A Gentleman’s Guide To Navigating The Inconveniences Of An Enforced Confinement

Image credit: Crow’s Eye Productions

Although it would no doubt be utterly charming to be gripped perpetually by fear and consequently to enjoy the many benefits that result from the total cessation of activity within my prefrontal cortex, the curmudgeon that lurks within my breast will not admit of this delightful state.

Thus unable to partake in the hysteria that’s been so ably induced by our beloved sensationalist mass media and yet subject to the same constraints as everyone else that have been so helpfully imposed by clueless politicians desperate to look as though they can be of benefit, I have perforce been required to formulate an approach that enables me to precess gently through each day in such a manner as to stave off boredom and ennui.

As there may be some few others who find themselves in a similar situation, I have therefore elected, gentle reader, to elucidate some of the mechanisms whereby I occupy myself in a manner both enjoyable and conducive to the furthering of the faculty of reason.

I accept without reservation that in these days of mindlessness and collective agitation the very notion of reason itself may seem not only risible but socially irresponsible; yet, alas, unable to immerse myself in the empty noise of both mass and social media, I have no alternative. Thus I offer in all humility the following notions which, gentle reader, you may elect to embrace or to spurn depending upon your predilection.

To commence I endeavor, as has always been my habit since boyhood, to consume only healthy foods and beverages. While this leaves me hopelessly unable to benefit from such winsome and popular ailments as obesity, Type II diabetes, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, and cancer I nevertheless find myself compelled to ingest into my body only those things that are beneficial for it. Consequently my blood pressure is excellent, my health even better, and my general mood tolerably fine even under such conditions as may be less than wholly desirable.

Subsequent to ingestion of the aforementioned nourishment, which I invariably prepare myself from raw ingredients, I pass on to the ever-popular topic of exercise. Now that all the gyms and health clubs have been closed down by wise government edict that seeks to protect us from the immune-system-boosting effects of regular exercise, I find myself perforce constrained and thus reliant upon those items of equipment contained within the apartment within which I reside. So it is that with a pullup bar and some dumbbells I improvise a daily workout for not less than sixty of the intervals by means of which the common hour is defined. This not only keeps me healthy but affords in addition a significant boost to my spirits.

After this I venture out-of-doors. Even the most obtuse politician (with the sublime exception of India’s Narendra Modi) has realized that condemning many millions of people to starve within their homes in order temporarily to save tens of thousands of lives is alas untenable despite its wondrous and appealing simplicity. Thus, permitted to commit the grave risk of exposing myself upon the streets, I saunter forth to purchase a few necessities (among which toilet paper is not counted) and take the opportunity to elaborate my route so as to enable my legs to traverse a distance of not less than six miles, a distance more accurately known as “a smidge under ten kilometers.”

By doing so I thus avail myself of the beneficial effects of sunshine upon my person and while engaged in such perambulation I derive no small amount of pleasure by effusively greeting those whom I pass on the public thoroughfare. I do this in order to lift their spirits and convey in no small measure the simple truth that we are not each other’s mortal enemy, no matter how much the mass media would have us believe to the contrary.

Upon my return to my dwelling I then engage in intellectual pursuits. Although it would no doubt be a matter of the utmost joy to submerge myself in the sensationalism of yet more “news” stories of death and infection rates, all reported utterly without impediment of context in order to appear more alarming than anything we’ve ever faced in human history, I ease myself instead into less seductive trains of thought.

The Internet, despite being a cesspit of stupidity and banality, is also a resource the likes of which humankind has never previously known. So it is that I, unable to partake of the mass hysteria that wraps so many in its helpful embrace, must perforce be satisfied with online courses that permit me to extend my knowledge of the calculus, explore periods of history with which I was hitherto insufficiently familiar, become current with the latest notions in cosmology, and in a variety of other ways enrich myself with the productions of those who, in their folly, seek to extend the realm of human understanding.

I find myself exceedingly fortunate to have, at least for the time being, a form of gainful employment that I may pursue in virtual fashion and thus I turn myself for several hours to the task of earning a living. As I am engaged in activities that I find stimulating, work is for the most part a pleasurable pursuit. Once concluded, I then immerse myself in the French language by reading and then by viewing one of many entertainments thoughtfully conveyed into my home by the magic of Netflix. In the hour or so before retiring to bed I turn myself to the task of improving in addition my very modest abilities in the Russian language.

I acknowledge unreservedly, dear reader, that your interests are unlikely to correspond to mine. I offer the aforementioned merely as examples and indications as to the wealth of resources available to the curious mind thanks to the wonders of modern technologies. I have found such a mode of existence to be both healthy and rewarding.

Alternatively, you could do what it appears the vast majority are doing and by means of endless gawping at sensationalist media reportage ease yourself into mindless panic much as one might gently lower oneself into a bath of emotional acid.

The choice, as always, is yours.

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