You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Cinderella said it; Linkin Park said it; Monica from friends said it.
Right now for hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions of people, ‘it’ is freedom to move outside the confines of their homes. Yesterday India, the world’s second most populous nation, went into lockdown. The United Kingdom entered lockdown earlier this week, while Spain, and Italy placed severe restrictions on movements starting March 9th.
Millions, used to the freedom to walk, to run, to spend lazy days drinking tequila on the beach are stuck inside. It’s cabin fever everywhere.
The lockdowns aren’t absolute, and people are allowed to leave their homes for limited purposes including shopping for essentials, walking dogs, and taking one exercise session once per day.
Fido has had his daily walk, and most households are well stocked up on beer. Faced with the prospect of staring at the same four walls and screens of various types for the duration, people are starting to look seriously at the last alternative – exercise.
Under normal circumstances, most people eschew solitary sports such as running or jogging in favour of a Doritos tube and an evening with Netflix. But faced with an eternity of Netflix, thoughts are beginning to turn to that old pair of Nikes gathering dust in the cupboard under the stairs, and to the heavy wooden lintels over doorways.
Google searches for ‘exercise’ have shot up in the last 30 days. Even if there isn’t a drive to go outside and see the shining spring-time sun, people forced to stay home want to use their enforced free time to do something beneficial – such as building the perfect beach bod for when the beaches are open once more.
Already, venturing outside to a public park, promenade, or nature involves braving the carefully spaced hordes who have dug out their old high school gym kit and are making the most of the government-mandated exercise slot.
We don’t know how long the lockdown will last. It could be as little as two weeks or as long as six months. We might all emerge, bleary-eyed into the sun only to have to disappear indoors again as the Coronavirus mutates and returns with even worse consequenses. We just don’t know.
What we do know is that when this is over (if it ever is), we’re all going to be hella swole.