Lifting Lockdown: Episode 9

Originally posted 26MAY2020

I reject the “new normal” proposed when we last met for Lifting Lockdown. It’s a cute phrase, alongside “we’re all in this together,” “this is only temporary,” and other worthless trash people tell themselves.

Restaurants, an industry known for razor thin profit margins, will only be able to operate in PA at half capacity for the so-called “Green Phase.”

Gyms, which have been closed for 2 phases (with a few exceptions from people who can’t be asked to believe that “self-suffocation” is *helpful*), are also able to operate at “50% capacity.” Nobody’s really sure how a lot of these businesses will have the capacity “restrictions” enforced. But they shouldn’t be there in a supposed return to normal phase. The idea of a “new normal” was quietly added during the 22MAY presser. Dumping garbage just before a holiday weekend is a classic political move when you don’t want rancid ideas to be seen by many people.

In any of the strength sports, coming at a high weight with 50% effectiveness is a great way to get hurt. It also goes against the reason one got into lifting to begin with.

Thus, going forward we will not entertain the idea that this “new normal” has any place in reality, or any basis in reason. The irony of going into Independence Day under arbitrary, economically destructive restrictions isn’t lost on me, and I presume it isn’t lost on you.

Previously on Lifting Lockdown:
– Atilis’ fight with the NJ government continued.
– Still nothing happening at PwrBld, despite the promises of doom from people around the area.
– PA’s utter trash fire of a “green phase” was quietly made worse.
– We examined the apocalypse that isn’t happening in either Georgia OR Florida. The same apocalypse PA is being promised by a Governor with a self-styled warrior complex.

Tonight, we continue our focus on PA, discuss the future of powerlifting meets, and look more broadly at the revolt against lockdown.

1.) PA — Two gyms in the Pittsburgh area have opened despite the Governor’s orders. Gyms aren’t licensed, according to DPH, so they don’t have quite as much to lose as the restaurants that have had their liquor licenses suspended. —- Supersets Gym is opening as well, and is looking at citations. As we’ll discuss throughout tonight’s episode, businesses are starting to open en masse, so this ultimately will be impossible to enforce. According to Supersets’ owner, the troopers were respectful and said they were only “doing a job that allows them to provide for their families.” That went over about as well as you’d expect. — It is no longer just the gyms. Now the restaurants are starting to revolt. Restaurants have been taking a beating in recent weeks, as the industry has never operated on wide profit margins. Many in the state are starting to offer in-person dining as well, and are usually getting slammed with supportive customers. — The lockdown in PA is becoming a political issue, with Wolf’s claim of needing a vaccine before reopening becoming the joke it was meant to be. — But businesses are noting that the vaccine, at this point, is a hope, not a real thing. So they need to open now, or they won’t be around for when the vaccine releases. —- The situation is made worse by the obvious fact that there is no guarantee the vaccine will even be effective.

2.) Powerlifting Meets. And now, a brief reminder of USAPL Nationals meets, slated for the remainder of the year.

Youth Nationals: 14AUG
Open Nationals: 14-16AUG, NGB 17AUG
Bench Nationals 6-7OCT
Raw Nationals: 8-11OCT
All of which at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Collegiate Nationals 20-22NOV, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
This, of course, hinges on the “large gathering” restrictions in PA going away by November, which isn’t the sure thing it looked like last Friday before the rules changed.

3.) Lifting the Lockdown. —- Gyms have “led the way” in defying shutdown orders. Leaving aside the attempts to connect Collin Whitney with a political movement (namely, the Tea Party), this article is an excellent look at PwrBld, Atilis, and others. —- PA’s State House is continuing to try and curb the Governor’s executive powers, as well.

Note something from the article:

“Members of PWRBLD Gym in Conshohocken this week booked 90-minute time slots to work out, ensuring no more than a dozen people were in the space at once.”

The issue of sanitation, supposedly the ONLY issue keeping gyms closed, seems pretty well dealt with. And if you are not convinced….try to get that degree of control (much less cleanliness) at a Walmart. —- Meanwhile, when he isn’t living out his warrior fantasy on Twitter, Gov. Wolf is splitting his time between lying about and attacking businesses, county leaders, and basically anyone who refuses to be suffocated by his fast- and quietly-changing reopening phases. This is also the kind of behavior of someone who knows they are losing the argument.

Also, despite my jokes earlier, the term “new normal” was quietly removed from the “Reopening PA” website. —- Finally, in Minnesota, it’s not the gyms leading the way, but the churches. Catholics and Lutherans threatened to defy the large gathering ban, noting that retail establishments and other “non-critical” businesses were permitted to open.

In response, the Governor lifted the ban on in-person services.

In PA, it is the lifters, the supposed meatheads leading the charge (just look at all the garbage comments thrown at Whitney and Atillis’ Ian Smith). In MN, it is the Christians. —- Or, in some cases, it’s both. The restrictions placed on churches and such has not gone unnoticed by pastors outside of those lockdowns. This is a sermon delivered by my friend and powerlifting pastor Steven William Davenport in North Dakota. The relevant portion for us is a brief digression at around 39:15, where our constitutional/rule-of-law system is discussed. Specifically, the observation that “some governors have forgotten that we’re a nation of laws.” This is used as a comparison to the government depicted in the book of Daniel, but applies beautifully to our current situation.

(And yes, it’s worth hearing the rest of it. I have often said that going from the gym to church is “going from one sanctuary to another.” Full disclosure: Shared with permission.)

(Also, before anybody jumps down my throat or his about this, the history of discussing constitutional rights from the pulpit is nothing new. Indeed, churches played a huge role in the American Revolution; given that religious liberty was one of the core beliefs OF the Revolution. That’s outside the scope of Lifting Lockdown, but it’s worth putting out there as a friendly “don’t even start.”

Frankly, we need more of this, not less. There’s a rant there, too.)

4.) Final thoughts.
The dam is breaking. From PA quietly removing parts of their “phase” plan like they remove deaths from their totals, to churches breaking the doors down in some states, to gyms breaking the doors down in others, the lockdowns are coming apart.

In addition, with every week that passes, the states of Florida, Texas, and Georgia continue to lack the surge that was practically hoped for. Indeed, cases have been falling so quickly that it may not even be possible to test vaccines to any reliable extent.

North Dakota, by the way, did not lockdown. Nor did SOUTH Dakota.

The arguments are collapsing.
The gyms, the churches, and the restaurants are rebelling.
It’s only a matter of time before we lift the lockdown.

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