An elderly couple walks by Las Ventas in Madrid.Photo: Gabriel Bouys (AFP via Getty Images)
It seemed like the city was sleeping. Everything was closed on the street I walked on, and there were hardly any cars moving. People on walks checked out stores through the windows. The runners, meanwhile, tried to maintain social distancing guidelines, or roughly six and a half feet of distance, but it was tricky. There were a lot of people on the street, people who, like me, had gone outside as soon as it was possible for a bit of relief. Although people seemed to earnestly try to stay away from each other, sidewalks just weren’t built for corona times.
There were more people when I got to the street I was heading to. It seemed others had also thought about the space issue. However, it was a big street, so while there were lots of people, there weren’t too many problems. The issues began once I got to the Retiro Park, which was filled with runners and walkers.
Even though it was closed, it appeared that people thought they could run or walk around it, but the sidewalks there are very small. To avoid getting close to others, people started running in the street. Given that there were so many people, this didn’t help much. Again, I wanted to follow the rules and have a relaxing run, so I turned around to go back to the wide street.
The morning started cool, but the sun got stronger as it went on. I live in an interior part of my building, so I hadn’t been out in the sun for more than five or 10 minutes since the lockdown began. Experts had warned the public on Spanish television to be careful with the sun since we hadn’t gone out in so long. I had carefully put on an SPF 50 sunscreen that morning. It was my shield.
I ran for a little over two miles before I took a break to stretch and rest my legs. My back was good, and my legs, besides needing a little stretching, didn’t bother me too much. I was pleasantly surprised and grateful.
I completed three miles about 10 minutes away from my house and decided to walk back. It was almost 10 a.m., and my time slot was about to finish. I was sweating and my face was red, but my body felt better than it had in weeks. As I walked down the familiar path back home, I felt normal. This is something I would have done before the lockdown, before coronavirus forced everyone into their homes.
It took a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. The road was by no means perfect, and there were a lot of mistakes made, but we got here. And although the virus isn’t gone yet, we’ve begun to wrestle a few of the simple things it took from us, and win them back. Tomorrow, it’ll b
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