Purple Tier Potential Effects on County Life

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MCT Campus

Gyms are adjusting to new required procedures which includes wiping down equipment after use and refraining from indoors.

Liz Spiering, Social Media Editor

San Diego is yet again taking another step into the purple tier. The past few weeks, cases increased, now threatening our jobs and potential chances of going back on campus. Which I know for most of us college students, all we have been striving for is to go back on campus. However, as frustrating as it may seem for the possibility that we may go back into quarantine, I think it’s something that should be done, and here’s why.

San Diego County unfortunately slipped into the purple tier by reaching a rate of 8.7 per 100,000 cases… jaw drop, which most definitely is concerning if you ask me. This means we’re in the tier with the highest risk; well over the second tier where the rate is 7. We want to strive to be in the fourth tier, with the most minimal risk for catching the virus, less than 1 per 100,000 cases. Our county alone reached over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases during Oct. 24-Nov. 6. This increase in cases is most likely connected with people’s Halloween extravaganzas, even though it was enforced to stay home. This leads us to be concerned about the effects of potentially losing our jobs and closing down our indoor businesses, or forcing us to move our operations outdoors during this cold season. 

Working at a gym in San Diego, there are multiple effects that will be felt now that the county is in the purple tier. For instance, we could face a complete shutdown again and most employees could lose their jobs and have to remain on unemployment benefits, if that. For some, that unemployment money isn’t as much as you would make working your typical shifts. We may also be scheduled for less hours. Most of my coworkers and I, who are typically over 21 and living on our own,  work these eight hour shifts because we need the hours to pay our bills. I know that this new transition will be difficult to adjust to and stressful for us as employees. However for members, this would mean they would lose those services we offer such as classes and training, and their memberships would be frozen with the chance of having to revert back to DIY at-home workouts. And as a previous member, I understand how difficult it is to stay motivated without a place to work out. 

As I have witnessed working at a gym for the past two months, employees and members are concerned with the effects of the county restrictions. I know from experience that it’s a nerve-racking ordeal to be working in a place that has so many germs and bacteria as it is. And even with the face masks, you are surrounded by tons of people coming in and out, touching everything and sometimes forgetting to clean after they use the equipment. Gross, right? Well, guess I can consider myself a germaphobe now. Some members and employees who have already isolated themselves from the gym environment, did so on the account to protect themselves from the COVID-19 outbreak. And as much as it would be unfortunate for the possibility of people losing their jobs or for a gym member forced to work out elsewhere, limiting hours or shutting down is a much better outcome than catching the virus and potentially well…dying. I know that I would rather be laid off and back on unemployment benefits if that protects myself and others. 

Some gyms are fortunate enough to already provide equipment indoor and outdoor so it won’t be as difficult to convert 100% outdoors, which is allowed. Potential struggles with adjusting to moving gyms outdoors would be scheduling fewer employees and limiting hours of operation. This will not only cause employees to be laid-off, but could force members to cancel their memberships. It’s safe to say that this will cause a massive amount of stress on the employees who are trying to not only satisfy customers, but follow the right guidelines to protect us. Going to the gym whether it’s for work or to workout, becomes a part of your everyday lifestyle, like a habit. When forced to break that habit, it can cause us to become lazy or feel unmotivated. And unfortunately enough, this can also lead people to feel insecure and depressed. 

As for other businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, they can be affected just as much. Retail stores will have to limit their capacity once again to 25%, which is extremely frustrating considering the holidays coming up. Just to avoid the panic and lines, I’ll be doing my shopping online. And some restaurants don’t have the room for outdoor seating, meaning they would have to remain closed. So basically multiple employees will lose their jobs and be living off of unemployment benefits, if that’s even enough to live off of. 

If we continue to follow the pandemic guidelines which includes practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and only leaving home for essential errands, we have the opportunity to decrease the cases in not only our county, but California as a whole. San Diego practiced social distancing well before and followed the right protocols which allowed us to open up restaurants and shops. I think our county is doing a well done job taking more action in trying to control this annoying, fast-spreading virus, by enforcing us to follow these strict guidelines so we can have our businesses remain open.