In another universe, perhaps the COVID-19 numbers are actively falling and it’s becoming increasingly safe to venture out the way we used to, without fear of contracting or spreading this disease. There are some places where this is the case (shout out to New Zealand!). Sadly, the United States isn’t one of them.
Last week a federal judge ruled that indoor gyms (the category we fall into) could reopen starting on Thursday (tomorrow). When I saw that headline I already knew that we weren’t going to be reopening at that time. The logistics of revamping the way we function on relatively short notice weren’t possible, and what’s more I’m actually going to be celebrating a (socially distanced) graduation this weekend. I also didn’t know if the ruling would stand, and in the face of all those factors it was clear that this week just wasn’t the one.
Governor Whitmer has said that she hopes to move us into phase 5 of reopening by July 4th, which is the timeline I’ve been using for my calculations while keeping an eye on the news. And from my chair at home, the news isn’t good. For one thing, infection rates are on the rise. Remember how we rallied around our healthcare workers at the beginning, calling them heroes and sticking little signs in our yards and helping to deliver meals to them? Their situation hasn’t changed. They’re still on the front lines of this disease, doing their best to keep us alive while working without adequate PPE, and despite being accused of lying about how bad this virus is. The numbers in our state are looking pretty good right now, but we’re not an island unto ourselves. If infection rates are on the rise (with seven states reporting record high daily numbers), that means there’s a good chance that we’ll start to see an upswing in cases here as well.
For another, it turns out that there’s a very good chance that even asymptomatic carriers are sustaining temporary lung damage from this virus without even realizing it. And for the people who contract COVID-19 and do show symptoms, the severity can be as mild as a cold or it can last for months.
I wish things would go back to normal (only better). But at least for the month of July, we’re keeping our doors closed. Not only am I worried about people getting sick, but it doesn’t make economic sense yet. We’re in a very fortunate position where we can afford to remain closed. As of this writing, the plan is to prepare for reopening in August, assuming it is still permissible and the situation around the nation has improved. (Eh, fingers crossed.)
It’s frustrating to be stuck in a holding pattern of hoping for things to get better. Other places are opening, why not us too? But because we have the luxury of exercising an abundance of caution, that is what we are choosing to do. It’s scary and nerve-wracking to put everything on hold for yet another month, but I want you and the people around you and even the strangers you come into contact with to be healthy and safe. We look forward to the day when we can throw the doors open wide and welcome our circus and movement arts enthusiasts again. Thank you all for your patience and understanding in the meantime.