Is it safe to go to the gym?

My gym has being doing zoom classes since shortly after the pandemic began. I’ve enjoyed working out in my bedroom, honestly. I bought a lot of weights and resistance bands, and they are nearly as good as the machines. (I wasn’t doing cardio in the gym anyway. I can walk for that. And my neighborhood is good for walking.)

Colds and the flu have a much shorter incubation period than covid, so you have far fewer infected people who feel fine and want a gym workout who are soon going to take ill with a cold or the flu. Hopefully there aren’t too many people who are forcing themselves to work out once they’re symptomatic…

(continuing my ongoing series of gym rants…)

In years of going to a busy gym, I am genuinely the only person I know of that puts a towel on the equipment and wipes down after use (I mean, I do both, I don’t know anyone else that does either).
But I’m in China, I guess it’s not the culture here.

It’s certainly interesting to think about.
I wonder if it’s just that it’s a cohort of comparatively healthy people. Being in good shape is hardly going to make you immune to a respiratory virus of course, but all else being equal, the R value at a gym might be lower than, say, a shopping mall.

I think it is safe to go to the gym providing they follow sensible precautions. Wiping machines before use, and sensible distancing. Masks during times when one might be very close to others. Do not encourage shouting. Get vaccinated.

In fact, I believe having gyms closed is detrimental to health.

Our Rec center was able to open back up last year some time. June I think? Per the Ohio governor’s orders gyms were allowed to open up with precautions but not recreation centers. So we had to ditch the ping-pong tables and seating/tables (giving more room to spread out the weight machines) making it no longer a recreation center but purely a place to exercise. People who have felt safe to come back have slowly come back.

Because of all the heavy breathing, people with respiratory diseases (or age-related respiratory insufficiency) don’t do it.

Also, technical note: COVID is a disease that infects your nose and throat. TB is a disease that primarily infects the deep lung. I think Deep breathing is more relevant to catching TB: fast/harsh breathing is more relevant to catching COVID.

Around here, I think the reason there is zero COVID in gyms is because there is no COVID. We have lockdowns and the gym owners complain (‘nobody’s caught COVID in a gym!’) without accepting that if we have had 1000 total non-family, non-aged-care cases in a city of 10 million, then ‘nobody’s caught COVID almost anywhere’. I agree with the opinion above: the thing to think about is your disease status and community rates.

I believe covid infects any cell with an ACE2 receptor. It infects the nose, and the lung, and the gut, and blood vessels, and other parts.

Sewage monitoring seems like one of the most reliable forms of tracking it in a community.

And i do think the heavy breathing at a gym makes it more likely to spread there. Only the presymtomatic are likely to spread it, but there’s a day or three of that.

Welp. The Delta variant may be worse than we thought. Six people were infected with it at an outdoor wedding, two were hospitalized, and one died, despite not having comorbidities and all being fully vaccinated.

That sounds really bad until I read further into the article. Two people contracted covid in India. They received the Indian vaccine (Covaxin) before leaving. It doesn’t say anything about the possibility of them contracting covid before they were fully vaccinated. One of them was hospitalized and died. They transmitted the virus to four more people at the wedding who had received mRNA vaccines. It doesn’t say anything about the symptoms of any of the covid positive people other than the one that died and one guy hospitalized. For all we know, four of them were asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms. This would be consistent with data coming out of the UK and Israel.

The first people to get sick were a man and woman who traveled from India, Forbes reported. The man had no health problems, but the woman had diabetes. Both had gotten two doses of the ​​Covaxin BBV152 vaccine before leaving India.

They tested positive for COVID 4 days after the wedding, and the man became so ill he was hospitalized. Six days after the wedding, he died, according to Forbes .

Two people who’d gotten the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and two people who received the Moderna vaccine interacted with the first two people, and they also tested positive. One of them, a man in his 60s, had to be hospitalized.

I was going to post something similar, except i think “one of the 4 who was vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine” is mildly alarming.

But it’s somewhat reassuring that only 4 people were infected, out of 90 at the wedding (plus the two who caught covid in India.)

I wonder if the other 86 were tested.

Fwiw, the covaxin is supposed to be a pretty decent vaccine

Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN shows 77.8% efficacy against Covid-19

And also somewhat effective against Delta

Yeah, attack rates for these types of events with no masking or social distancing can vary between 20-80% with the old variants. That would mean ~ 18 - 73 participants would have been infected if they weren’t vaccinated. Probably closer to 73 considering the Delta mutant. This article didn’t mention any secondary infections which are also usually high.

This is not a scientific study. This is an anecdote from some anonymous stranger in Texas.

