Health, mental, physical. News from Mallorca
I'm sitting at my dining table as usual. It's Groundhog Day. Outside in the garden a welcome sun shines on the orange hairs of my ginga brute, Koldbrann. He is staring at me. When I wave, he wags his tail slowly, tentatively. Could it be dinner time again? (As if he doesn't know to the second what time it is.)
I don't know what I'd do without Koldbrann! For some reason, probably because they know not what to do, the local government has decided to keep everyone indoors ell the time, and have closed all parks, woods and beaches. Here, lockdown really is lockdown. However, you are "allowed" to go out on your balcony.
I get that everybody is afraid, afraid to make mistakes, to make the situation worse. Instead of trusting people to act in their own best interest by self-quarantining and staying away from others, however, the national government has decided to punish people with quite extraordinarily heavy fines for, for example, exercising outside. They call it "non-essential activities."
I wonder if that is such a good idea. Isn't this a time when it's more important than ever to do the old mens sana in corpore sano? Shouldn't we be exercising the hell out of especially our lungs, by doing aerobic exercises outside in the fresh air? In Norway and Britain people are encouraged to go out and exercise, as long as they don't do it in groups or drive for long distances, crossing county borders.
Just before the weekend, the government announced that it would increase punishments for disobedience, crack down harder, put up more checkpoints etc. At the same time, they keep pushing the lockdown back and back - April 26th is the latest date - without presenting a plan for what will happen on that date. Now we see people starting to take risks, to challenge the authorities by "recklessly" going running, cycling - and swimming. Yes yesterday I read in the Majorca Daily Bulletin that a man had been "caught" swimming to an island in full diving gear, by marine police patrolling the coast.
Human nature! I think it would be wiser to appeal to people's sense of responsibility instead of threatening, fining and cracking down. No one wants to catch this illness (although I'm starting to think if "everybody will get it" perhaps it's better for us younger fogeys to catch it now before we enter the danger zone in earnest) so I think most people will behave responsibly. A small minority won't give a shit of course, but they wouldn't have anyway. I think these over strict measures will just make the more rebellious take greater risks out of spite. I can feel it in myself: I'm not asking for permission to go outside my bloody house!
So if I didn't have Koldbrann I would be committing a crime if I went for a walk in the morning, without any purpose except keeping healthy physically and mentally. Walking is THE best exercise, in my opinion. So thank God for Koldbrann. When we're out together and I see a police car, I just wave in a manly, 'I've got this' way, and give the thumbs-up. That seems to do the trick. But it shouldn't be necessary.