Atillis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey (Camden/Philadelphia metro area) decided to buck against Governor Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order and reopen. Over 200 supporters of the gym came out to the grand re-opening with signs of “Reopen New Jersey” and “Small Businesses Are Essential”. The gym’s supporters pledged to return every day if and when they are arrested or sent home.
Representatives of the gym spoke to Fox News before the reopening at around 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. They ensured customer safety and outlined all of the ways CDC guidelines are implemented.
Every person going to the gym has their temperature taken. If anyone has a temperature above 100.4, they are sent home and cannot return for at least 48 hours. The gym is currently members-only, so everyone who comes into the facility can be tracked. Every member was given a personal spray bottle to sanitize their station before and after use. All of the CDC guidelines are taken into consideration and implemented in the best way possible.
As one of the gym’s representatives pointed out, big-box stores don’t go above and beyond to ensure the safety of their customers. Big-box stores offer hand-sanitizer stations And then there are the useless “do not enter” traffic direction signs on aisles to prevent crowds in tight spaces. But that’s about it. Big-box stores are allowed to operate as “essential” but gyms – in a time of a health crisis – aren’t.
Police did show up to the gym later on the first day of reopening. An officer said that everyone at the gym was in violation and that there would normally be a citation. But then he said “on that note, have a nice day” and then he left. Everyone celebrated the victory.
The victory, however, could be short-lived. Police issued the gym a citation for violating the stay-at-home order and court action may be next. Governor Phil Murphy says the situation is not over and the stay-at-home order will be enforced. How the Governor plans on enforcing draconian rules in a time where skepticism towards the virus is at an all-time high remains to be seen.
Other cities and states are also violating stay-at-home orders. Virginia Beach, Virginia closed all of its beaches under direct order from Governor Ralph Northam. The Governor expressed his outrage at “packed beaches” a few weeks back. Pictures surfaced from this past weekend that shows a “packed” Oceanfront. The picture has drawn anger and also, jubilation from Virginians and Americans in general.
Stay-at-home orders cannot last forever. There must be an end to the madness. Yes, the virus is real and yes, people have died. But that’s the nature of unknown viruses and known viruses alike. Some people will not make it. Most will. Nothing is different here. So there is no need to go through such drastic and different measures to fight against the virus. It’s time to get back to work and back to reality.