Notes From the Pandemic, Day 47

I miss going to the gym. No, not really. I miss having the options that going to the gym provided. Mind you, sustained periods of eating and exercising properly have been exceedingly rare over the past few years — but now isn’t the time to go into that. Nonetheless, I have managed to avoid a sloth-like existence, and trips to the gym were frequent enough to mostly justify the monthly expense.

One of the rare positives of the pandemic is that with all gyms closed by state order, that particular outlay is currently off the books. My credit card, which is billed automatically each month, didn’t show a gym charge for April. Unfortunately, no gym fees also means no trips to use the elliptical motion machine — my preferred method of exercise. Now, our house does have a treadmill, which Sally has owned since before we met, and going out for walks is a viable option as well. However, neither of them is zero impact the way a Precor system is, and walking fast enough to truly get aerobic exercise wrecks havoc with my ankles, shins, and knees.

So, for the time being, the act of forcing myself to the gym to get needed exercise is now weirdly something that’s missed. Thanks, COVID-19 pandemic.

Other, specific things I sorely miss (aside from physically interacting with friends and family). I’m sure that everybody is missing just about every one of these, with maybe one notable exception:

  • Listening to music while driving in the car. I actually don’t like driving very much, but my car has a nice sound system, and it’s one of the best places for me to listen to music. With the notable exception of couple weekends ago, which will be discussed in a future post, I’ve averaged about 20 minutes of driving time per week — hardly enough to properly experience Ghost, for example.
  • Going to the grocery store, or any store for that matter, without worrying about whether this trip is going to cause me to get sick, or, worse, get everyone else in my house sick.
  • Planning and then anticipating trips to Philly. It’s going to be a long time before there’s another visit to the place that truly feels like home.
  • Weekly trivia nights at O’Faolain’s. Admittedly, there had been stretches of not going for a few months at a time, but the option to go was always there, even if it wasn’t taken.
  • Deciding on a whim to eat out, decide on the restaurant, and then enjoy the meal there. Figuring out what to prepare for every meal on a much more regular basis (not to mention the cleanup) is getting exhausting.

Finally, earlier today Vice President Pence visited the Mayo Clinic and didn’t wear a mask while interacting with staff and patients. Normally, I would never wish death or illness on someone, but if anyone ever deserved to get sick and experience some karmic comeuppance, it’s that man. Well, his boss as well. Maybe Pence will spread the germs and we can get a two-for-one deal out of this.


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