Common Sense in the Time of Covid-19

S M Chen
5 min readJun 29, 2020

“Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack.”

  • Ben Franklin (1706–1790), American polymath

I retired near the end of November, 2019.

Prior to retirement, I played tennis (mainly doubles) about once a week on Sunday.

Pixabay; free use

During the week, I stayed at a hotel near my job in a county different from where I live. The hotel had an exercise room and a small swimming pool, but I didn’t avail myself much. A few times I visited the exercise room but there was often no working treadmill available, and I had enough aches and pains that I eschewed lifting weights. The pool was too small to swim laps.

I knew exercise physiologists recommended a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, so I tried to walk with briskness and regularity, but I intuitively knew that didn’t provide sufficient aerobic exercise. I tried to keep my weight stable. My BMI was smack dab in the middle of normal.

Upon retirement, I was able to increase my level of exercise. The group of which I was a part played tennis several times a week in addition to Sunday.

Then, in 2020, a Black Swan paddled into view; COVID-19 hit with the force of pandemic.

The six tennis courts of the complex in which I lived closed, as did the associated swimming pool.

One day a fellow player and I drove to a neighboring city. There we tried to play on one of the many high school courts, but were promptly shooed away by a guard. The tennis club at which I’d played in the past was padlocked.

Fortunately, one of the members of the group lived in a gated community which had a couple tennis courts. They were still open for play. I’ll call these courts A.

So, for a time, we met there. Even if we had more than 4 players, it worked. We rotated play, depending on the number of players who showed up on a given day.

But then, one day, those courts closed.

Likely similar to elsewhere, almost all of the courts in our geographic area were closed to play.