We received two reports of covid in the DR community two days ago – both people tested positive days after visiting DR, and we have no reason to believe there was any transmission at the centre. One came last on 16 March, and the other on 25 March, and I learned of their covid status in the last two days. Just today, two more were reported – one person’s driver has tested positive (customer visited last on 23 March), and another customer who has not visited in almost a month (14 March) is positive.
Considering that we had our first reported case in the DR community at the end of Feb (since re-opening in October), and given the increase being reported in Delhi as a whole, it’s pretty clear there is a higher prevalence of covid now relative to before – and the reality is that it would take just one infected person coming to the centre, breathing mask-less in close proximity with others, and we’d have transmission at the centre.
While I think that our setup (lots of ventilation, high ceilings, natural social distancing in most of our activities, our consistent mask usage, scanning and sanitising, regular sanitising of equipment) is safer than many other places (like enclosed office spaces with mostly stale and recirculated air-conditioned air), there is no doubt that we all need to be more vigilant at the moment. Hopefully the Delhi government will allow gyms to stay open, but if cases keep rising, it is likely that gyms will be among the first places to be ordered to close.
While we can’t do much about the situation in Delhi as a whole, I do want to ask our community to help us stay safe by observing the following basic rules:
1) Keep your mask on. We’ve seen some slipping of this in the last 1-2 months, and this really has to stop. Yes, it sucks to exercise with a mask on, but for example surgical masks are more comfortable than super tightly fitted ones. Please find a mask you can keep on, and get used to working out with it, it’s unavoidable at the moment.
2) Please don’t come to DR if you’re feeling unwell. If you’re feeling tired, please don’t come to class, fatigue is an onset symptom, and also not conducive to working out. So please be extra careful right now about coming to semi-public spaces if you’re a bit under the weather.
3) Please report a covid infection to us right away, so that we can then alert others who might have attended class with you. The last thing we want is uncontrolled transmission, so please be timely and inform us as soon as possible if you’ve taken class and soon after tested positive.
For our part, we’re increasing the rounds of sanitising of equipment we do, and will keep a closer eye on mask usage at the centre. We’ve also notified our teachers about insisting on mask usage, and distributed extra masks to our employees and sanitiser spray bottles so that they can be safer at home. Also, now that we’re open 7 days a week again, there shouldn’t be repeats of the crowded Tuesdays and Thursdays we had in Feb, so our class schedule is a bit better spread out to avoid crowding.
I hope we can maintain our record of no reported cases of covid transmission at the centre, despite this second wave. But the truth is that with the numbers rising in Delhi, unless we tighten up our standards as a community, we might also fall prey to the virus – behaviours earlier which were relatively harmless with few cases around are now far riskier, so we have to change how we behave to maintain safety.
Please think over what I’ve asked of you here; and feel free to respond to me privately with suggestions on what you think we can improve at DR. There might still be things we can do, so I’m open to suggestions on practical improvements we should make at the centre.
Anuraag, Delhi Rock