Copy of a letter to Dr. Henry, Ms. Furstenau and Mr. Dix:
I am a resident of Duncan. I am an active member of the amazing yoga community created by Harmony Yoga in Duncan. Deborah and her amazing staff have been through and followed all the restrictions over the past 20-plus months with integrity and respect. As far as I know they are now the only yoga studio remaining in our community.
I am strongly opposed to this latest blanket closure of “gyms” and “fitness facilities” which seems to include low-impact yoga studios. We are a community, yoga is not exercise, but a mind, body and spiritual practice and when done with others in a group setting is more nourishing and positive for our immune systems than most things we do. We wear our masks, we all are vaccinated (per the mandate) and we love and respect each other dearly. If someone is feeling unwell, they stay home. We know how to social distance, have cut class sizes and do many other measures like air purification to keep everyone safe.
In fact we have been doing it safely, and I believe that is why there is no valid data that has yet been presented to back up your decision. If you have it, please provide it — there are many asking for it.
To once again impact this studio and community in the darkest and coldest time of the year and to lose our community setting is unacceptable to me. As a person in 10-plus years of long term recovery I know first hand how important physical health and these communities are to our long-term mental well-being. Our local hospital is overrun with mental health cases and from what I understand it is taking a much bigger toll than COVID at this point. Do you even consider our holistic well-being in these decisions, or are the inaccurate case counts (due to lack of testing) going to drive every decision?
I have also learned that the Cowichan Aquatic Centre and the local climbing centre, as apparently recreation centres, can continue to operate. That is unbelievable to me. I see this as an unfair delineation and an arbitrary decision to penalize some wellness/exercise centres and not others.
By Dr. Henry’s own admission we are all going to be exposed to this — I feel that my health is now at greater risk since my method of immune boosting meditation, movement and wellness has been closed to supposedly protect me from something I am going to be exposed to anyway.
I fail to see how it is better for my long-term wellness to be able to stand in long lines to shop with no social distancing and little enforcement of mask wearing, sit in restaurants maskless, sit in a movie theatre maskless, over practicing yoga in a safe, clean, air-filtered, socially distanced way.
I have been a supporter of all your measures up until now — but that has ended.
I plead with you to please reconsider these measures immediately.