When Gold's gym in Venice reopened after being forced to shut down for several weeks because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Arnold Schwarzenegger was among the first to return to training at the gym. Gold's in Venice had been Arnold's original training site after a brief stint at Vince's gym when he first arrived in the United States in 1968. But when Arnold arrived at the gym on his bicycle on June 16, the masked Terminatort peered into the gym, where he noticed that most of those on the training floor were not wearing masks. Gold's had reopened with a new set of rules designed to reduce the chances of disease transmission. This included social distancing, such as having aerobic equipment available on every other machine, rather than right next to each other, as well as maintaining social distancing in the gym. That part was easier because the gym was operating at only 50% of its normal capacity. Many members choose to play it safe and wait until training in a public gym proved to be not a genuine vector for Covid-19, as many public health officials had declared. But Arnold wasn't willing to take a chance, and he hopped right back in his bike and left without venturing into the gym past the front door. The question is: Was Arnold correct to avoid taking a chance training in a gym where not everyone was obeying standard safety rules, and where the rules were clearly not being strictly enforced?
The mask rule for Gold's when Arnold arrived that day was that you had to wear a mask when entering the gym, after which you had your temperature taken at the door (fever in a sign of infection, but not having fever doesn't rule it out). But once you were on the gym floor, wearing a mask wasn't mandatory, and that is what Arnold observed. The fact that Arnold had opted to leave Gold's that day was highly publicized, and perhaps it wasn't just a coincidence that a day later, Gold's made mask wearing in the gym mandatory. But as far as I know, Arnold never returned, opting to train in his well-equipped home gym. The entire incident proved moot, however, as Gold's and every other gym were soon closed down again as the Covid-19 cases continued to climb.
Arnold had good reason to avoid training that day at Gold's. Although Arnold is still in great shape, he is 73 years old, and age is considered a major risk factor for Covid-19. On the other hand, whether age is a true risk factor for Covid-19 depends on the health of the individual. For people that have been sedentary for many years, the likelihood is that their immune response has been substantially dampened. One little-known benefit of regular exercise is that . . .