Lifting Lockdown: Episode 11

Originally posted 02JUL2020

Last week, I said that this week would be the last episode of Lifting Lockdown.
Yeah, that’s not happening, and it was a dumb thing to say. We aren’t even close to done.

Previously on Lifting Lockdown:
– Ian Andrew’s case against NJ’s Governor moved VERY slowly.
– Green Phase metrics changed with the day of the week.

1.) PA —- Alpha Fitness is still open. —- PwrBld is still open, and has even opened up to drop-ins (scheduled in advance). —- 10X Fitness in Taylor, PA is opening again. —- But, of course, with a rise in cases (more on that later), Philly has decided to close gyms and halt indoor dining.

We’ll deal with the arbitrary nature of closures later on. (And it IS arbitrary.)

2.) Atilis —- Atilis is closed. They are currently suing the Governor. It’s a long process that is being needlessly dragged out by the state.

For the record: I want to keep following the case, since it IS going to define lockdown going forward…..but the State dragging its feet on this case and making it really painful to try and monitor. PACER’s great….when PACER has new stuff. —- Atilis co-owner Ian Andrew wrote this on the current state of affairs in New Jersey. Even had someone say that Atilis was responsible for gyms in NJ being closed. If you’ve followed Lifting Lockdown, you know this isn’t remotely the case. It’s a problem of abuse of power, not of Atilis opening. (A similar abuse of power is taking place in PA, which is leading to a torrent of lawsuits there, as well.) —- In a more recent update, Ian notes that the courts have done just about everything they could to wash their hands of the case. Atilis has been open in a manner of speaking, as the staff and a couple die-hard lifters have helped them move the equipment outside during the day, and back in at night.

I need to get out there at some point, and I look forward to it.

2.) USAPL. — USA Powerlifting has largely wiped out the Nationals schedule for 2020. The sole remaining event is Collegiate Nationals in Oaks, PA, about 30 minutes from the Philly airport.

Of course, not much intel on 2021 events.

3.) Arizona. Please welcome our newest Lifting Lawsuit, Arizona! —- This comes to us by way of Miryam Gutier Elm. The governor of Arizona issued an executive order closing gyms. Mountainside Fitness, a chain in the state, has decided it is going to keep its gyms open in defiance of the order (from here on referenced as the “PwrBld/Atilis” method). —- It’s worth noting that, in Michigan, a judge ruled that singling out gyms as “dangerous” as reason to keep them closed during a pandemic is irrational and, thus, unconstitutional.

Gyms are “dangerous” because of the risk of virus transmission. As opposed to significantly larger buildings which are open, have significantly higher risk, but aren’t “dangerous” for some logic-defying reason. Miryam has observed that her gym, WADE Strength Systems, is closed but a dance studio across from her is open.

4.) Blowback. We’ve done it. We’ve managed to go into Independence Day week both cheering for more restrictions AND singling out businesses for at-best arbitrary reasons. On paper, it looks almost cartoonishly bad.

However, we are continuing to see resistance to these efforts; from the ongoing lawsuit from Atilis, to the new one from Mountainside. We must also remember the two-fisted approach Ohio gyms took to force the issue in their state (reference Lifting Lockdown 4).

Stated differently, as evidence emerges over the damage of lockdowns regarding physical and mental health (Lifting Lockdown 3, 5, 8, and 10), the constantly shifting “guidance” from “experts” (whose guidance on social distancing faded during protests), and the arbitrary nature of closures becomes clearer, the argument for lockdown gets worse. (Reference the closing thoughts of Episode 6. The “rationale” for closing gyms vanishes when virtually any other establishment is brought up) —- UPMC, a major hospital system in PA, has been calling for a “changing mindset” on COVID away from the obsession over case numbers and more on the decreasing severity of the virus. —- In addition, herd immunity to the virus may be much closer than we know.

I said last week that this would be the final episode of Lifting Lockdown. In hindsight, that was quite naive and optimistic; it’s something I should never have said. I will continue to follow gyms and the lockdowns thereof.

But I look forward to ending this series eventually; but not until the lawsuits are won, and the lockdowns are lifted.

More as it develops, and thank you to Mike Newbern, Collin Whitney of PwrBld, Ian Andrew of Atilis, Donna Marts, Steven William Davenport, Ram Hernandez of Third Coast Strength Solutions, and Miyram Gutier Elm of WADE Strength Systems for their help on the entire Lifting Lockdown project. Your information and feedback on this project has been incredible.

Happy Independence Day, people.

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