As COVID-19 has progressed from anomaly to fact of life, universities like UMKC have had to adapt to keep their campus as safe as possible for students.  

Campus buildings, such as the Swinney Recreation Center, have had to change protocols and rules in order to keep a safe environment for students to workout.

“Several things have changed. When you walk in, you are required to get your temperature taken,” UMKC student Garrett Roth explained. “You are also required to wear masks, socially distance when working out, and making sure to wipe down your equipment after use.” 

For those who lift weights, changes have been implemented to ensure social distancing.

“In regards to the weight room, if there are any machines that are close to each other, they advise to use every other machine,” said Junior Jaden Hielscher. “That way, we are not in close contact with others.”

Gym-goers will need to unlearn old habits in order to adapt to new rules.

“You cannot bench while someone squats and vice versa. It does mean you can’t have someone spot you, so you have to make sure to get the bar up,” said UMKC student Tim Nguyen. 

Even with the new changes, some students expressed concern about the risks of working out during the pandemic.

“I do feel a little apprehensive, just due to the risks associated with COVID,” said Roth.

For others, the desire to exercise overcomes pandemic fears.

“I feel that motivation comes and goes, but passion stays, even amid the COVID season,” said Nguyen. “I still feel like working out is an essential part of my life.”

Despite stringent regulations and frequent cleaning, Swinney Recreation Center has not been spared from COVID-19. UMKC reports record that many of those who tested positive for the virus had visited the building, more so than any other campus building.

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