ATLANTA (AP) — COVID-19 infections are rising more rapidly in Georgia, in line with a national trend of increasing cases.
The broadest measure of COVID-19 cases, which includes rapid antigen tests as well as the more precise genetic tests, shows the number of confirmed and probable cases was 18% higher in the week that ended Friday compared to the week before, according to a report issued Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Health.… Read More
It’s a problem I’m glad someone else is responsible for solving – how exactly do you protect people from a mysterious and deadly airborne virus without ruining the economy and stomping all over civil liberties? This is the COVID-19 conundrum in a nutshell.
When the Ontario government announced renewed lockdown restrictions for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel regions at the beginning of October, gyms were placed front and centre in the firing line. All indoor fitness facilities – along with casinos, cinemas, performing-arts venues and indoor dining establishments – were ordered closed by the Premier’s office until at least early November, a desperate attempt by officials to quell the rising case numbers in the province after a quiet and hopeful summer.
Not five minutes after this announcement was made, my Instagram feed began to look like something like a libertarian activist forum. Most of the grumbling came from gym owners who were upset about the prospect of losing another month’s business. Then came the armchair virologists whose amateur opinions amount to a “survival of the fittest” argument.
My scope of practice as a personal trainer excludes me from making any statements on COVID-19 outside of what medical experts are already saying, but I do want to address, from an insider’s perspective, the issue of gyms being shuttered.
Why gyms should be included in the lockdown
By now you’ve likely heard about the Hamilton-based spin studio that’s at the centre of a massive COVID-19 outbreak. Eighty cases have so far been linked to SpinCo, though it’s feared this number could easily reach 100. It’s believed that “patient zero” was asymptomatic, a common and insidious feature of COVID-19 infections.
This case presents an obvious and important question: How can businesses in which groups of people gather together under one roof operate safely when basic screening measures are essentially useless?
The answer is just as obvious. They can’t. According to SpinCo staff, class capacity was cut by 50 per cent, from 43 riders to 21, and each bike was buffered by a six-foot radius. The problem is the very nature of the activity members are paying to participate in. Picture a spin class in action (this thought experiment works just as well if you substitute a kettlebell class, kickboxing or any HIIT-style class). The exertion level is high. Lots of heavy breathing. Lots of spit and sweat, lots of speaking moistly. Distancing protocols mean nothing in these environments.
It’s a tough spot for fitness businesses to be in, and my heart goes out to all gym owners struggling to stay afloat. Take your classes outside while you still can, apply for federal relief if you qualify, and ride out the storm with the rest of the world.
There’s a common misconception among people who don’t exercise that all exercise is the same, that a gym is a gym is a gym. This is like