Jogging in the times of Covid

I am an avid jogger. My passion for jogging started the day I saw, on the internet, a picture of Virat Kohli on the treadmill with an oxygen mask. Why an oxygen mask? You may ask as I did back then. Ideally, as a man of science, I should be explaining this by using jargons like lung capacity, arterial oxygen content etc, but to keep things simple for the time being, lets just say the oxygen mask was around so that he could exercise more than his lungs allow him to.

Now VK wants to jog more than he humanly can whereas I was postponing my sessions because there is still a wee bit of evening sun to set off and by the time it did, it was already time for dinner. This realization really set me off. So from the next day onwards, for a year and a half, I have been working out consistently every evening.

Then comes COVID. With COVID comes the mask. For starters, a mask doesn't make jogging easier. In fact, one shouldn't put on a mask while doing a workout. It is the exact opposite of what VK would have intended with the oxygen mask. Even WHO says so- No mask while exercising. It can cause difficulty in breathing and promote microbial growth. And the last thing I want now is microbial invasion over and above a predator virus.

No, people shouldn't wear masks while exercising.

But try telling that to all the paranoid people that I pass by- even while maintaining a distance of more than 10 feet. For the first few days, I was met with stares and frowns. I even got warned by the security men in my campus. I did try to explain to them about WHO guidelines and all. But I think you can guess the ending. So for the next few days, I ventured out with the mask on my shin so that I can breathe through my nose and mouth.

Now the stares and frowns has decreased miraculously. Obviously, it seems people just needs the reassurance the sight of a mask provides. A mask is the last clutch of straw they are holding onto. Its something they can control among all the uncontrollables.

Should I stop by and ask— instead of being over the top about the mask, how about jogging everyday and raising ones immunity? — Maybe not.