When gyms closed, many reopened in secret.
Michael* pulls up to the back entrance of his warehouse gym at 4:50 a.m. He parks, walks up to the big metal garage door and begins to open it with the chain pulley, trying to be a bit quieter than usual — just in case another tenant in the strip mall is there, too. After a few squeaks and shrieks from the chain (and a few winces from Michael), the gym is open for business. Except it’s not, really.
A few states eastward, Samantha* sits in her car in the parking lot of her local boutique fitness studio. She stares at the storefront and wonders when she’ll be able to unlock the doors again. She mulls over how her studio will survive — how she’ll pay her employees — and decides to run discreet classes for cash fees.
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The COVID-19 pandemic forced hundreds of thousands of businesses to close abruptly, including gyms and fitness studios. When that happened in…