BJJ and The Coronavirus: Tips For Rolling Safe
Here's the list of some important facts about how the Coronavirus operates and how this effects BJJ. This understanding of the virus will be the first step to ensure your safety:
- Symptoms of the Coronavirus include a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. In some cases it can be more severe, leading to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Very rarely, and particularly in the case of old people, the disease can be fatal. If you’re showing any of these symptoms, do not train BJJ under any circumstances.
- Due to the similarity between corona virus symptoms and the flu or common cold, identifying the virus requires testing. Do not simply visit the hospital if you have symptoms. Call a medical adviser instead. Though this isn’t related to BJJ, it’s so important to highlight!
- Suffers wont show symptoms of the virus for up to 14 days, during which the virus can still be transmitted. So rolling with people who don’t show symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not at risk.
- The virus is transmitted “primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person, for example, coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.” Obviously look to avoid this as much as possible off the mats.
- The duration that the virus can survive on a surface for still being researched, although it’s been confirmed to last for at least a few hours. Gym owners should take this into account when it comes to mat cleanliness.
Off the Mats
- Pay attention to the news – Being aware of the state of your area is the first step to responding to it correctly. Read up on the number of cases reported in and around your country, then decide on your response. I would recommend not going to train at all as soon as you hear of the first case in your town/city.
- Wash your hands – Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 30 seconds at a time. Bring an alcohol-based gel with you for times when you don’t have access to a sink. Clean hands are the first line of defense against the Coronavirus.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough – You’ll be surprised how much this reduces the risk of spreading viruses.
- Maintain social distancing – Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
- Avoid Travel – Naturally any airports, immigration offices, or any other international buildings are high risk areas. At least if you have been on holiday recently, it would be worth at least waiting 2 weeks to see if you develop symptoms before considering training again.
- Wear a mask (if you have symptoms) – Contrast to popular opinion, masks aren’t effective when it comes to protecting yourself from others who may have the disease. They will however help to contain it if you already have symptoms yourself. It also goes without saying… wearing a mask wont protect you, or your partner whilst rolling. The best thing you can do is steer clear of the mats full stop.
On The Mats
- Wash your hands and feet before and after stepping on the mats – Even if you’re washing your hands frequently off the mats, it’s critical that you’re mindful of washing your hands at these times.
- Train with familiar people – Though many people won’t have this luxury, if you can afford to have your own mat space, training with familiar people who you know haven’t traveled and don’t have symptoms is ideal. If you can’t afford it, at least try rolling with people who haven’t traveled recently to your gym.
- Don’t over train – Your immune system is like your castle walls against the corona onslaught. Maintaining a healthy diet, sleeping enough and not pushing your body to its limits is key to keeping a strong immune system.
- Ask your coach about the measures they’re taking – Though jiujitsu gyms are famously clean, It may reassure you to hear your BJJ coach is making the extra effort to keep it coronavirus free. Maybe they’ve sent out an email to raise awareness of the members, or maybe they’re not allowing drop ins for the time being. That’s what they were doing out here in Korea at least.
The majority of you reading this article will be in super low risk areas, where only basic measures will be required to prevent the spread.
If that’s the case, don’t let the media and hysteria stop you from enjoying the hobby you love. Just be conscious of the news, and the basic preventative measures you should be taking.
SOURCE: Grappling Insider