They claim all 92 were fully vaccinated. How do we know if this was true? Did they observe all 92 guests getting their two shots? Did they ask at the door? How much should we trust the word of these 92 strangers? What was the date of the wedding? Somewhere between 15% and 20% of Texas was fully vaccinated in April. The general population wasn’t even eligible for vaccination until March 29 in Texas. Was every guest a frontline worker or healthcare professional?

I’m giving this as much weight as a “my sister’s boyfriend’s aunt says…” type of story.

It does make for an alarming headline, though!

The source is WebMD. It’s not the best source in the world, but i think it’s a lot more reliable than “my sister’s boyfriend’s aunt said …”

No, the source is the word of random people in Texas.

Somebody at WebMD wrote an article about an article in Forbes about a non-peer reviewed preprint uploaded to medRxiv. Here is the preprint:

Nowhere in there is any discussion about any of the questions I raised. They simply state

Here we describe a transmission of a Delta variant containing SARS-CoV-2 strain, between family members associated with events surrounding a wedding with 92 attendees, near Houston, Texas. Attendance required guests be fully vaccinated and took place outdoors in a large, open-air tent.

and provide nothing further. This is not a quality source of information.

Thanks for digging up the source.

I’m going to say that a preprint is a lot more reliable than “a friend of a friend told me”. There are an awful lot of details that an awful lot of authors are signing onto.

The paper says the wedding took place in “early April”. It also says the couple who presumably brought the virus from India were only 10 days past their second dose of covaxin, so they weren’t fully vaccinated when they presumably were infected. (And they were physically stressed by the long flight.)

I agree that it’s weird that the table showing info on the patients doesn’t say when they were vaccinated. That seems like a significant flaw in the paper.

From what I recall from eitehr that or another article, it appears that the original patients who contracted the virus in India got a breakthrough infection. In any case, their transmission to other guests at the party would suggest that the Delta variant can indeed get past the vaccine in some cases. There were 90-92 guests at an outdoor wedding attended by guests who were fully vaccinated, and yet six of them had symptomatic infection. On its surface, that would seem serious enough for me to question just how reliable vaccine protection is.

To be clear, I’m not at all saying the vaccines don’t work - they are still absolutely our best line of defense. But I think there’s enough data and anecdotal evidence out there now to make us rethink how safe we really are. I think health officials (hello, CDC) should really rethink mask recommendations and gatherings.


Whatever. So I guess this is going to be a thing now…

It appears unlikely that the patient zeros were not fully vaccinated before they were infected. They left India ten days after their second vaccination when the delta mutant was driving infections. So their cases may not be technically be considered breakthrough infections.

The other four may or may not be true breakthrough infections because the paper does not indicate whether they were 14 days after their second infection. As @Trom states, Texas had not opened up vaccination to people 50-65 yrs old until March 15. That makes it unlikely that they were 14 days past their second vaccination unless they had health exemptions. In fact, the guy who was hospitalized did not have a co-morbidity according to the paper. He may not have been 14 days past his second vaccination.

Even if we assume the four people were fully vaccinated, and no one else was infected, these stats are incredible (an attack rate of only 4% compared to the usual 18-80% depending on the activities). Indian weddings are three day events and the article states that they were relatives. They probably hung around each other the full three days.

So, again, this information is consistent with what we know about the Delta variant. Breakthrough cases are occurring more than the other variants but still at a much lower rate than unvaccinated.

Back to the original topic, I don’t think it is safe to go to a gym if you are in an area that already has a high number of Delta cases unless everyone is wearing a mask and/or the gym has very few people. Being at a gym is as bad as being at a wedding unless you know that the ventilation/filtration system is outstanding. You can control surfaces, but you can control the aerosols floating around and accumulating.

They’re the doctors/researchers. They saw what they saw. I guess we can see what we want to see – there’s actually been a lot of seeing what we want to see throughout this whole pandemic and this is why we’ve been in a hurricane of shit the last year. I’d rather trust people who know what they’re talking about and just live in a world of science and facts. We’ll be better off that way.

Yes, I know. They’re from Baylor College of Medicine. I’m not disputing their observations. The patient zeros were fully vaccinated by the time the wedding started. However, they were unlikely to be fully vaccinated when they were infected, if we assume they were infected in India. The authors made no comment on this.

The authors also did not make a judgement on whether or not the four additional infections were truly fully vaccinated. They simply stated that it was required for attendance at the wedding. Since they didn’t provide their vaccination dates, I’m speculating. In fact, if I were a reviewer of that paper, I would probably ask for that information, if possible.

Regardless, all the authors are saying is that breakthrough infections are more likely with the Delta mutant. I’m not disputing that. I’m only challenging the notion that these data suggest that the Delta variant is actually worse than the data coming out of UK and Israel. I’m saying that this paper supports what we already know. If no one else was infected, the vaccines prevented a superspreader event.