Why is the WA Attorney General going after small businesses?
Updated: May 30, 2020
It seems that this approach is more politically motivated to sensationalize the news, rather than a collaborative approach to figure out a path of reopening that is safe for as many Washingtonians as possible. This would be different, if going to one of these gyms was a mandatory activity. One would have to willing accept there is a higher risk of exposure to go to a gym, just like there is a higher risk of exposure to go to Costco or Target. However, I do not believe that any medical research has shown that going to the gym increases exposure or mortality.
Frankly, there should have been pilots running all over our state that the Washington Department of Health could monitor and connect small businesses with health systems and local public health departments to develop robust employee and patron screening processes, adequate cleaning processes, and identify who is actually safe to return to group settings like the gym. It does appear that group fitness classes could increase risk of exposure unnecessarily. Instead, the state continue to take the approach of: "we only have the correct path forward," which frankly is not true.
Government works best when it creates an economic environment for small businesses to thrive. Who is speaking up for the thousands of small businesses that contribute to the Washington economy and challenging the policies that are not based in science or any data we have to date? If our state has data regarding increased risk of exposure with attending a gym, then it should share this publicly and transparently.
There does not seem to be anyone willing to challenge our state leaders on why we are taking the path we are taking. More importantly, I believe it is going to give our higher-risk populations (by age and chronic health conditions) a false sense of safety that they can return to normal community interactions in Phases 3 and 4, when that simply is not true. Until there is a vaccine, our higher-risk populations will continue to remain at high-risk of significant complications or worse, from COVID-19.