Tuesday, May 19 – Masked and Exercised

By Alessia Martino TURIN, ITALY

Now that outdoor walks aren’t illegal anymore, and I finally got a free washable mask from my region, so I am set. Actually, I have two masks that I can alternate. Therefore, on Tuesday, I went for the longest and furthest masked walk of this lockdown. I started with a walk to the same 200-meter-away spot by the river. I didn’t have my mask on the whole time, as there was no soul on my way there. It didn’t feel necessary to strain my breathing when there were no people around. Wearing a mask under the sun and walking can be pretty hard as Co2 slowly takes over, and O2 starts lacking. I am an advocate for mask use but within reason. However, as soon as I saw an unmasked man coming my way to shovel sand, I masked up and kept my distance. Then, I got myself a bit further and made a walking loop that would bring me across the blueberry field and back home. I don’t even remember when was last time I did that walk—30 minutes of pure joy.

Soon after, because why not, I invited my sister and the dog to join me on a different path in the opposite direction. It was so nice to see different surroundings and admire wildflowers in full bloom. There were more people that way, but we kept our distance. Some said hi, like grasping for months of missing human interactions. It was weird in a sense as other humans seemed like aliens on a planet we decided to explore. I was pretty happy and exercised by the end of the 2-hour walk, maybe a bit tired from the excessive effort to keep breathing. I sat down to do just that, unmasked, after washing my hands. As someone said, ” life isn’t measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Those walks were literally breathtaking in every sense.

The next morning I found myself having walked an additional 10000 steps before lunch, just by going up and down to move stuff in the greenhouse. Pretty sweet and revitalizing. In the afternoon, with extra energy, I decide to make homemade ragù. It was so delicious and kept having pasta with it many times during the week, among other food. I am now trying to differentiate cooking, although as I am writing, I feel a craving surge for Burger King. I see some BK in the future, although not now. According to Italian Coldiretti, the average Italian has gained at least 2kg from the start of the quarantine. I might have gained some, but as a Facebook meme announces that unless I am sitting on your face, it is not your business. This applies to any given time, pandemic or not, plus it is hilarious.

The rest of the week has been pretty quiet and uneventful as it was down-pouring rain pretty much all the time. I watched a lot of TV, Youtube and did some indoor physical exercise. I am looking forward to the clothes store reopening next week. I have been facing a trousers shortage and two months of quarantine might be getting to me.