First Quarter—Cancelled

Unless you’ve just awoken from a long sleep, you’d know that everyone is wary of the COVID-19 virus, better known as the “Corona virus.”  And while infections outside China is relatively small, everyone everywhere is feeling it’s effects, and it’s taking its toll on public events.

From simple birthday celebrations to the Tokyo Marathon, events are getting cancelled or postponed left and right.  Even my first race of the year got moved to a much later date.  While the concern is valid, it’s a bit annoying that our lives aren’t “normal.”

For people like me who sometimes tend to overthink, merely catching a cold sparks anxiety that I may have caught the virus.  That happened to me back in January when I caught a cold from someone in the office men’s room sneezed without covering his mouth as I was leaving.  I was already wearing a mask whenever I go outside back then as I have an N95 mask which I got during my condo renovation.  And of course I remove them when inside the office, but little did I know that I’d get a virus in the “safety” of the office from a person who forgot his manners.  The only relief I got during that period was knowing the fact that there was no case of the COVID-19 in the country at the time and I was just being paranoid.

Nowadays, I still wear a mask whenever I walk outside.  This is not just because of other people that just blows their noses or sneezes without covering their faces—it’s also to protect others just in the remote case that I recently picked up the virus (or any other virus).  Dust is a good trigger of sneezing and when you feel like it, sometimes there’s not enough time for you to get anything to cover your face.  And at this time, sneezing in public is anything but good as it might cause panic or anger from people around you.  So to be safe, just wear a mask, especially on public transport—at least for now.

It seems like the recurring theme for most public events this first quarter of 2020 is postponement or cancellation.  But as our lives can’t be “postponed” and our health and fitness has greater importance now, what can we do to get some normalcy back? Personally, I’ve shied away from joining public events as well, but as a runner at heart, I still keep my mileage in the form of long walks.  Obviously, it’s very challenging to run with a mask on, and not wearing one is obviously raising your risk of picking something unhealthy from the air, especially when running on the roads with many people.  That’s why rather than not having any exercise at all, I picked walking instead which I can do comfortably with a mask on, and even inside malls.  With that said, there’s actually a school of thought that encourages fitness activities while wearing masks to simulate a lower oxygen environment, but this is obviously for more advanced individuals.

At the end of the day, life goes on.  Let us not let this contagion affect our lives any further and let’s find ways to keep ourselves fit.  After all, getting the virus is not an automatic death sentence, and we’re most likely to avoid or survive it with good health and a sound mind.  Don’t be paranoid like myself (I also tend to say that to myself) but stay smart and avoid unnecessary exposure.  Be mindful of what you touch, wash you hands, and protect yourself and others by wearing a mask if you think the situation calls for it.  Let’s all hope that this virus pass soon so that we can get on with our normal lives.  Stay safe!

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