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Impact 0012: Pounding the Track At Last

Veronica Shanti Pereira · 8 July 2021
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This letter was written during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 as part of Dear Covid-19. Though some of the events and details in this letter may have changed since then, we hope to remember those in our community who stepped up when it mattered most. Continue to keep up with her on their social pages at @v_shantipereira.

Dear COVID-19,

You have certainly caused a lot of chaos in the world and even right here in sunny Singapore. From contact tracing to social distancing and locking us down so we don’t go out unless it’s for essential reasons – and not forgetting the mandatory mask wearing.

The lockdown was hard, I’m not going to lie. As a national track and field athlete, I have to put in eight to 10 sessions a week at both the track and the gym with my coach and my teammates. But the lockdown meant I couldn’t do that for a long time. Not seeing my teammates and my coach and not being able to go down to the track was weird for me. I had to make use of the slopes around my house, any grass patch I could find and even my mum’s precious furniture to put in my sessions. My legs started to really hurt after a while from constantly pounding the roads and pavements during my runs.

Doing that was easy, but finding the motivation to get it done was the toughest part of all. 

I was getting used to the situation for sure and did not set any expectations as to when we could go down to the track again. 

Then the phases were announced. Phase 1 did not matter as much as Phase 2, because it meant I could go back to the track! 

When I read the news that day, I couldn’t believe my eyes that I could finally go back to the track after not touching it for 2.5 months. I got so emotional that I actually cried a little. Needless to say, I was pretty happy that day. 

When I stepped onto the track on that Friday, the first day of Phase 2, I felt like I was home again.

It was just me and my coach that day but being able to see him again and train properly made me feel so much more at ease and comfortable again. 

In the end, I guess what I’m trying to tell you, COVID-19, is that you have made us appreciate the small things in life. Spending more time with family, taking the time for myself and stepping on the soft red surface that has been my safe place for more than 10 years now. 

You may have given us a blessing. But I sincerely hope you make your way out of our lives as soon as possible. I would love to go out of the house without my mask on and not have to check-in when entering a shopping mall haha. 

Thanks for letting me use the track again. I promise I will never take it for granted. 

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