On 19 March we decided to suspend bootcamp. Three of us take it in turns to run the sessions, and the guy who had run it the previous weekend said he was concerned that people were being a bit too lax about maintaining a proper distance from one another.
However, he was so pained at the prospect of skipping a session that he said “But maybe the three of us can meet up and do a workout together anyway. And we could invite one or two others. But let’s not advertise it on the Whatsapp group.” I declined, because it felt a little bit too cliquey and underhanded, but I wished the two of them well if they decided to do it.
We announced on the Whatsapp group that bootcamp was suspended until further notice.
Almost immediately, one guy, who is absolutely obsessed with working out (he used to be addicted to alcohol and drugs, then he overdid it and nearly died, so he changed tack and got addicted to exercise instead) posted a message that he was going to the park to do a workout anyway, bootcamp or no bootcamp.
Another guy replied saying he would join him (at the officially sanctioned distance of 2m, of course).
Next thing, there was a whole cascade of people declaring their intentions to go to the park to work out at the usual bootcamp time and place, given that bootcamp wasn’t going to be happening and they needed to get a workout in somehow. One guy, who I hadn’t seen or heard from for months, phoned me to ask if I was going. “You must come tomorrow. I’m going, and I’m bringing my friend. I’ll be there at 10:30 but I told him to be there at 10. I’ll see you there, OK?”
I allowed myself to be talked into it. However, surprisingly, given her “everyone is far too quick to succumb to panic” attitude, when I told my mother I was planning to go, she was the one to dissuade me.
“I’m a bit torn,” I told her. “Part of me says that we will be keeping a safe distance from each other. This virus is carried by respiratory droplets, so as long as we’re further than coughing or sneezing distance from each other, we should be safe. But on the other hand there have been cases of asymptomatic transmission, so people have transmitted it without coughing or sneezing, so we could be passing it around despite our precautions.”
I expected her to say “Live a little! Don’t let yourself be drawn into the mass panic! I’m sure that everyone will be exceptionally careful. And this may be your last chance before we’re all put under house arrest.” But instead, when I asked for her opinion, she said “I’m also of two minds. On the one hand, you’re already exposed, because you’ve been going to work and to the shops. But on the other, why expose yourself to additional risk unnecessarily?”
So I didn’t go.
Judging by the discussion that followed on the Whatsapp group, they had a marvellous session, although social distancing perhaps left something to be desired:
“Great session this morning… initially a bit difficult to keep the group all at a safe distance… but after a while we all got it!”
The guy who had suggested that just the three of us to do our own session (the one I declined to go to) reported to me that he had ended up doing a solo workout in the same park and that he had swung by the bootcamp spot to check on everyone. “They were doing their best to encourage social distancing,” he said, “but unfortunately there were a couple of people who weren’t quite far enough.”
Read about my “lockdown exercise regime” in this post.