Washington, DC

Photo by Eric Williams-13

“Dear PoPville,

Any update from those who went to gyms last week on how they are handling cleaning and keeping people safe?”

Another reader asks: “I’m starting to see organized outdoor exercise classes around town. Does anyone know who is organizing them? I would like to get involved. In particular, I’ve seen them happening in the field of Garrison Elementary.”


1101 Connecticut Ave, NW via LA Fitness

“Dear PoPville,

LA Fitness’ re-opening email has NOT ONE syllable about what they’ve specifically done to clean the place, let alone anything on an ongoing basis. The WSC email you published on Monday (it’s now Tuesday) talked the talk about “deep cleaning.” How well they execute that, I sure don’t know. At least they talk the talk. I am considering switching from LAF to WSC.

Read this sentence for how much hedging they do !!
‘While closed, we’ve been working on changes aimed at making our clubs the safest place you can work out.’

So, they’ve been “working” — passive
“on changes” — it’s still in process
“aimed at” — not having achieved, but aimed at, that’s great
“making” — still in the process”

Dear Member, Read More


Thanks to all who passed on the email from Washington Sports Club over the weekend:

“I just received this gem from everyone’s “favorite” gym chain, WSC. As you can see below, they’re saying that they expect to reopen at 6am on Monday but declined to provide literally *any* pertinent health and safety information (like, I don’t know, a reservation system), nor did they say anything about charging membership dues again. They only note that they’re “working diligently” to follow federal and county guidelines (which, boilerplate email fail on the latter point). That’s of course alarming, considering that they’re planning to reopen in 36 hours… Read More


Thanks to a reader for passing on VIDA‘s planned 6am opening on Monday should Phase Two move forward.

We’ve talked a lot about dining at restaurants but do you plan on going back to the gym, whichever you go to, as soon as they open?


1803 Connecticut Ave, NW via Take 5 Meditation

Thanks to a reader for “passing on the closure of the Take 5 Meditation studio in Dupont (DC’s Premiere Meditation Only Studio). A huge loss for the community, and one that will be felt for a long time.”

From Take 5:

“It is with a heart full of love, and great memories that we announce that Take Five Meditation will not be re-opening. Read More


Photo by Ted Eytan

Thanks to Jack for passing on the latest Vida update:

“To our VIDA Fitness Members,

I want to thank you for your many heartfelt thoughts and suggestions for our reopening effort. The health and safety of everyone that enters our clubs continues to be our top priority. That has been our primary focus since March 15th and your recent input has made our plan even better. I am grateful for your insights. Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

Ed. Note: We recently spoke about the YMCA Gym opening preparations here.

“Dear PoPville,

I wanted to forward along this email I received today (Monday) from Vida Fitness. They’ve been providing weekly updates during covid-19 on how the gym is responding and the reopening plan. Today, they sent an email pushing members to email the Mayor to encourage gyms to be the first businesses to reopen in DC as soon as they can. They even provided a SCRIPT for what you should say?!?!?!?

I’ve been a member of Vida for years, and I would hate to see it go under now, but asking members to write to our mayor and emphasize the importance of gym reopening was tone-deaf, embarrassing, irresponsible, and extremely disappointing. They even have the nerve to say that gyms provide a unique ability for contact tracing in the city. Contact tracing is the last thing we have to worry about. No contact is what we should be emphasizing.

The last thing that ANYONE should be worrying about and fighting for, IS GYMS REOPENING. We should be writing to our mayor about more readily available testing, about more accessible healthcare in the city (have you seen the breakdown of cases and death by ward? income inequality is clearly having a deathly effect), about issuing fines and breaking up large social gatherings in Logan Circle, the Yards, and about policy that can aid in social distancing.

Here is the email content, sent from Vida: Read More


“Dear PoPville,

Interesting guidance coming from the Y. This is the first I’ve heard that members would be required to wear a mask when working out. I support this but I imagine some will complain. I don’t think I would have problems wearing a mask when working out but maybe that’s a sign I don’t work out that hard?”

“Dear YMCA Member,



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