COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Take a proactive approach!

13 March 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Take a proactive approach!

  1. COMMUNICATION APPROACH: be proactive and state the facts

In every business, the CEO’s role is to establish a strategic plan and be able to anticipate and prepare for potential threats. Whether it is with the potential arrival of new competitors, a change in the market or to ensure that we are well covered in the face of a potential disaster that could jeopardize our organization.

When you look at the Corona virus trend in the media and around the world, you can see that the phenomenon is growing. The most pragmatic will say that there are much more real problems or threats, but in reality what must be taken into account is the interpretation that our customers make of it, the reaction associated with it and the impact it can have on us. The debate is therefore not whether there is really a potential danger for us or our customers, but what is the perception of our customers, its potential impacts and how we should react.

We have all experienced a cold running at the gym, and we know that one of the places that can be favorable to contamination is in sports halls, daycare, crowds/shows, etc. We are already starting to see cancelled events & shows, sports matches given in front of empty amphitheatres, so we should not be surprised to expect to have an impact on our businesses in the field of health and wellness.

In Italy, it was announced this morning that people were allowed to go out to see their doctor, but they prohibited clients from going to practice their yoga. The risk is there for us, the owners. Should we panic, absolutely not. Not knowing how long the virus might last, we better prepare and have a plan of action.

This is why we have planned for you a high-level plan, recommendations that we can possibly define in more detail, for you, as the need arises.


The first approach to take is to remain calm and not increase the level of alert, but rather to reassure & inform the population as much as possible. We have an audience, it’s up to us to use it wisely.

We therefore advise you to share information, truthful statistics and to inform the population with facts if the need is felt, but also to inform customers about the measures put in place in order to demonstrate your proactive approach on the situation.

The goal is not to trivialize the threat, but to share facts and make it clear that our customers should not panic at this time, as the risk of infection in Canada remains very low.

  • Health Canada estimates that the risk for the population is LOW, except for people over the age of 65, immunocompromised or people with underlying medical conditions.
  • Number of deaths associated with Coronavirus: 3000 / Number of deaths associated with influenza: 20,000.
  • Coronavirus has killed up to 3,000 people so far, while obesity has killed more than 300,000 people a year.

It should be noted that the best you can do is continue to be as active on social media, share relevant content and ensure that your customers do not experience a drop in traffic in your centre. If they see that you are taking a proactive approach to the situation, it will reduce their fear.


Knowing that the virus can be transmitted by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it is essential to implement hygienic procedures before and after each training.

  1. Each client should go through the changing rooms and wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Also a hand-washing procedure should be there. This should be repeated every time someone sneezes or coughs.
  2. Each client should disinfect all the equipment with which he will be or has been in contact (before and after training) as well as each of the traces of perspiration that he may have left.

* Very important to display this procedure very clearly and precisely as well as to transmit it before and after training by your team of trainers or instructors.

You should therefore immediately make available:

  • Disinfectant / Antiseptic and paper towels available for single use or towels also available for single use for before and after training.
  • Communicate the procedure to your customers.
  • Install posters to remind the procedure on each of the doors and accesses of your centre, as well as in the locker rooms.


One of the approaches you may need to take is to force your customers to stay at home if they have potential signs of contamination:

  • fever
  • cough or breathing difficulties

Your role is not to determine if one of your clients is carrying the virus, but rather to reduce the risk of infections in order to prevent in the interest of all.

Naturally, staying at home when you are sick should not be synonymous with stopping exercising your sport. We recommend that you provide free home workout programs for your customers.


Although the risk is greatly reduced when you are not surrounded by a crowd, it may very well be that customers choose or see a threat in having to move to your centre.

Our potential solution track: Prepare to travel to offer private training at home to reduce the risk of exposure to your customers. Remember to mention that this is exceptional and will only be done in an emergency.

You could therefore prepare your trainers to plan training sessions with equipment that is easy to transport (elastic, dumbbell, kettlebell, TRX, medical ball, etc.)

Training sessions lasting for example one hour, taking place at home, could be reduced to 40 or 45 minutes in order to make up for the trainer’s travel time.


The three most interesting options to offer:

  1. Would be to offer group lessons at home. You could therefore prepare body weight training, offered by videoconference. The goal: not to lose contact between the coach and his clients
  2. Reduce the number of places per course so as to always keep a reasonably large distance in order to avoid contact. For example, offering more courses, with fewer people. Besides, you could supervise the training area of each client so as to respect a safe distance for your clients.
    The tools you could use to set up a structure by videoconference:

    • Zoom: Free tool in one-on-one, but paid to get several people simultaneously.
    • Google Hangouts: Free tools offered when you have the Google suite.
    • Anymeeting: Anymeeting is an online video conferencing and screen sharing solution, the free version of which can bring together up to 200 participants (who attend a presentation).
    • The advantage of this online screen sharing tool is its ease of use: it is accessible without registration and free of charge, and allows to organize web conferences that can welcome up to 250 participants. The user only has to download an executable file, which allows him to obtain a URL where participants can join the conference.
  3. You could simply record training sessions with your trainers and film them and then make them available online on a private “YouTube” or “vimeo” channel to name only the main ones.


Naturally, if we have to limit human contact with our customers, it becomes essential to maintain very close communication with our customers. Nothing better than personalized follow-ups by email, SMS or even via Messenger to ensure that our customers do not lose their good habits during this period.

The idea of creating a private group for your customers on Facebook, if you have not already done so, could certainly be considered.

These are certainly some possible solutions that should be considered. If you ever believe you have other solutions, it would be appropriate to communicate it to us so that we can share it with as many owners as possible.


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