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Running During the Lockdown

Running During the Lockdown

The lockdown has forced me to suspend a lot of activities until God knows when. The good news is — running is not one of them. Here is the best part; I am still covering the same distance and burning the same amount of calories. Is it amount of calories or number of calories? Someone help me here.

Most of my suspended activities were not essential anyway. Lockdown reflection have rekindled different scenarios in which I spent a lot of time and money on stuff — random stuff that is not worth anybody’s time and money.

Isolation is hard and detrimental to both micro and macro economics but on the flip side, may be it was time to slow down and go back to the drawing board. Time to do exactly that wouldn’t be found until unusual circumstances created it. It took a whole pandemic to take me back to the drawing board.

Covering three kilometers along a 22-meter parking lane involves accelerating, slowing down, turning and repeating over and over again. One part of my improvised runway is flat and the other part is inclined. Slowing down and turning within seconds just after gaining some sort of momentum is a trick I have to maneuver fifty times per session.

My new fitness regimen has reminded me of the suicide drill we used to do in basketball. It’s a gruesome run usually performed on the court. Players run suicides by sprinting repeatedly from the baseline to the free throw line and back to the baseline. Then they sprint to and fro half court and the other half’s lines. The drill is brutal but highly rewarding. As my coach used to say, doing this regularly will make you feel like a million bucks.

The lockdown has made people more creative than ever before. In my pre-coronavirus pandemic life, I never knew that an office, classroom, gym, chapel and amusement park could fit in one tiny house.

It has been almost a month since the lockdown was instituted in Rwanda. After the initial period of two weeks, our confinement was extended for two more weeks. We are approaching the end of the extension but another one is expected.

The lockdown is working. As of yesterday, April 16, Rwanda had recorded 138 cases but 60 of them had already recovered and released, cutting down the number of active cases to 78, with 0 deaths. Since the first case was confirmed on March 14, testing and tracing has been aggressive. Isolation of the latest entrants and contacts of previously confirmed cases was timely. Furthermore, capacity to administer a much bigger number tests in a 24-hour span is evident.

Staying at home for such a long time wouldn’t be possible for all of us without the ongoing distribution of basic supplies to the hardest-hit people. The National Grains Strategic Reserve, set up to bail out the most affected people whenever a disaster strikes, will serve as a case study for pandemic preparedness in the future.

I commend the government’s swift response and hard decisions. I applaud the selflessness the people are demonstrating during these challenging times. The spirit of sharing and the willingness to extend a helping hand to the most vulnerable members of our society is highly appreciated. Moreover, I salute every front liner in this uphill battle of unprecedented proportions.

The enormous social and economic sacrifices made have slowed down the spread of this deadly disease significantly and enabled us to cover ground. Playing catch up with the lethal virus is the last thing you would want to experience. The economy is taking a hit but in the words of Sandra Gathmann, we can’t fix our burning house until we extinguish the fire.

Numbers paint a promising picture but the fight is far from over. Unfortunately, the situation won’t allow us to lift the lockdown as soon as we wish.

In the meantime, we have to utilize our limited space and maintain our healthy lifestyles. We have to figure out how to cover the same distance and burn the same amount of calories without stepping out of the gate. Amount of calories or number of calories? Can someone help me here?

The author is a travel enthusiast whose mission to discover Rwanda’s tourist attractions is suspended until further notice. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @ExposureRwanda

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