The second section of The Times yesterday featured a lengthy piece asking how much the Covid-19 pandemic – specifically the effect of the lockdowns – has aged us before then going on to provide tips as to how we might ‘recover’ some of the lost ground.
In my own case I have to admit that over the last three or four months my ongoing fitness regime hasn’t just suffered the occasional hiccup – it’s actually ground to a halt!
In mitigation I could cite the fact that a succession of random events apparently beyond my control have demanded my attention, thereby preventing me maintaining my physical efforts, but I’m not sure that tells the whole story.
Both theory and practice in my life have taught me that the old adage “If you want something done, give it to a busy person” rings true.
However, if you’ve had a run of two or three days in which supposedly vital administrative matters have dominated your waking hours, leaving you not enough time to undertake your habitual seven mile walk, it’s so easy – once they’re over and put to bed – to find an excuse on your next ‘free’ day why you still cannot do that walk.
And then one “no walk” day extends to two and before long you discover you’ve replaced your exercise period with a daily mid-afternoon nap.
And put on seven to ten pounds.
That’s exactly what’s happened to me.
As it happens – probably prompted by said article – yesterday I ‘passed’ upon what could have been my late afternoon nap, ‘kitted up’ and then set off upon my standard seven mile circuit.
The good news was that, after a near-four month gap – I surprised myself by completing it in a reasonably good time.
Meanwhile, listening to commentary upon Southampton’s 2-0 Premier League victory over Sheffield United on Radio Five Live as I walked, I had the opportunity to observe how people were going about their business on a lockdown Saturday.
To be frank – to all intents and purposes – it seemed that as far as locals in my neck of the woods were concerned the current lockdown was over and done.
No doubt in part because they have taken Boris’s announcement that schools are ‘going back’ tomorrow (Monday) as a general signal that Lockdown 3 is over and the UK’s return to ‘normal’ has begun.
Road traffic was practically grid-locked.
Despite the cold thousands were out walking, getting in each other’s way wherever the pavements or path narrowed or just milling about.
I found it all rather odd.
Earlier I had listened to a lady representative of the travel industry – fielding a question from her radio interviewer as to whether punters could/should now be booking holidays for later in the year – responding with an enthusiastic “Yes!” even though the UK has banned holiday travel until at least 17th May (and that only if no ‘negative’ pandemic development occurs between then and now which causes that date to be postponed until later).
And then last night on the evening television news I watched scenes of thousands of Rangers FC fans celebrating together like lunatics – this in total defiance of the Scottish government’s ban upon public gatherings – outside their stadium after the club’s 3-0 victory over St Mirren took them to within a whisker of their first League title in a decade.
It seems as if Covid madness has become the norm.