Germs Generate Good Health


David Zeller, Staff Writer

On March 20, 2020, the inevitable happened as Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a stay at home order for the entire state to attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, a prominent new virus that had the whole world in the palm of its hand.  

Many states and countries had either already put a similar order in effect or followed suit soon after.

The order restricts unnecessary travel, but does allow a number of activities. One of which that caught the attention of many was the ability to still go outside for walks or runs, as long as social distancing remains in effect.

As a result, many people have turned to going outside as a way to find a little bit of peace in these ridiculous times.

“I found myself being more active as an attempt to create a distraction for myself,” Jordan Saladino, a senior at Wheaton Warrenville South says. “Staying active has helped me stay focused and grounded. It allows me to feel in control of my life when I am unable to control the rest of my environment.”

Saladino is not the only one taking advantage of going outside as a way to reduce stress. People all over the area are using the usually vacant paths, which are now dotted with walkers, runners, and bikers. 

Others are using the time at home as an attempt to better their physical self instead of their mental health.

“I think I have gotten more in shape. I have increased the amount of push ups and mileage I can [run],” says Henry Adkins, another senior from Wheaton Warrenville South. “I have been doing core and push ups on a daily basis.”

  Home exercise equipment has had a surge in sales as well. Nautilus, a popular home cardio equipment company, has reported an eleven percent increase of sales and a thirty percent rise in stock prices as of April 8.

Other workout equipment companies have seen similar financial increases.

It isn’t a surprise that many people are turning to exercise in these difficult times. Alison Zeller, a former fitness instructor and personal trainer, says that a reduction of stress was one major part that she had chosen to focus on fitness as a career path and added that many of her former clients cited stress relief as one of the reasons they wanted to exercise. 

However, just because going outside for activities is allowed doesn’t mean people can be carefree. 

France and Italy both have restrictions on outside physical activity, which keep people from going too far from their home and even post a time limit on activity. 

While we don’t have restrictions like this yet, it is still important to take actions to prevent the spread of the virus. 

As a frequent visitor of the local prairie paths myself, I have mixed feelings towards an increase of popularity of exploring the outdoors. While I absolutely love to see more people outside, more often than not I see people completely ignore social distancing practices while outside. Large groups of walkers are everywhere, and parking lots at Herrick Lake and Blackwell Forest  Preserves have been completely full numerous times since the weather started becoming warmer.

The restrictions in Europe are extreme, and we will absolutely follow in their footsteps if we are not more careful with how we go outside.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with going outside to kill some stress. However, if you want to be able to do that in a month, for the sake of public health, do it on your own.