Making Gyms Safer: Why the Virus Is Less Likely to Spread There Than in a Bar

After shutting down in the spring, America’s empty gyms are beckoning a cautious public back for a workout. To reassure wary customers, owners have put in place — and now advertise — a variety of coronavirus control measures. At the same time, the fitness industry is trying to rehabilitate itself by pushing back against what it sees as a misleading narrative that gyms have no place during a pandemic.

In the first months of the coronavirus outbreak, most public health leaders advised closing gyms, erring on the side of caution. As infections exploded across the country, states ordered gyms and fitness centers closed, along with restaurants, movie theaters and bars. State and local officials consistently branded gyms as high-risk venues for infection, akin to bars and

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A port in the storm | Health Beat

By learning to stay calm in an exchange with someone who’s angry, you’re more apt to keep the situation from escalating. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

There’s been no shortage of stressors in 2020.

“We’ve been socially isolated, disconnected for months at this point, as well as felt a loss of control in many areas of our lives,” said Allyn Richards, PhD, a psychologist with Spectrum Health. “When you pair this with rising tensions, it’s a recipe ripe for stress.”

Hopefully, you’re finding some ways to wrangle your worries and keep your own emotions in check.

But what about those around you? What’s the best way to handle an agitated co-worker, a curmudgeonly neighbor or a grumpy shopper?

“We’re encountering an increasing number of hostile and angry interactions in situations we cannot avoid, including in both our professional and personal lives,” Dr. Richards said.

When ire comes to your cubicle

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