Fitness junkies flooding Singapore’s parks after gyms were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak have been defending their right to stay fit and healthy amid the partial shutdown.
Photos of crowded parks over the weekend drew criticism from people calling out those who choose to go out and exercise during the public health crisis, prompting some to detail the slew of precautions they take to make sure they aren’t a coronavirus nuisance on Reddit.
“Even the government has said [it’s] [okay] to go out for exercise as long as social distancing can be maintained. Stay home doesn’t mean stay home 24/7, some people need to get out a bit for their mental health. Yes it’s stupid to go and queue at IKEA but I’ve seen people acting like anybody going outside is going to cause Singapore to collapse,” Redditor Redryder74 wrote in a thread titled “Please stop condemning people for going out for a walk or exercise.”
Photos of long queues snaking outside the furniture retail mall were widely circulated over the weekend. Compounding the problem is today’s closure of fitness studios and public swimming pools, leaving Singaporeans with only parks, stadiums, and sidewalks.
Just four days ago, Singapore announced the closure of most public places, effective today, including offices and recreational facilities including gyms. The government calls its stricter measures a “circuit breaker,” it hopes will break the chain of infections, which have now hit 1,375 since January.
Fitness supporters on Reddit said additional precautions should be taken, like avoiding crowded locations or adjusting exercise times.
“If you want to go to parks, best to check the live national parks website to gauge the crowd. I went to East Coast Park last weekend and it was so damn crowded. Noticed at 9pm last night that Labrador Park still had a crowd when I checked on the site,” Redditor Babyyodaismyguide wrote yesterday.
“Check the crowd before [you] go. Or stagger your timing, find a time where people don’t usually go to parks like really early or really late. And switch on your TraceTogether app,” Reddit user FeefaPlayer added, referring to the government app that tracks people who may be in close proximity with those who have been infected.
“Run outside your home in Park Connectors and stuff. I fcuking hate the sun too and would avoid it at all costs. Run before 7am or after 7pm,” Redditor Century_Egg said in response to a separate thread.
In his Friday address, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singaporeans should stay at home as much possible and only step out to “do essential things.” He said exercising in public parks was acceptable, and NParks’s real-time, crowd-tracking map is meant to curb overcrowding.
Still, critics responding to the thread slammed those going out to exercise in large groups or visiting parks for no valid reason.
“I understand going out for running or walking ONLY. But, some people have transformed walking and running into walking and running ‘together’ … Saying ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ is one thing but chit chatting for minutes in closely circled groups are really inconsiderate,” Redditor FeefaPlayer wrote.
“The stand should not be ‘we can go to the park so let’s go,’ it should be ‘stay home unless you really need to go out for a breather,’” Redditor Veryfascinating said.
If all else fails, why not just stick to exercising at home?
Reddit user Maolyx suggested using Ring Fit Adventure – an indoor exercising action Role Playing Game (RPG) – on the Nintendo Switch.
“Try getting ring fit adventure on the switch. I’ve been using this to exercise at home. Quite good,” the user commented, disregarding the fact that anyone with a Switch is far too busy Animal Crossing for that.
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