Resist the urge to judge businesses that are operating during the pandemic—at least until you’ve done your research.
That is the message personal trainer Aimee Sinclair would like people to consider before they make assumptions about who is breaking regulations related to COVID.
“I’m not here to hurt anyone,” said Sinclair.
Sinclair has a personal training studio in downtown Huntsville and recently someone called the health unit to report her for being open. Coincidentally, she also had been trying to get the health unit to pay her a visit in order to assure her that she was in fact complying with all provincial requirements.
Under Ontario’s regulations, she is able to offer one-on-one sessions to clients with a disability as defined by the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, as long they have a written instruction for physical therapy from a regulated health professional. According to the regulations, the facility must also be operated in compliance with the health and safety protocols set out.
Mental health is challenged more than ever at this time, and anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse can all contribute to mental health instability. There are exemptions in place—with a regulated health professional’s note—that enable people to get some of the help they need through exercise for their mental health, as well as for those undergoing physiotherapy, but Sinclair said it isn’t widely known.
She said at first she was a little nervous about offering the service and wanted to know that she was in compliance, which is the reason she sought a visit from the health unit rather than risk a fine or having her studio shut down. She tried to get someone from the unit to inspect the studio, but said it was difficult because they seemed swamped. So when her business was reported to the health unit it prompted the public health agency to inspect the premises, which proved to be a blessing in disguise.
“I laughed because I had called a few times and asked if someone could come and see our setup and I was declined and it took whoever called to have them come,” said Sinclair. “They totally did me a favour. People need to do some research before they jump to calling on people.”
She’s not sure who called the health unit on her, but she recently took to social media with her experience and thanked the person. By getting an inspector to visit her studio Sinclair said she was able to get the help and assurances she needed to be fully confident in her business and the help she’s offering her clients.
“This is a time when we all need to work together,” said Sinclair who also had a message for the person who reported her: “Thank you for not checking and doing your research about my business and looking at my website or pages to see what was happening. You did me a favour, but in life, you should also learn not to make assumptions and to do your homework because you never know what kind of thing you’re bringing to somebody else’s door, and you wouldn’t want it done on you.”
Sinclair’s video posted on her Facebook page:
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!