Another Victim of a COVID Economy

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Another Victim of a COVID Economy

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I have anxiety. It’s not uncommon, and I have coping mechanisms. One of the things that helps me not fixate on things out of my control is being active.
So I run. And for the past six years, I have been very committed to “barre,” which is similar to Pilates. My barre studio is my respite from the world, one hour to focus just on myself and my muscles. And the supportive community is unlike any other I have been a part of (I’ve done boot camps,
kickboxing, etc. and have never found anything like this.) Since exercise is crucial to my mental health, when the pandemic began, I knew I could not stop working out. Especially with a household of five suddenly being at home together 24 hours a day! I was extremely fortunate that my barre studio immediately transitioned online. In fact, all throughout this pandemic, I have held them up as my example of the exact right way to deal with this situation. They made a digital library, offered multiple daily live classes over Zoom, reopened as a hybrid. My barre classes have been the constant throughout this pandemic,
especially before I returned to work in person. Up until a few weeks ago, my most consistent live interaction with adult humans not living in this house were my barre instructors and the other women in the classes. So when I opened my email and saw this message, it hit me like a ton of bricks. They couldn’t survive COVID-19. It makes sense - they had two studios before COVID and rent is not cheap in Orange County. I am, of course selfishly sad - where will I find a reasonably priced, low impact but high intensity exercise studio that is five minutes from both my daughter’s gym and our church? But my real sadness is for the small business owner who opened this studio eight years ago. She is truly passionate about physical and mental health and is probably one of the most positive people I have ever met. And in a way that doesn’t annoy you, which honestly is a gift. As people get excited about businesses reopening, it makes me reflect on how many more have had to close their doors permanently.

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This item was submitted on April 15, 2021 by Kathryn Jue using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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