The management of two training centers in Montreal denounces the incongruity of the closure of sports halls in red zones by the government.
“We were good little students, good little soldiers, drops Aurélien Malod, director of the Gym du Plateau, on avenue du Mont-Royal. We did a lot more than what was required by the government, yes, to protect our business, but also to follow the rules. “
From the first confinement, in March, the owner of this room and of the Gym Saint-Henri, Georges Valade, renovated his two centers, which are now “the safest in the city, if not in the country,” he said.
He says he invested $ 100,000, not to mention the salary of maintenance staff “constantly at work to disinfect and clean.”
Like in the hospital
All the cardio and strength training machines as well as the bikes in the spinning studio have been separated by divisions in Lexan, “a high-quality plexiglass,” says Mr. Valade.
MERV 11 level air filtration units have been installed in all ventilation systems.
The MERV rating, from 1 to 16, is a scale to indicate the performance of a filter.
In the spinning room, a “MERV 16” system has been installed, as efficient as those in hospitals and surgery rooms. The room air can thus be treated every 10 minutes, he said.
“With all these measures, we think we are able to seek a clientele a little reluctant to return to the training rooms,” he argues.
Despite a “monstrous investment”, health measures going “well beyond” those decreed by the government of François Legault and the absence of an outbreak in the two training centers, Mr. Malod has difficulty understanding the logic behind this decision.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he blurted out.
“As soon as you turn on the TV, Facebook or the radio, COVID is everywhere. People come to train, spend an hour at the gym and poof! They evacuate the stress and aggressiveness they have suffered all day, ”continues Aurélien Malod.
According to a survey on the psychosocial impacts of the pandemic conducted from September 4 to 14 by professor-researcher Mélissa Généreux, anxiety and depression are “a second disaster in Quebec”.
One in five adults would have felt symptoms compatible with generalized anxiety disorder or major depression during the two weeks preceding the study at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Sherbrooke.
In Montreal, the situation is even worse: a quarter of adults have experienced these symptoms.
“The government says it is closing the training rooms to preserve the health system. It’s commendable, ”says Mr. Valade. But considering the positive effects of training on physical and mental well-being, “that’s part of the incongruities,” he adds.
“I picked up the government’s message, laments the entrepreneur. They lost the credibility I gave them. “