Opinion: Tracking the State of Fitness

It isn’t easy in the time of Covid

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

The story behind this week’s Health and Fitness Issue reveals something bigger about the state of our health and fitness than we even intended. When Hugh McCormick conceived of this story months ago, it was a relatively simple idea about what people have been doing to stay healthy and fit in the pandemic. At the time he started working on it, California was still using color-coded tiers to categorize the state of each county’s Covid situation. I can’t remember exactly which tier Santa Cruz County was in at the time, but it wasn’t good. Gyms were only open for outside activities, and after the scary surges in winter, many people still weren’t going out.

Hugh had already reported that story pretty thoroughly, but when things started to open up, he found he had to go back and revise a lot of what he had written. Then June 15 came and changed everything, with California ditching its tier system and declaring the state fully opened. That meant—you guessed it—more changes for the story. Then, within just a couple of weeks of this story going into production, mask mandates came back as the Delta variant became a serious concern even for people who have been vaccinated.

And as with so many stories related to the pandemic, what’s most impressive is the way people have innovated out of necessity, and made it work. Liza Monroy’s companion piece about Leela Kalow and Dean Yerushalmy’s Santa Cruz Movement, which was originally set to open in March of 2020, is a great example of that. All in all, I think this issue reflects the weird world of health and fitness we’ve all been living for the last year and a half. Here’s to sticking with it—the hardest part of any fitness regime.



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