Mondays are when slates are wiped clean and good intentions are (temporarily) reinstated for everyone everywhere. Today should be no different according to prolific governmental advice which encourages people to build constructive routines as a way of staying sane and healthy over the coming weeks.
Keeping active will be the biggest challenge for most people in a city where tiny apartments are not uncommon. No matter how sedentary your job normally is, people will be left feeling incredibly restless now we are forced to remain indoors all day. For me adjusting to this new situation will be particularly hard. On Thursday the Madrid marathon was cancelled which rendered pointless the 40km that I had been running weekly since Christmas. Taking out the bins and buying the extra bits needed for tonight’s dinner has become the first point of contention with my flatmate as we both compete to be the lucky one to go up and down five flights of stairs. We decide to split the responsibilities thus giving both of us an excuse to be in the streets and avoid being scolded by the police patrolling below. We are taking no chances after we hear rumours about people being punished with nasty €300 fines as they set off for their morning jog. After recently receiving a €500 fine for cycling while intoxicated (and 4 points on my driving licence!!!) I decide to leave my running shoes to gather dust until post-quarantine and make do with a yoga mat and Youtube workout tutorials.
It is clear that while some people will lose their livelihoods during this difficult period, a lucky few will find a way to thrive, among them personal trainers who sell their services in the form of home workouts sessions. Videos circling on Whatsapp also show a more comedic side of things, with people coming up with creative and often rather ridiculous ways to raise their heartbeats. A personal favourite of mine features a man covering his kitchen floor in olive oil before running on it like a treadmill. Perhaps now would be a great time to invest in human-sized hamster wheels…