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Letter: Mask wearing must be required everywhere where danger lurks — such as gyms

Benji Xiang, 32, wears a mask while working out at a gym in Los Angeles. Friday, June 26, 2020. With the coronavirus surging, at least four California counties on Friday paused or prepared to backtrack on their reopening plans in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

I am deeply troubled by the current state of affairs in Utah with COVID cases hitting almost 4,000. I was happy to see Gov. Gary Herbert taking the steps to issue a state of emergency, but I have not seen the results of this on the ground.

Utahns are still acting like nothing is going on, business as usual. If you go to a gym today, a mask is only required at entry and exiting and one can remove it during workout. So here you have hundreds of people working out in closed spaces, breathing hard, huffing and puffing, congregating in groups of three to five and having casual gossip, and none of them have a mask on.

I agree with the governor that we can still keep the businesses open if we take due precautions. In this situation, we can keep the gyms open, but mandate universal mask wearing at these gyms all the time, even and especially when members are exercising, and there should be no exception, period.

The 25- to 40-year-old group is the biggest spreader of COVID currently in our state, and gyms are playing a huge role here with the lax rules. People in this age group get mild infection, hence they don’t care about getting it, but they are the superspreaders to the vulnerable in the community, including their elderly relatives.

People become complacent because if an establishment does not require a mask, thinking it is OK and safe not to wear it. That is not right. I request that people also use their own judgement and common sense and do the right thing.

We Utahns can do better than this. God help us.

Kashif Memon, M.D., Riverton

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