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Is It OK to Be Going to the Gym Right Now?

Should you go to the gym during a pandemic? People in the U.S. and across the world have different views. On the one hand, gyms could be considered essential businesses as they help people stay healthy. On the other hand, they could put infected people in close contact with others. People could exercise at home if their gym is closed, but what about the gym owners? How are they surviving without government assistance? In this Millennial Minute segment, we hear from Democratic strategist Max Burns and the Director of Policy for the Australian Taxpayers Alliance Emilie Dye

Dye: Gyms should be essential

  1. Gyms are essential because they help people stay healthy. “There are so many other things besides COVID that kill us,” Dye said. Exercise is one way to protect yourself from heart disease, obesity and even, in some cases, mental health issues.
  2. Contract tracing may work better than total lockdown. In Victoria, Australia, there was a very strict lockdown. However, other Australian states who prioritized contact tracing over lockdowns fared better. 

Burns: It’s not time to open yet

  1. Burns says that COVID is a more imminent health threat. Yes, exercise helps keep people healthy, but the pandemic is more pressing than other diseases. In gyms, people breathe heavily and cough in closed spaces, so gyms should be closed.
  2. Lockdowns work, and we don’t yet have the resources and infrastructure to reopen safely.

Common ground

What can these two agree on?

  1. Since the government has shut down gyms, they should compensate the small business owners. 
  2. Because some states are open and some aren’t, it confuses everyone. 

What are your thoughts on the issue? Watch the full debate and let us know in the comments.

A related topic is indoor dining at restaurants. Check out the Millennial Minute debate here.

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