So I’m a fast walker, at least when I’m going somewhere. Back before the lockdown, before everyone started working from home, we’d regularly have work meetings in a building other than the one where we normally worked because I work for a library and we have departments spread out all over the place, not only because there are multiple library branches but also because some departments were moved out of the library long ago to, well, make room for more books. We were working remotely before it was cool, but that’s another story. Anyway when we have those meetings in other buildings sometimes the people I work with will tell me, “You go on ahead, I’m not going to try and keep up with you!” And what they don’t realize is there’s coffee and pastries at those meetings so I walk fast because I want to get there before all the cheese Danish are gone.
To be clear I’m not a speed-walker and I’m not going to win any Olympic race walking competitions—which really is a thing. I’ve got fairly short legs and I’m not that athletic. It’s just that when I get walking I set a pretty good pace. Once when I was taking a bus somewhere I got off at the wrong stop, and rather than sit and wait for the next bus I decided to walk back to the bus station. I wasn’t in any great hurry and enjoyed what I thought was a leisurely stroll through some nice neighborhoods. Later, just out of curiosity, I used Google Maps to figure out how far I’d walked, and, having checked how long I spent walking, I calculated that I’d kept up a pace of about four miles an hour. That’s no four-minute mile but it’s not too shabby either. At that rate I could walk from New York to Los Angeles in less than two years which, yeah, may not be the best illustration.
Anyway I do have a point here even if I’ve taken the scenic route getting to it, and it’s this from Science Daily:
Slow walkers are almost four times more likely to die from COVID-19, and have over twice the risk of contracting a severe version of the virus, according to a team of researchers from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre led by Professor Tom Yates at the University of Leicester.
That’s really good news, or at least it would be if I hadn’t already gotten my first vaccine shot and I’m scheduled to get the next one before the end of the month. I’m glad to know that for the past year while I’ve been avoiding people and not going out so much I was at least doing something that reduced my risk even if I didn’t know I was doing it. And while I don’t want to jump the line I will be walking briskly to get my second shot, although mostly because the place where they’re giving out the shots they also have free coffee and if I get there early maybe I can get a cheese Danish.