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“We’re Going to Stay Open, We’re Not the Problem,” Says Gym Owner Refusing to Close His Doors for Lockdown 2

From Thursday evening England will be thrown into another national lockdown, with non-essential shops, hospitality venues and gyms closing their doors to the public once more to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.



a young man taking a selfie: As we approach lockdown 2.0, the owner of independent gym Gainz Bedford has produced a two-page document fighting his case


© Provided by Men’s Health UK
As we approach lockdown 2.0, the owner of independent gym Gainz Bedford has produced a two-page document fighting his case

However, many commentators have argued the move could cripple the economy, put businesses out of action permanently and harm the health of a nation. These arguments will, undoubtedly, fall on deaf ears, but one gym owner is taking a stand and making sure his voice is heard.

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Alex Lowndes, who runs independent gym Gainz Bedford, posted a video on his Instagram page explaining why his doors will remain open from Thursday evening, pointing out how health and fitness, and encouraging people to work out, is part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to the pandemic.

“We have done a lot of thinking and we have decided that we are actually going to stay open,” he said in the video.

“The reasons for that are laid out in a document that we have prepared, which is two full pages, contains a lot of facts, a lot of relevant information.

“No this isn’t Liverpool, this isn’t Tier 3, this is national lockdown.

“The same arguments apply, the same logic, the same facts. Gyms are part of the solution here, not part of the problem. We need to be allowed to stay open. We are going to stay open. We hope that becomes legal in time.”

The document released by Gainz Bedford argues that boosting the immune system through exercises is of “paramount” importance during the pandemic. With numerous studies highlighting how obesity heightens the risk of covid-19 and potentially worsening the effects of the virus, the gym owner’s argument isn’t without merit.

“We all know that obesity is the biggest co-morbidity when it comes to Covid, and what has the government done about this? Absolutely NOTHING. In fact, they subsided fast food, so that people could buy cheeseburgers for 45p.

“Why not invest in educating people on nutrition, encouraging physical exercise? Perhaps a VAT cut on running shoes, bicycles, gym memberships. Closing gyms goes against the science in every way possible.”

From Thursday evening, it will be illegal for gyms to remain open, and anyone caught breaching the rules could face a hefty fine.

According to Test and Trace data however, gyms were responsible for just 3% of coronavirus infections in October. From 20,766 public infections, gyms accounted for just 620.

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health

Back to school: Many large districts are opening doors again

Trepidation about the pandemic persists. In many cities, coronavirus infection rates are rising, which could prompt school leaders to reverse plans. Some classrooms and even entire schools have opened and had to close again in response to outbreaks. In some cities, opposition from teachers unions has slowed efforts to open buildings.

But overall, the trend is now toward more in-person school.

Of the 50 largest school districts, 24 have resumed in-person classes for large groups of students, and nine others plan to in the coming weeks, according to a Washington Post survey. An additional four have opened, or plan to open, for small groups of students who need extra attention.

Many are in Florida and Texas, where Republican governors are requiring in-person classes, but schools are also open in New York City, Greenville, S.C., and Alpine, Utah, the state’s largest district. Returns are planned in Charlotte, Baltimore and Denver.

Just 11 of the largest 50 school districts are still fully remote, with no immediate plans to change that.

“I think everybody’s quite worried about what the price is that we’ve paid for having the buildings closed,” said Michael Casserly, executive director of Great City Schools, a lobbying group for urban districts. He said the biggest drivers are concern over substantial “learning loss” and a sense that even though remote education is better than it was in the spring, it still is not working well enough.

Officials also worry because some students are simply not showing up to remote classes, with attendance figures down in many places.

Casserly said many educators worry that “we are going to dig ourselves a hole that is so deep that it takes us years and years to get out of.”

The trend is evident, too, in tracking by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington at Bothell. In the beginning of September, 24 of 106 mostly urban districts were open for at least some in-person school. By the end of October, that will rise to 69 out of 106, assuming districts stick with their announced plans.

“Parents are very, very eager to get their kids back to school. Students are very eager to get back to school,” said Robin Lake, the center’s director.

Assessing infection rates

In many districts, including in suburban Washington and the District of Columbia, students are being phased back into school, often starting with the youngest because online learning is so difficult for them. That’s also the approach in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, which is using a hybrid system in which students are on campus on certain days and online on others.

Superintendent Earnest Winston said it’s the right move because children learn best in person, but he worries as he sees infection rates rising. For the first time since late July, the tally of newly reported coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 64,000 last week. In 44 states and the District of Columbia, caseloads were higher than they were one month ago.

“This virus

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