For now, cockfighting aficionados will have to be satisfied with watching cockfights on the internet after the Inter-Agency for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) decided to extend the ban on live cockfighting.Last October, the IATF allowed the resumption of cockpit operations or cockfighting activities in limited capacity in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine. However, they suspended all such activities again last month after the number of COVID-19 cases all over the country soared again.The suspension was supposed to be lifted last Sunday, but after a meeting the IATF decided live cockfighting cannot yet resume. During the meeting it was also decided that online or e-sabong can be allowed.It’s good that the IATF came to this decision because cockfighting, long part of many local traditions whether we like it or not, is actually a social sport. While the participants involved in most of the action are the fowl whose lives are being risked, the spectators are usually gathered in close venues where the action can get lively.In such a sport frequent interaction with others is necessary for the cockfights to happen and also for the bets to be made and paid, not to mention the cheering, jeering, and swearing that will happen.At the height of the tension and excitement such a sport can bring, it is easy for people to forget that there is still a pandemic going on, and that they still have to take steps to protect themselves from others, or to protect others from themselves.Just recently, 19 people were arrested in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City, for engaging in illegal cockfighting. Some of them did not even bother to protect themselves with face masks at all while the gambling and fighting was going on.Many others were able to escape when authorities came to arrest them, so we can be sure there were more who didn’t really bother to practice safety protocols in that huge crowd.The number of active cases might be going down, but the truth remains that we are still under quarantine and there is still a virus making its rounds. Anyone, particularly the careless or those who just don’t care at all, can still get infected and die as a result of live cockfights, it won’t be just the chickens.