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Sakshi Malik, CS Santosh & Other Athletes Talk About The Mental Suffering Due To COVID-19



Coronavirus or COVID-19 has terrorised the world due to the rate at which it is infecting people all over the world. What started out as a virus with the estimated death rate of 2%, has escalated to 3.8% with more than 1,70,000 people tested positive and over 6,500 deaths officially recorded.

The highly contagious attribution the virus boasts of has led to almost all the major sporting events getting postponed to a later date or suspended indefinitely and the risk of catching it off of another person has kept the athletes away from stadiums and courts. All they can do in the name of fitness is only working out at home.

We organised an informative and interactive session on raising awareness about #COVID19 for all our athletes and staff

A team of doctors from Jindal Sanjeevani hospital spoke about the precautionary measures that can be taken amidst the pandemic. #CoronaVirusUpdate pic.twitter.com/3wPuH3b4V6

â Inspire Institute of Sport (@IIS_Vijayanagar) March 13, 2020

However, it is the mental impact of being in house-arrest that is becoming a major cause of worry for the athletes, especially those who have been working hard in preparing themselves to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

We got in touch with the 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik to talk about an athleteâs mindset in such times of doubt.

âAs far as training is concerned, we are taking care of all the necessary precautions that are required to keep away from getting infected,â she says. âHowever, it is the uncertainty of camps and qualifying rounds that are affecting the athletes mentally more than physically," she adds.

The Mental Impact Of COVID-19 On Athletes © Reuters

âPlayers from different sports had this mindset that we will go for qualifiers on certain dates and they had prepared and trained themselves accordingly. But now that the schedule has been disrupted and nothing has been decided, they have mentally become a little upset," says Sakshi.

âThoughts of âhow will anybody get qualified, who will get the opportunityâ have flooded the athletesâ minds,â she adds.

While other athletes such as Indian off-road and enduro motorcycle racer CS Santosh, and Chennaiyin FC midfielder, Anirudh Thapa donât have to worry about qualifying for the quadrennial tournament, they also feel the importance of taking Covid-19 seriously.

âFortunately for me, I have the opportunity to live at BigRock Dirtpark and Iâm still able to do all the things that my professional life requires, that is riding and off the bike training,â says CS Santosh. âThe food is a bit harder as I have to drive into the nearest town to buy supplies but considering the situation, I am happy to be doing a fairly good job," he adds.

The Mental Impact Of COVID-19 On Athletes © Red Bull

âI'm quite sure that everyone should and is taking thorough precautions and quarantining themselves towards minimizing the virus,â says Anirudh Thapa. 

âStaying fit is one of the many ways of staying immune to this. Exercise can be done anywhere as long as it's not in a public facility for the time being. Washing and sanitising, especially your hands is also another good way of avoiding the flu,â he adds.

The Mental Impact Of COVID-19 On Athletes © Red Bull

Even online gamers such as Ankit âV3NOMâ Panth, Indiaâs biggest CS:GO player, must take care of themselves and keep their working environment quarantined even though they donât have a lot of fieldwork, so to speak.

The Mental Impact Of COVID-19 On Athletes © Twitter

âAs gamers we are also self-quarantining but it is comparatively easy for us as we just need our gaming desktop, gaming laptop or console with games on it,â Ankit says. âAs far as fitness is concerned, I have dumbbells and a resistance band at home to help me till gyms reopen.â

âThe big tournaments in India mostly start from June, so I hope we find a solution to this virus till then. Stay home and keep playing and pray for those who are affected to be cured, is what I would urge my fellow gamers and fans," he adds.

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