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Local gym owner shares views on mask mandate lift

Not everyone is on one side or the other of the governor’s decision to allow businesses to open at 100% capacity and to lift the statewide mask mandate.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 11:20 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Not everyone is on one side or the other of the governor’s decision to allow businesses to open at 100% capacity and to lift the statewide mask mandate.

A local gym owner falls somewhere in between, sharing his opinions from a business standpoint and from a personal one.

”The winter storm coming in February and of course COVID, it just killed us. It was the worst month we’ve seen. I’d like to say we broke even.”

Gustavo Gonzalez has owned Gunny’s Boot Camp for five years, and for the past year he’s battled ups and downs with revenue on the business side, but also on the personal side when he almost lost his father and did lose his uncle to COVID-19.

”There were times when he would call me, lacking oxygen, saying ‘hey, I don’t think I’m going to make it past today.’”

Gonzalez’s dad was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia a month ago, a large reason why he doesn’t take this situation lightly.

On one hand, he says the governor’s decision to loosen up COVID-19 restrictions was premature, suggesting that waiting until June or July would have been better.

At the same time, he has a business to run.

”I understand. As a business owner, my perspective is when are we going to see a light at the end of the tunnel? Businesses are struggling. Businesses are shutting down.”

KGNS took a poll on Facebook, asking if viewers agree or disagree with the governor’s order.

As of 9 p.m. on Wednesday, 84% percent said no, they don’t agree, whereas 16% said yes, they do agree. That’s out of more than 1,500 votes.

Gonzalez falls somewhere in between, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

”As soon as I heard I was like, ‘awesome’ with excitement because I was like ‘man, finally.’ but then I took a step back and said ‘you know what, I think we still need to enforce it.’”

While Gunny’s Boot Camp will continue to require face masks, the owner, who is also an active reserve marine, respects the governor’s decision.

”With the commander in chief, we go with what their order says, and we don’t question it, so at this point whether it’s a good choice, a bad choice, whatever the decision the governor made, I’m sticking to it.”

Spring break and easter are around the corner, so Gonzalez encourages everyone to continue wearing masks and social distancing.

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