathing on top of each other,” Nachman said. “You are kind of separated in your seats.”
But Dr. Nachman also emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated. “We do not have a good vaccination rate in young adults, [aged] 12-30 … That can be easily addressed by having more of that age group vaccinated.”
Michael Polak, the vice president of communication for the LI Ducks, said there was an amazing turnout for the July 12 game. “So now I think, since all those [CDC guidelines] have been lifted, we’ve certainly seen more and more people coming out and enjoying games,” Polak said. The ballpark, which has a capacity of about 6,000, was filled with loads of fans eager to cheer the Ducks on. “We had almost 5,500 people this Saturday night when we had fireworks,” Polak added.
He said that he is grateful for the many fans that have supported the team: “We are leading the league in attendance right now, so that’s a really good thing.”