NOTE: OPINION PIECE
Last spring, as infection levels rocketed and the numbers of people hospitalized, intubated and dying were all rising, I would set out for long walks on the empty streets of south London, where I live.
In the government’s “shield” category – by reason of being on chemotherapy for an incurable myeloid blood condition – I knew I’d encounter no one who would pose any threat to me, viral or otherwise, while I would scrupulously avoid coming into contact with the rare and fugitive souls I’d spot traversing the once-bustling but now eerily silent city.
The decision to walk contained just that soupçon of defiance necessary to convince me that while mass hysteria gripped the nation, I remained calmly autonomous. The physical activity during those chilly small hours was sufficient to maintain muscle tone and healthy posture, even if pounding pavement and parkland is no substitute for pumping iron.But it’s in the overall promotion of that quality we’ve come to think of as “wellness” – in contrast to the apparent sickness of the very planet itself – that walking seems to come, ambling, into its own.