Before the pandemic I liked to track sports, whether walking, indoor climbing, cycling, walking or more. I have tracked sports activities for two to three years at this point. I think I have almost 3000 tracked activities. That’s tracking my walks and more almost every day for at least ten years.
Recently the English, Swiss, Danish and other governments decided that they would declare the pandemic over, with no concern about the reality on the ground, or the warnings by the WHO not to assume that the pandemic is over. I also keep reading about how serious long Covid is, so despite the billions spent on propaganda to tell us that the pandemic is over, I am not convinced.
This does come with a psychological cost. While others can return to normal life, and either ignore the risk because they have already fallen sick, or ignore the risk because they don’t read hard news like some of us do, there is a social divide. On one side there are people who want to be careful and reach covid zero before resuming normal life, and on the other the people who don’t worry or pay attention to the details.
This summer we have a choice to make. Do we self isolate, to stay safe, and continue to wear masks, or do we give up and give in, and play Covid roulette? The data shows that solitude and masks are much better than long Covid but others are not careful. It is within this context that I am tempted to give up on fitness watches, and smart watches. What value is there in tracking our every move, our every breath and our every heart beat if we’re going to dine alone, walk alone, and ride alone?
I hardly look at Strava, Garmin Connect or the Apple Fitness app. I was excited that I walked five and a half million steps in a single year, but at the same time where is the end of this pandemic? Where is the safe social event? Where is the guarantee that a state or country is covid free.
The shift from pandemic mode, to no pandemic mode, in Switzerland was from one evening to the next morning. Within 10 hours we went from masks and being cautious to no covid passes, no masks, no social distancing, no event restrictions or anything else. In other words we went from being able to do things without danger. Now that there are no safety measures it is better to shop online, and not to do anything social in meat space.
I don’t expect any summer waves. What I am frustrated by is that we could profit from the summer virus lull to get to Covid Zero and eradicate the problem. Instead society is going to do everything it can to leave the pilot light burning for the virus, so that, when Christmas and New Year comes, we will have another tragic winter.
It is within this context that I am tempted to wear dumb watches again, to downgrade from the iPhone 8 plus to the iPhone SE and more. It is hard not to lose hope for the future. I haven’t lost hope. I study two to three hours a day now, four if you consider podcasts as studying. I am working towards a future, because I see no short term possibilities, during this pandemic. I am not depressed. I am despondent. I am going through the motions, whilst waiting for hope to reappear.