Covid and running

I haven’t run in over a week. My family bought a new house and began our preparations to move. My days have consisted of new house paperwork, old house paperwork, work, cleaning, painting, packing, moving items, selling items, etc, etc. My routine is non existent and I long to get it back. I’m just too dog tired.

Today I finally planned to meet up with my friends for a short run! Yesterday though, one of their kids came down with a fever. She did the very polite thing and told us and said she’d understand if we didn’t want her to come. Covid is spreading like crazy still in Michigan and her fever may or may not not be significant. There’s definitely cause for concern. But, no one else minded running along with her even though there may be a risk.

I, on the other hand, opted to skip the group run today.

Covid has added another layer of decisions to our already complicated decision making process. There’s the normal decision process: Do I want to join the group run? Do I feel like exercising? Is the weather ok for run? Can I fit this run into my schedule? Now, here’s the added decision: Does this run add to my Covid risk? If so, should I wear a mask? Can I run 4 miles with a mask on?

There is a lot of gray area in our decisions about Covid. Today’s decision for me was in the “gray” zone. I wanted to run. I really did. But, I would be around family this weekend. Should I take the risk?

The obvious decisions about Covid are very clear: wear a mask in public (it’s the law now!), stay home if you don’t feel good, be considerate of others (like my friend above) and let them know if you may have been exposed to give your friends and family the chance to make their own decision about whether to be around you!

The gray decisions are not so clear: Should I go to this outdoor exercise class with 15 other people? Should I visit my elderly parents since I haven’t seen them in a long time? Should I run into TJ Maxx and Target and Meijer today because I can get some things cheaper at one versus the other? In the end, these decisions are very personal and people should not judge what others decide. For me, I try to handle these gray area decisions with the following logic:

  1. How much additional Covid risk does this add to me and my immediate family? Is there anything I can do to reduce this risk?
  2. How important is this to my and my family’s well being (and sanity!)?
  3. How can I do this while still being considerate of others? I don’t want my family sick, and I don’t want to contribute to anyone else’s family being sick.

Today I decided to stay back because of logic no. 3. There is no way for me to be considerate of others this weekend if I knowingly add risk to myself. I won’t be wearing a mask in my new house while painting, I’ll be meeting new neighbors, I’ll be working with my family, I’ll be running in and out of Lowe’s. If I chose to go run today, I would have to significantly reduce my exposure instances to others and in this busy weekend, I just can’t.

Another example of this logic in work is that I recently decided to send my son to a summer day camp because no. 2 held more weight than 1 or 3. He was going crazy (and driving me crazy) being confined to the house for 4 months without other kids! Since he’s been at camp, he’s been happier (and has been sleeping better!) and I’ve been able to get a TON (really a TON) more things done at work and home, which makes me happy.

Covid has affected every aspect of our lives, including the healthy ones, like exercise. In order to stay active AND healthy there will be additional decisions that you have to make that were not a consideration in the past. We’re all learning how to navigate in this time. I hope my logic above can help with your gray area decisions too!

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