Every evening after work, I stand on my balcony to watch the sunset over the nearby hill. My balcony is my only connection to the outside world right now. One can hear the birds chirp, see neighbours go about their daily chores; hang out clothes to dry, sweep their gallery, and occasionally lean over the railing to chit chat. This is the limit of our interaction to the outside world, as only one member of the family is stepping out to buy essentials once a week or in ten days. It is frustrating, especially when you see people taking their walks, be it morning or evening. Is that acceptable? Sitting in the society park, taking walks or jogging, or walking your dog, are these activities acceptable under lockdown? Even if you keep your distance from others?
- Are you stepping out for evening walks during the lockdown?
- Even if you walk within your gated community is it not a risk that can be avoided?
- Is it acceptable to take evening walks when you have been asked to “stay at home”?
- Are there no alternatives to evening walks, even for those doing it for health reasons?
I know social distancing isn’t easy. Most of us haven’t left the premises of our gated colonies for nearly a month now. The reason why many step out for an evening walk within their society.
The directive to “Stay at home” means exactly that. Stay at home doesn’t mean you can step out for recreation, to meet your friends, even if you live in the same society. And yet every day, after five in the evening, I see people milling around, walking, chatting, children playing together. Coronavirus can travel through the air and stay suspended for about a half-hour, says a report. It can survive on surfaces like steel or plastic for three days. No, think of the risk you may be putting yourself at, even while brisk walking. There is a reason we have been asked to stay at home, not stay in your colony, or your suburb.
I know social distancing isn’t easy. Most of us haven’t left the premises of our gated colonies for nearly a month now. For instance, I just realised yesterday how this was the longest spell my father had been rooted to the house in all his adult life. The indoor life can be stifling for such people. It is easy to shame them for stepping out for evening walks, however, those evening walks are probably keeping them sane during this pandemic. Then some people have been asked by their doctors to walk or exercise in the open every day for health reasons. Most people that I see on the walkway are middle-aged or old people, who may have underlying health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, which makes their evening walks a necessity to stay fit. But these very conditions also make them more susceptible to severe implications, if they contract the novel coronavirus; thus making it compulsory for them to take the stay at home directive more seriously than others. So stepping out for an evening walk, even in your gated community, you could be putting your health and that of your loved ones at risk.
I get it, nothing can replace outdoor activities, being constantly indoors is taxing, physically and mentally. But we have to measure the choices that we make carefully.
This means no matter what your justification is evening walks are an avoidable risk, that isn’t worth taking, if you think all the implications it can have, not just on your life, but on that of others. Instead of stepping outside, why not download a pedometer and walk inside your house? Missing your friends? Or your evening chitchat at the society’s park? Why not video call them from your balcony or while sitting next to a window, to get a similar feel?
I get it, nothing can replace outdoor activities, being constantly indoors is taxing, physically and mentally. But we have to measure the choices that we make carefully. There simply cannot be any exceptions here, instead we should focus on finding alternatives to our lifestyle that’ll keep us out of the harm’s way.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM/ Unsplash
The views expressed are the author’s own.