Maintaining Appearances: Cooper Expected to Ease Some Biz/Social Distancing Restrictions After Gym Chains Give Him Finger

RALEIGH – The childish behavior of Governor Roy Cooper continues. In the last few days, fitness chains — still closed under Cooper’s arbitrary edicts — such as O2 Fitness and Planet Fitness indicated they’d be exploiting a small loophole in the order to open their doors starting Tuesday in a move seen as a direct rebuke of the governor’s drunk-with-authority lockdown decrees.

Well, now that they the gyms are moving on their own, it seems as if Cooper is scrambling to maintain appearances of authority. The governor plans a Tuesday press conference where he’s expected to ease restrictions on exercise facilities, yoga studios, and playgrounds. (Yes, PLAYGROUNDS, were still closed by King Cooper)

From WRAL:

“[…] Spokeswoman Dory MacMillan didn’t provide specifics beyond a brief email: “The Governor expects to share information about the next phase of easing restrictions tomorrow, which would take effect later this week.”

Sources have told WRAL News that Cooper is likely to allow exercise facilities, including gyms, yoga and dance studios and outdoor playgrounds, to reopen under strict social distancing and reduced capacity guidelines. […]

North Carolina has been in Phase 2 of Cooper’s three-part plan to reopen businesses and resume social activities during the pandemic since late May. He has pushed back the timetable for moving into the final phase three times since June, saying infections and virus-related hospitalizations and deaths were still trending upward and hadn’t stabilized enough.

The latest Phase 2 order runs through Sept. 11.

Exercise facilities were initially part of the Phase 2 reopening plan, but Cooper later decided to leave them out, as health officials said they could add to the spread of the virus. People working out are breathing harder, expelling more of the respiratory droplets that carry the virus into the air.

Gyms, bars and entertainment venues, including bowling alleys and wedding reception sites, all have remained closed since late March under state orders. Such businesses have turned to the General Assembly and the courts in their fight to reopen, but Cooper vetoed all bills that sought to undo his shutdown orders, and a group of bowling alleys were the only businesses to win an injunction in court over the shutdown orders. […]”

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Cooper cannot afford to have gyms expose his impotence, an impotence that would become clear when any industry acts as one to reopen, so he must scramble to assert, ‘I was going to allow that anyway,’ like a child suffering a delusion of ultimate authority.

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Yet, while he may relax restrictions on some, recent actions indicate he will extend his closure decrees on bars, taverns, and other venues until sometime in October. Maybe it’s time for those industry leaders to band together in similarly bucking Cooper to open their doors to save their livelihoods.

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