This New York gym is still feeling the effects of the pandemic

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There’s not much activity these days at the Equinox in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

It is a Monday morning at Equinox gym in Mamaroneck, and the white paint lines that delineate discrete parking spaces can all be seen in plain sight. Inside, the aroma of coffee beans from the Starbucks just across the street on Boston Post Road and the cacophony of greetings between the front desk staff and its usual morning gymgoers has been replaced by a cocktail of cleaning agents and a symphony of spritzing, mopping and wiping from the custodial staff.

Just beyond the gym’s entrance is a glass door that reads “Kids Club” in Equinox’s signature minimalist typeface. The white letters appear fluorescent against the pitch-black darkness just beyond the door.

“It’s never been this quiet. Usually we need to fight for spaces, share equipment, wait for stations,” says personal trainer Dan Faison, 31, who has worked at the location for just over a year. “Now, it’s radio silence.”

Gyms were among the last establishments to reopen this fall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Though it was given the okay to resume operations from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 2, the Equinox in Mamaroneck has yet to return to normalcy.

Its new normal, so to speak, consists of an increasingly dwindling number of personal trainers and physical therapists, group classes that routinely consist of two to three individuals — a far cry from the usual 30 — and a staff that far outnumbers the clientele.

Today, the door to main studio room — once perpetually booked for classes, personal trainers or fitness junkies who wanted a larger, more private space to work out — is closed. Half of the ellipticals and treadmills are marked with signs that read: “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this machine is not to be used.” And the music, which used to ring in one’s ears as it dueled with the noise of the dozens of people on the mats and the clanging of kettlebells, weights and medicine balls, is now heard at a meager decibel.

As the milieu goes from unprecedented to customary, the staff ponders what the future holds. 

“It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen. We’re losing customers, I’m losing buddies. I hope we don’t lose the whole thing,” says Faison.

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Gretty Garcia currently attends Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. After graduating from Harvard College, she worked as the features at special projects editor at Editorialist and wrote for the Cut and V. A native New Yorker, Gretty is happy to be back in the city and explore and write about everything in it.

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