Coronavirus was unheard of back in December, but in just a couple of months it’s had a huge impact on thousands of people around the world. With over 115 recognised cases in the UK (at the time of writing this article) the country is prepared for a significant increase in the number of people affected.
Read on for our ultimate checklist for athletes, as well as further information on what Jenkins Soft Tissue Therapy is doing to ensure the ongoing health and safety of our clients.
Should I be worried about Coronavirus?
With some estimates suggesting up to one fifth of the UK population off work sick at the same time and with a reported global mortality rate of over 3%, there’s no need to panic, but there is every need to act responsibly in order to maintain good health for you and others around you.
Coronavirus: is it safe to go to the gym?
It is still safe to visit public places such as sports centres and gyms, and many venues in the country are taking extra measures to ensure a high standard of cleanliness during this period in particular. Your local gym may well still have hand sanitizer dotted about for visitors to use, and if gym-goers act in a thoughtful manner and as long as staff and visitors clean down surfaces and equipment, it is possible to maintain the hygiene of the space.
The ultimate Coronavirus checklist for athletes and sportspeople
Whilst we are all susceptible to Coronavirus, it’s safe to say that athletes come into close proximity with one another a huge amount, often with a great deal of physical contact.
When it comes to avoiding the virus, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To make life easier, we’ve put together this ultimate Coronavirus checklist for athletes:
Wash hands before and after training
The official guidelines suggest a 20-second hand wash with soap and water, equalling two verses of Happy Birthday. Don’t be shy… get stuck in and get a lather going before and after training!
Avoid sharing water bottles
Try to stick to your own designated water bottle. If taking part in team sports, avoid passing a bottle from player to player and keep to your own in order to minimise any risk of transferring germs. Keep away from communal water fountains if you can – fill up at home instead.
Wipe down equipment thoroughly at the gym
We all owe it to one another to maintain a strong level of hygiene in public places. Be sensible when using shared equipment, and wipe down gym equipment once you have finished using it.
Carry hand sanitizer with you to training
If you are lucky enough to have some hand sanitizer, keep it on your person and take it to and from training. Whilst soap and water is often best, hand santitizer can be a good backup when hand-washing facilities are not readily available.
Carry tissues at all times
Carry tissues on your person or keep a packet in your kit bag. It’s important to use them to catch any coughs and sneezes, and be sure to dispose of them immediately after use – we don’t want them finding their way to the changing room floor!
Avoid handshakes and fist-pumps if you can
Whilst handshakes and other such etiquette is extremely important in sports like football and rugby, try to avoid these pre and post-match rituals if you can. Some leagues have already put an end to this, and if the opportunity arises keep your hands firmly in your pockets and replace the gesture with a simple nod of the head and a smile instead.
Try not to hug when celebrating a team goal
We know there’s nothing quite like landing that wonder goal in the top left-hand corner, but try to avoid leaping into the arms of your nearest teammate if you can. Close personal contact only increases the possibility of a virus being transferred, so try to keep to your own personal space as much as possible on these occasions.
Wash hands thoroughly when visiting physiotherapists / sports therapists
If you are visiting a physio or sports therapist for a sports massage or similar, make sure that you maintain consistent hygiene at all times. Your therapist should encourage this and offer you hand washing facilities upon arrival and departure. At our Welwyn Garden City clinic, we always offer hand washing facilities with a variety of soaps and creams.
If you have any symptoms, self-isolate
It should go without saying, but if you believe you have any symptoms or have come into close contact with someone who has been diagnosed, self-isolate immediately and call NHS 111 for further information and advice.
Change towels regularly
Whether it’s for the gym floor or the rugby club changing room, make sure you recycle your towels and use clean ones as much as possible.
Encourage others to act responsibly
Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t do this on your own; we all need to play our part in delaying the onset of Coronavirus. Encourage others to act in a responsible manner, and if you see someone coughing or sneezing without taking appropriate precautions: pick them up on it. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to create a safe and healthy environment for one another.
What is Jenkins Soft Tissue Therapy doing to help?
In order to maintain the ongoing health and safety of all our clients, we are offering everyone full hand washing facilities upon arrival and departure, and we guarantee a spotlessly clean treatment room with fresh towels and sheets. We also politely request that any customers who have booked a treatment but have cough / cold / flu symptoms contact us immediately. We would be happy to postpone your appointment, free of charge.
Find out more
There are a number of useful resources out there to help make sure you understand the impact of the Coronavirus on the sporting world. With Tokyo 2020 not yet cancelled or postponed, the International Paralympic Committee have released a guide for athletes which can be seen here: Information for Para athletes and IPC members regarding coronavirus.
For more information on Coronavirus and for official health and safety guidelines, please visit the World Health Organisation website or call NHS 111 today.