The quarantine was tough on us. Given our ages and various physical infirmities, my wife Mitzi and I knew we were in the Covid-19 crosshairs, perfect targets for life-threatening infection.
So we stayed close to home—really close—leaving the house at most 10 times over the 15 months that the disease was raging, until we could both be completely vaccinated. A couple essential trips to the bank, three or four medical appointments, and one trip to the post office—that was it. Oh yes, we did attend Mitzi’s father’s 83rd birthday party out in the desert, with just close family attending, all fully masked and keeping a safe distance. With all the precautions we were taking, none of the dozen or so family members caught the bug—then or later.
Not that we were complaining. If anything, we probably enjoyed the isolation just a little too much. We kept in touch with family and friends over zoom calls, ran our little mail order business out of the home, and had groceries and other essentials delivered by well-masked drivers. For fun, we played cribbage and casino slots online.
Think tight clothes, long naps, and rising blood pressure—we knew we were headed for trouble. Something had to be done.
And Mitzi, who has always been an excellent cook, really outdid herself over those months we stayed indoors. When she’d prepared all the dishes she already knew how to cook so many times we grew tired of them, she scoured Google for new, exotic recipes. Malibu chicken and Thai steak have become my new favorites. What a treat for both of us—and especially me.
But here’s the rub. With all that excellent dining coupled with virtually no exercise, we packed on the pounds. Think tight clothes, long naps, and rising blood pressure—we knew we were headed for trouble. Something had to be done.
Getting Off Our Duffs
But vaccinated or not, we were still leary of getting up close and personal with too many people. So rejoining our gym just seemed too risky. Going to the beach, which quickly began to be crowded with families and all their kids, also seemed less than wise, again given our age- and health-related vulnerabilities. I’d go bicycling, but Mitzi is still leary from a fall she suffered years ago and I really wouldn’t enjoy going alone.
So, for the past several months, we’ve gone on long walks several times a week. After starting slowly to get our muscles and heads back in working order, we’re now up to brisk five- to seven-mile walks, at least five nights a week.
After we’d seen all there was to see in the neighborhood around our house, we started driving to surrounding neighborhoods, parking our jitney, and walking down interesting business districts and residential areas.
But since it’s been so hot this summer in our city—over a scorching 100ºF sometimes days on end—we start most of our walks late in the evening when it’s cooler, often ending our walks just after midnight.
The effect has been marvelous. We’ve both lost over 20 pounds, but more importantly, all that fresh air and vigorous exercise has been wonderful for our spirits. And, because we’re so tight as a married couple, we entertain each other with our conversations and observations about the passing scenery.
As they say, break an egg, make an omelet. Walking after midnight has been our omelet for sure.