James Cook brings ‘Fair and Balanced’ reporting back from the US!

This morning, repeatedly, BBC Scotland’s James Cook rehashes the confused case for gyms re-opening ahead of the Scottish Government’s schedule.

The report is entirely one-sided, allowing the trade to suggest that indoor physical exercise has a key role in saving us from mental health problems.

The evidence? What gym-owners say. They’re gym-owners! They must know if it’s safe or not. And, and, pubs are open! So, you want people to drink but not get fit? What sort of policy is that?

That whole ‘if pubs can open why not gyms‘ argument is so infantile.

‘Why can’t I go an play in the river? James gets to and he can’t swim either. It’s just not fair!

Cook is not alone in this campaign to pressurise Scotland into following its larger, more heavily infected and lethal neighbour, into earlier lock-down exit on behalf of business interests. Conservative & Unionist MSP Adam Tomkins has an online petition and Herald writer Graeme Macpherson has also made the confused pubs or gyms case.

Note that Cook does not ask why, with deaths still happening there and new infections surging, England’s gyms have opened?

If you don’t think for a minute, you might agree with him but, do think. When you are exercising vigorously you cannot help but gasp for breath, in and out, projecting a plume of droplets for at least two metres and, a massive spray of aerosols, unaffected by gravity, for far further distances.

I’m no scientist but I would not go anywhere near a gym.

In a pub, sitting comfortably, you might after a few drinks project your voice a bit more than is desirable in the circumstances but the plume will be much smaller.

Now, if Cook had made the case for pubs closing again, I might agree with him. That would be fair to the gyms, wouldn’t it?

Is this just my opinion? Is there science which the Scottish Government is following? Yes:

During 24 days in Cheonan, South Korea, 112 persons were infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 associated with fitness dance classes at 12 sports facilities. Intense physical exercise in densely populated sports facilities could increase risk for infection. Vigorous exercise in confined spaces should be minimized during outbreaks.


So, Mr Cook, zero deaths in Scotland for a whole month now. How many would you be comfortable with to score a point over the Scottish Government? Ten? More? When you decide, let me know and cc professors Sridhar and Bauld.