For some reason, this news feels absolutely soul crushing a second time around. 

According to KTVB, Central District Health is considering placing tighter restrictions on Ada County during their next meeting on Tuesday, August 11. Among the proposed restrictions is a call for gym owners across Ada County to lock their doors again. The suggestion was made by board member and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, Dr. Ted Epperly. It's a suggestion consistent with guidelines laid out in a White House document that lists Ada County as a "red zone." Epperly also recommends restricting gatherings to 10 or fewer.

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While recovering from my surgery has kept me out of the gym for over a month, I'm heartbroken that this might happen again. I belong to two gyms here in the Treasure Valley, a large one (Axiom) and a boutique one (Cyclebar.)

The truth is, I feel safer from COVID-19 at Cyclebar than I do in the grocery store. Class sizes have been cut in half. Riders are spread out every other bikes. Not only are the bikes sanitized by staff between classes, they asked members to sanitize touch points before and after their rides for extra protection. They take our temperatures at the door. They invested in a new air filtration system designed to neutralize viruses.

Being in class there is so much more than just a cardio workout. Their staff knows how to reach the soul with what they say during class. Those words of encouragement and hope have been so priceless throughout the pandemic. It's a full body experience that challenges you physically and renews you mentally. To have those 45 minutes of positivity ripped away again feels like a major, major loss.

Before you get all keyboard warrior on me for feeling this way, understand that we lost my father-in-law to COVID-19. My mom spent 10 days in the hospital with it. I understand it's impacts better than many. I'm not prioritizing working out over lives, but I am concerned as to how much longer people can manage increased levels of anxiety, confusion and despair before we're dealing with an equally disastrous mental health crisis. 

If you feel strongly about the potential new restrictions, Central District Health accepts written comments prior to each of their meetings. They need to be received at least 24-hours before the meeting in which the agenda item you're addressing is scheduled to take place.

Comments can be submitted via e-mail at boh@cdh.idaho.gov. The proposals scheduled to be discussed at Tuesday's meeting will be published on CDHD's website this Friday, August 7 so that you can review them before sending in your comments.