Editor’s note: This letter is addressed to MP Dave Epp, MPP Rick Nicholls, and Mayor Darrin Canniff.
Mr. Epp, congratulations on another victory and term. I truly hope that you can bring change to certain severely affected industries that have been absolutely handcuffed over the last 18 plus months, particularly now with Vaccine Passports. Let me be clear, this is not a letter surrounding vaccines.
I am the owner of a private health club, Performance 360 Health and Fitness Club in Chatham. Now introducing new limitations such as passports (denying what you consider “non-essential” services based on someone’s personal choice), could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Our facility struggled to survive almost 11 months of previous lockdowns; however, we did. The fitness industry cannot survive with this divisive strategy being implemented. Fitness is essential. Gyms are essential. All businesses are essential.
By limiting people’s ability to advocate for health on their own terms, we are going to cause even more damage to humanity than has already occurred. People rely on fitness as a form of stress relief, to support mental health, to battle addiction, improve their physical health and build/promote natural immunity. Gyms and health clubs have become far cleaner, safer and even have fewer people in them now, allowing people to be able to safely socially distance themselves.
We have changed our entire business model to accommodate the forever changing requirements to operate and now this. Our line of business has the best contact tracing as people require a membership to belong, and our members have to swipe in upon arrival before entering the facility where we keep a picture of them on file to confirm their identity.
Equipment gets wiped before and after each use, we wear masks and we have designated staff for upgraded cleaning protocols.
Since when did it become more important to eliminate people’s ability to choose how to take care of themselves?
I went into a fast-food chain the other day to get coffee. I couldn’t help but shake my head at the thought that the individuals I was surrounded by ordering their burgers, fries and pop were all likely double vaxxed and believed they were “safe and healthy.”
Believe me, I love a burger and fries as much as the next guy, but the point cannot be missed here. I had to watch the young female employee ask several times for people to space out, because at best, they had two or three feet of distance between each other.
My private, 18,000 square-foot facility offers a minimum of 500 square feet per person at a time, who are there to get healthy and respect each other’s safety/health and boundaries! We have a community of like-minded individuals that work hard every day toward our well being (physically and mentally).
People have the right to choose to eat healthy, supplement properly and exercise as their first line of defense to stay active and healthy. Those who exercise regularly and eat well seldom fall ill and if they do are highly likely to have minimal symptoms and rebound quickly.
I believe the majority of COVID patients in ICU beds are considered obese. Yes, I am aware that young healthy people have succumbed to COVID, however, I would consider these to be outliers.
Much the same as a young healthy person can get cancer, have a cardiac event, etc. Things happen that we cannot always control.
I beg you to fight and push that fitness be recognized as essential and that collectively health clubs can help fight this pandemic by providing the opportunities for people to stay strong and fit.