Going to gym during coronavirus has become quite problematic. The ones in England shut doors for the second time in 2020. Although it is not a nationwide rule, and only in places that have a high number of cases.
Do you know why gyms are shut down in the UK, while other public places are open? Are they riskier compared to eateries and shops? How does the government expect people to be fit and take care of mental wellbeing with such implications? There are several questions in people’s minds right now.
A gym owner from Merseyside paid a fine of 1,000 Euros after posting a picture in its social media account, stating that his gym will be open. He also wrote that the reason behind this is not financial gain but for the mental and physical wellbeing of the members.
Many gym users reported that they are “baffled” with this approach to close down gyms while other public places are open.
Gym during coronavirus – Facts according to science
Professor Jonathan Ball, a pro in viruses and comparative studies from the University of Nottingham, said that gyms make people exercise vigorously and breathe deeply in the process. Thus, there are high chances of people producing droplets that can infect another person. Moreover, he said that people collectively touch gym equipment, handles, machines, and then their faces. In such conditions, it is easier to get the virus in them.
The professor suggests that risks can dramatically go down if gyms follow air-conditioning efficiently. Moreover, proper hygiene, cleaning, sanitizing, and social distancing works even better.
According to the data presented by Public Health England, gyms are hotspots for infections. Thus, since gyms are coming under scrutiny, scientists need to give reasons why. The expert said that he feels local authorities and governments will look into places and target areas to reduce the transmission rate. However, they also have to balance it out against the economic impact.
Many people think that it is unfair to restrict their activities, while things like visiting pubs are allowed. To this, the professor said that particular area and activities will be targeted. This is mainly because those activities have more chances of risk compared to other activities. He went onto say that economically it can be damaging, but one cannot go against political decisions.
Government data by Public Health England
Going to the gym during coronavirus has been stopped in different places in England yet again. While doing so, the government had to let out a data from the surveillance report of Public Health England.
The data given out is based on Test and Trace. It shows that level of transmission at gyms is 3%, while in supermarkets it is 12%, bars and pubs 10%, and secondary schools 5%. The numbers are tricky and still questionable to most. By October 11, precisely 73,561 people tested positive of COVID-19 and were referred for contact tracing. Out of those, 20,776 infected people were somewhere in the week before questioning and came in contact with another infected person. Out of this number, 620 people had been at the gym.
No one indeed knows if they got infected at the gym or not, but they did go to one. But is this evidence enough to determine or shutdown gyms? It is hard to determine and essential to keep accounts of the people who went to the gym regularly compared to ones who went to the supermarket.
The primary point here is that gyms came in the sixth position among the list of commonplaces. This is ahead of students going to universities, working individuals, working at care homes, and going clothes shopping.
Government of England noticed the pattern and decided to shut gyms down again. According to Sage, the scientific advisory group, closing down indoor gyms and places of leisure can reduce the average number of cases by 0.1. However, they also said that such numbers are difficult to estimate.
What do gym-goers say about this decision?
A gym trainer named Nathan Penman said that he is baffled, confused, and puzzled with the decision of the government. He called it bizarre and told other people in the gym feel the same way. The trainer from Liverpool reported after doing his last session before lockdown. He also said that everyone is questioning why other sections like restaurants and retail are open while gyms need to close down.
Members should wipe down their equipment after using it, and staff must make rules stricter, said a guy named Jack. He swims to keep his mental health good. A lot of people do book slots for the gym but would rather be in the pool as they fit in there. The man currently skips the gym and goes swimming more often.