Staying active while at home

Since the coronavirus outbreak started, people are not going out and gyms have been closed. Being at home every day, with nothing better to do than looking at your phone, watching tv and eating snacks, must have had a toll on the country’s waistlines. One of our friends likes cooking and, based on his wife’s WeChat updates, he has been baking a lot lately. When I asked the wife how they were doing, she told me her husband had gained 5 kg in the last month!

WeChat, the Chinese WhatsApp, has many functions apart from sending messages and making phone calls. One of them is WeRun, a miniprogram included on WeChat that counts your daily steps and makes a ranking at the end of the day out of all your contacts that use it. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but Chinese men are extremely competitive. And the most competitive of them all is my husband. So much that he deactivated his WeRun because one of this contacts was a retired old man who walked 40000 steps every day.

Since the outbreak started, the amount of steps people walk has been reduced greatly. But, in mid February, my father in law had the idea of walking inside the apartment. More specifically, upstairs, where we have a big storage room. He goes up there before even having breakfast and spends all day walking in circles. I don’t know if he listens to the radio or something else while walking, because it must be quite boring. The thing is, since he started doing this, he’s been the first on the ranking (at least on my and his ranking, as it depends on the contacts each person has) for many days in a row. His record has been unbroken since February 18. People call him to ask where he is going! C. thinks many of his contacts must be blocking him, to avoid having to see him win every day.

C. and his mum say that my father in law is crazy, but well, it would be worse if he was just sitting on the sofa looking at the phone all day, right?

The first one, with more than 20000 steps. That’s like 15 km, no?


The storage room where he walks.


How’s the coronavirus doing in your countries? Here in Suzhou we haven’t had any new cases since February 18 and Ikea is finally reopening on Sunday, so things are looking good.