Is it safe to train Martial Arts during a serious virus outbreak, such as coronavirus?
Before I answer that question I’d like to establish some credibility here.
Most of you know me as a Krav Maga Instructor and a Martial Arts Schools owner, but very few of you probably know that I am also a Franchise Executive with a National Commercial Cleaning Company with close to 20 years of experience.
Of course, this doesn’t make me an expert in the medical field but it does make me an expert if it comes to disinfecting surfaces in order to eliminate pathogens as well as training my personnel in safety procedures in order to mitigate the risk of getting infected.
Having said that... What exactly is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses have been around for a long time but the first evidence of the coronavirus in humans was discovered by the scientists in the 1960s and linked to the cause of the common cold.
MERS, SARS, H5N1 are all coming from the family of the coronaviruses. Now we are dealing with the new type of the coronavirus COVID 19.
What we know so far about COVID 19 is that it has an ability to spread rapidly and causes coronavirus disease with symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing that may result in death, especially in people with weak immune system - such as elderly.
Although, COVID 19 transmits through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes it doesn't stay in the air because of its weight. It quickly settles on surfaces around where it can live up to 10 hours or more.
That creates the risk of getting infected by touching the contaminated area.
- Avoid crowded spaces, such as public transportation, movie theaters, airplanes if possible...
- Limit contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and objects
- Wash your hands often and try to avoid touching you face
- Disinfect area around you
- Wash your clothes
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly to strengthen your immune system
- Get enough sleep
Now you're thinking that I still didn't answer the question of whether it is safe to attend Martial Arts classes or not.
Okay, let's get to it.
Your local Walmart has over 10,000 customers per week, Wawa over 5,000 customers per day, your local gym hundreds of random people per day and your doctor's office tens of sick patients on a daily bases. These are people you don't know. They're not about to tell you where they have traveled lately and some of them probably have very poor hygiene. You have no control.
Martial Arts School 50 -150 steady students on average. Good health and hygiene habits. Students don't come to train when they're sick. Highly motivated school owners and Instructors committed to the well being of their students that take pride in their clean training facilities and safe environment.
Where do you think you are more likely to get sick?
If I was to cancel any of my or my kids' activities, Martial Arts classes would be at the bottom of the list.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and personal hygiene, wash your hands often, avoid places with potential for high contamination.
If we all do it we can slow down the spread of the virus and allow healthcare facilities to deal with individual cases until the vaccine is developed.
Written by Greg Dziewonski