Kamloops business owner shares a tearful video as province orders closure

Business owner in tears

The owner of Oxygen Kamloops in Aberdeen is heartbroken. 

Dina McLeod says she's made the decision to close shop to follow orders and recommendations announced Thursday.

"I felt like I got punched in the gut.  I was expecting it, but I didn't expect it to hurt as much as it did because it was so specific to what I offer," McLeod explains.  "I found it really challenging to understand, but I did what was mandated."

McLeod tearfully announced the closure to the Oxygen Kamloops community via social media Thursday evening (Nov. 18). Watch the video above this story. It contains explicit language. 

"As a business owner, I am so sad for my community.  For mental health alone, how much we have been able to support each other through these really tricky and hard times has been so heart-warming. Honestly, I'm going to get emotional again," she tells Castanet in tears.

"I am heartbroken that this has happened again. Then I look at it financially and I take myself right out of the picture and look at it as a business owner and I don't know how we survive this. I believe we will be closed longer than the anticipated December 7th, and my mind is reeling at ways to try and stay afloat."

She says she has no idea how Oxygen Kamloops will financially survive a second closure.

Despite McLeod's heavy emotions, she agrees with the government's decision based on the current state of the province's COVID-19 cases rising.  However, she says the details are cloudy.

"It does make sense to close, but I think it needs to be more blanketed and not so strangely specific to one sector.  When I read the mandate and I listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry, it says 'no spin, no hot yoga, and no hit classes' - well I'm two of three of those things," she continues.

"Then right below it, it says martial arts, dance, and cheerleading classes can remain open.  That's really confusing for me."

Despite the confusion, McLeod says she wants to be clear: she does not want other businesses close and she is in full support of them operating safely if allowed.  

"However, I do believe it is the right thing for me and my business to be closed right now under the regulations," she adds.

"This business is everything I have and I just feel so defeated, yet I feel so empowered and loved by this amazing community.  They have supported me over the past 16 hours in ways I can't even explain - including bringing me bottles of wine," she laughs.

McLeod says she is going to step away from the situation for a few days to reassess and decompress before coming up with a plan of action to move forward.

Until then, yoga lovers are invited to follow along with Oxygen Kamloops' free yoga videos already posted to its Facebook page.

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