With the news that we’re heading into a third national lockdown today, I imagine that we’re going to hear a whole bunch of stories about business owners who refuse to shut down during this period, but this one might encourage them to follow the government advice because it turns out that staying open might lead to you contracting the deadly Coronavirus. Who would have thought it?
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Nick Whitcombe owns Body Tech Fitness in the Wirral and refused to close during the second national lockdown, eventually being fined £1000 by the government for his actions. This wasn’t ideal for him – although he did raise £55,000 to pay this off after a Crowdfunder was set up in his name and he plans to use the rest to set up a mental health event – but things have become even worse after he tested positive for Coronavirus.
You might think that it seems fairly obvious that Nick picked up COVID-19 from his gym being allowed to stay open during this period; however he insists that this isn’t the case as he was walking abroad and not training himself. Convenient.
Here’s what Nick had to say about it all:
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I mean I can see what Nick is saying here and he does raise some good points, but it seems to me that even if people aren’t dying from Coronavirus like he’s mentioned here, that opening up gyms and having people training in them is definitely going to spread it which is what we’re trying to get a handle on here and why we’ve now just entered a third national lockdown. He might not have contracted the virus from his own gym – although again that sounds a bit too good to be true – but it seems inevitable that someone probably did spread it around his gym or if not that this was at least the case at some of the gyms/businesses that refused to close down during the lockdown considering how cases have now skyrocketed.
I don’t really think you can argue with that at this point, although I’m sure some people will try? Whether or not the benefits of keeping gyms open outweigh the potential spread of the virus is probably still up for debate.
The fact is that the first national lockdown did succeed in severely flattening the curve and full lockdowns in other countries (New Zealand, Wuhan etc) have worked, so there is evidence of these working. Sadly, the response in this country has been so half assed and scattershot that these regulations that we now need to go back into another lockdown. Maybe if everyone follows the rules we might finally get out them this time, although this is dependent on several other factors as well.
Hope Nick makes a full recovery from Coronavirus too as he seems more sensible and less of an asshole than a lot of people standing on their soapboxes during this period. Good luck.
For more of the same, check out this story about a New Jersey gym owner who refused to close and has racked up $1.2 million in fines. Jesus.