Like so many other business ZenQuest's physical location has been closed since the orders given by the Governor of Massachusetts on March 16. Although we are not able to hold in-person classes right now, we’re providing virtual classes, instructional videos, and tips online so that students can continue to train remotely. These are for Karate, Jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, Self-defense and Strength & Conditioning. This is a great way to continue to learn and stay sharp during this challenging situation, and we strongly encourage all of our students to take advantage of this.
In the process of getting ready for reopening, the entire facility is being cleaned and disinfected from top to bottom. This includes all surfaces in the building including floors, mats, walls, cubicles, shelves, tables, chairs, desks, lockers and fixtures. Similarly, all equipment is being disinfected including targets, kick shields, Thai pads, focus mitts, weights, kettle bells, fitness balls, medicine balls, punching bags, etc.
We are also developing intelligent strategies for making ZenQuest as safe as possible when that happens. These will be most intense at first, and then gradually relaxed as time progresses and things return to normal. Precautionary measures will include controlled traffic through the building, limited class sizes, drop off for youth students, temperature checks, social distancing measures, alternative payment options, and negative air flow in the training rooms. Our building also has a ’fresh air exchange’ system left over from when it was occupied by the Berkshire Montessori school, and we will be begin running that during classes when we reopen.
In addition, we will modify several aspects of our classes for the time being. Classes will initially consist of instruction and individual exercises, with partner training gradually phased in over time. We will have designated places for students in the training rooms. Portions of classes will consist of video presentations and review of drills, sparring, history and information appropriate to each martial art and age group. Classes consisting of ‘Stations’ or strength & condition drills will also be more frequent initially. We will also limit children's games to those that can be performed with social distancing.
Face masks will be required for everyone at first. ZenQuest will supply custom ’Ninja’ masks at no charge for students who’ve maintained their memberships during the quarantines, or if they re-enroll during the first phase of reopening. These will also be available at a discounted price in the following phases of returning to normal. These are ‘Gaitor’ style masks made of a Lycra material which balance protection with enabling the wearer to breathe during activity.
Of course, all of the other precautions that were in place before the quarantines began will still be in place. Cleaning of mats, surfaces, and equipment will all be stepped up significantly. Students should stay home if sick and will be asked to leave class if there are any indicators of illness. Students should also stay home if they have at-risks family members at home. Students will be required to sanitize hands and feet before entering training rooms and on breaks.
We will reopen and get back to training together as soon as possible. It has been difficult for many of us to deal with the quarantines and the challenges that they pose on us. However, we need to continue to deal with this in an intelligent way that minimizes risks for everyone, while also trying to keep our lives as normal as possible. With the steps outlined by the authorities, and our own safety plan we are confident that we WILL gradually return to normal while staying as safe as possible.