Chances are, you’re probably reading this article in the comfort of your own home. Outside of classes, watching Netflix and sleeping, it’s a struggle to find ways to pass the time. Sometimes, you might catch yourself scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, staying excessively up to date with the meme world. Other times, you’ll just stare out the window and see what happens. Usually, that means you’ll be people-watching.
People-watching during quarantine is a very interesting experience, to say the least. After being indoors for extended periods of time, the urge to get out of the house and take a break from work is usually at an all-time high. Adding in the fact that you shouldn’t be going out frequently, people take these moments of being outside very seriously, and we at the Clog have found this fascinating.
The early birds
The first kind of walkers you’ll see are the early birds. This is for no other reason besides the fact that they get up very early, probably because they go to bed very early, too. One could categorize most of the early birds under the baby boomer generation.
The early birds are some of the most relaxed walkers. They’ll take their time, strolling, looking at the world around them. They are also some of the nicest walkers: Silence is key for them. Hands folded behind their backs, gently walking, mouths closed. It’s especially nice because they head outside in the morning. Any other type of walker would make sleeping in near impossible. But not the early birds. Thank god.
Walkers of multiple intensities
Some people miss their exercise regimens. Gyms are closed, parks are closed and workout buddies are hard to come by if you’re not quarantined with someone who’s your age or has proper physical well-being. These are the types of people who go outside and make the roads and sidewalks their personal gyms.
I have seen people lunging up and down the street in front of my house in full workout clothes with their sport earbuds plugged in. To up the intensity, some of these people bring their babies with them. About three times every hour, I’ll look outside and see a young couple sprinting up and down the street while pushing their baby stroller in front of them. The baby in said stroller is zooming at inconceivable speeds for someone of that age. But hey, maybe they’ll grow up to be as speedy as their parents.
The socially-distanced squad is the group of walkers that hang out 6 feet apart and gossip. They fulfill the lack of social activity in their lives by walking with the gang. Most of the time, you won’t see more than three or four of them at a time, but on rare occasions, you’ll see a whole two families’ worth of people in one squad.
People in this group of walkers can be young, old and anywhere in between. Whether young and old, on bikes or on foot, this group of people is loud. They only get to spend a few precious moments with each other (6 feet apart) every week, so we guess we can’t blame them.
This is one of the most interesting but also one of the weirdest types of walkers. The nightcrawler only comes out when the sun has gone down and there’s nothing illuminating the road except for the occasional streetlight. Then, in the early hours of the next day, around midnight or after, the nightcrawler enters the outside world ready to spend time outside of quarantine.
Typically, the nightcrawler will just take a brisk walk or warmup jog to get their blood circulated and fresh air injected into their lungs. However, some nightcrawlers will sit down in the road and just exist in the absence of a normal daily life routine, no cars around to disturb them from their headspace. Others still will go to parks and hang out by themselves. Regardless, nightcrawlers are very well protected from the virus, seeing as nobody else goes outside at those times.
Quarantine is a confusing time. But it doesn’t have to be boring. People-watching is just one of the many things that can be done to relieve some of the stress, anxiety and lack of order that stems from this situation. Of course, there may be some even more satisfying and fulfilling activities than people-watching. But what the hell, we’ve got lots of time on our hands, so we might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Contact Hamzah Alam at [email protected].