We recently paid a visit to the west end Toronto home of fitness fanatic and freedom fighter Vince Del Monte. Speaking from his exceptional home gym (where anti-lockdown advocate Chris Sky just happened to be pumping iron), Del Monte made an impassioned plea for the authorities to let Hogtown’s gyms and sporting clubs reopen.
The reasons why these facilities remain locked down escape us. Indeed, while Premier Doug Ford wants Ontarians to stay in their basements baking cherry cheesecake, we must ponder the cost to the physical and even mental well-being of formerly active people becoming couch potatoes due to ludicrous Wuhan virus protocols.
As well, on the physicality side, a disturbing study stateside suggests that many Americans might have to supersize their haberdashery post-COVID-19. A poll by Harris conducted for the American Psychological Association shows 42 per cent of Americans have gained a stunning 29 pounds on average during the pandemic. While there are no corresponding Canadian numbers, we suspect the results here in the Great White North are likely similar. That’s what happens when the fast food drive-through replaces the gymnasium in one’s daily routine.
Meanwhile on the psychological side, the Canadian Mental Health Association reports that 10 per cent of Canadians have considered committing suicide during the pandemic (in a non-pandemic year, that number is typically around 2.5 per cent, meaning we have seen a fourfold increase).
As for Del Monte, he would like to see gyms embrace civil disobedience and open their doors a la Adam Skelly of Adamson Barbecue. After all, what are the authorities going to do? Arrest everyone? And why? For trying to get people physically fit again? Madness.
Postscript: Del Monte and Sky noticed that yours truly was looking a little porcine these days (hey folks, it’s been a long winter!) and they conscripted me to the weight room, for which I was truly grateful. The experience brought back memories of the good ol’ days (pre-Wuhan virus) in which going to a gym was not akin to visiting a speakeasy during Prohibition.