More and more people are getting COVID vaccines, more and more places are opening back up, and more and more places are relaxing their mask rules. After over a year of all the things we've done and are doing to keep COVID at bay, I thought it'd be useful to look back at how our older buds keep their days going during then.
My Love for Walking and the Pandemic
I love walking, an endeavor that I enjoyed and perfected during the various stages of my life. As a child growing up in West Philadelphia not too far from Fairmount Park, my friends and I were constantly hiking through the interior of what has been know as the largest landscaped park in the world. When I last checked France has the largest park in the world and Philadelphia was the second largest park.
When I went to South Carolina each summer I constantly walked mile upon mile to fields, to town and to play with friends. While as a student at Bluefield State College in West Virginia I had to tediously walk to various locations throughout the mountainous terrain. And then there was the Army, each day our feet and resolve were tested as we balanced heavy backpacks on our backs and almost equally burdened rifles on our shoulders, as we trekked insurmountable and endless miles during our 2-month basic training period.
Walking had become a second nature with me. In fact, my peers, especially during my senior year, marveled at my love for hiking the Wissahickon trail and being able to walk great distances throughout the city. While my walking for the sheer pleasure, that beloved hobby of mine, had dwindled during my senior years, I still was quite active in that activity.
In order to maintain my schedule at the 6 Senior Centers that I faithfully attended before the pandemic, I had to walk on the average of 12 blocks a day to unite with public transportation. During the year-long shutdown caused by the pandemic, I of course was not walking but rather sitting down all day. Non-activity caused my knees to tighten. The few times I would go out each week caused a chore. I had to find some where to sit after I would walk a block.
There are 2 incidents that occurred when I had to walk because of business. The first occurred when I had an 11:45 Covid injection appointment at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, 39th and Woodland Avenue. When I debarked from the trolley at 40th and Woodland I had to walk an extremely long block to 39th and Woodland, make a southward turn and walk another long block to the entrance to the hospital.
When I arrived, I was told that the entrance was closed and that I would have to enter at another locality, which was located another long block away. Once inside the hospital I had a long walk to the injection area where I had to do some extensive standing. After my injection I had to repeat the same laborious procedure.
The second incident concerning long tedious walks occurred recently. I went to Columbia Commons by way of the 79 bus, whose route is Snyder Avenue, to get a headset at Best Buy. Columbia Commons is right by the Delaware River and I had no idea about where Best Buy was and that gigantic shopping mall. I first walked 2 and a half blocks in the wrong direction, then 4 blocks before I reached my destination. Then there was the return trip to catch the bus to take me home.
The hospital and Best Buy trips taxed my knees, but those hardships paid off. When they open up the city again, I will be able to get some but not all of the kinks out of my knees. I will continue my beloved walking with care.
Re: Signs of Hope
Well, I’m very glad to hear your positive stories, because unlike you Ann, this is a very bad day for me when I’m just like “This is not going to end anytime soon.” What are kids going to do when they go back to school? I’m thinking of you know, all the most negative repercussions of this pandemic, which is simply not- the curve is not flattening and all that stuff. So you know, thank you.
Well that’s it. Day by day. Don’t think too far in the future. I guess that’s what you have to do. But it’s good to have some very nice days of normalcy; semi normalcy. You know, every day’s different and that’s what you have to remember when you’re having a negative day; that you may not feel the same way tomorrow, and it’s really the truth.
I was going to say that one of the things that surprises me is that I take Septa quite a bit and some of the employees like the train conductor, the guy who gives out the tickets for the train or some of the bus drivers; I get on and they are not wearing a mask.
And I'm looking at them like, you know your telling passengers you must have a mask to get on the bus or the train or anything Septa. And you’re an employee, and work for them, what kind of example are you setting? You're not even putting a mask on. They’re not following their own rules. I take the 40 bus to the Senior Center also, and one driver did not have a mask on. And I remember one day getting on and, he didn't have a mask at all. I didn't say anything, you know I'm not going to cause a problem. But it was just disappointing to see that, that’s all, and I went to the back of the bus. As far away as I could.
I use the LUCY bus I lot, I don't know if you know what the LUCY bus is. I live in University City, and I try to take that every time to go anywhere. Because it's empty. Most of time I get on and I'm the only one on it. So I love that.