BERKLEY, Mich. (WXYZ) — It’s the rivalry game: Royal Oak vs. Berkley high schools going shot-for-shot on the hardwood.
Its usually one of the most exciting games of the season.
“It’s probably a three or a four,” said David Gotta whose son plays on the junior varsity team.
Gotta says the crowd is slim and the participation is down. The empty seats could be the result of a new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regulation recommending indoor sports limit the number of people allowed into a game to 100.
Berkley High School is only allowing two people to attend per athlete, which Gotta says often cuts out other students.
“We're just missing those students and those kids and the kids getting fired up — it's a part of the high school experience and I cant wait until this is over and they can experience it again," Gotta said.
But when will it be over?
Local doctors warn January looks bleak as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Two years into the pandemic, hundreds are still waiting hours to be tested.
Quintina Jernagan, who just finished chemotherapy, says she has been extra cautious regarding COVID-19 because of her health. Jernagan says she finally let her guard down for the holidays, a decision she regrets after testing positive for COVID-19.
She waited in line with her two daughters anxious to get their results. Jernagan says she is disappointed to test positive, but also feels it was necessary for her to reconnect with family.
"I mean after so long, you can’t stay in forever,” Jernagan said.
Jillian Graves an associate professor at Eastern Michigan University and therapist says many people are hitting a wall with the pandemic.
“People are exhausted with the constant crisis and bad news,” Graves said.
She adds that it can feel overwhelming, so it's best to focus on things you can control.
“You have to start focusing on the small things,” Graves said.
People who don’t usually struggle with mental health issues are now feeling languish, according to Graves, which is a sense of general unhappiness. Her advice is to try and enjoy nature, reconnect with people safely or talk to a licensed professional.