Queen Mary’s Kitchen

I am here to promote one of the thousands of new businesses that have sprouted since Covid-19 struck.

If you want to savor delicious muffins, you ought to type “Queen Mary’s Kitchen” in Facebook and place an order. The baker behind these muffins? Clue: Though she uses her hands for this venture, her main profession involves her legs and feet.

Mary Joy Tabal, the queen of running, is now the princess of her kitchen. Used to running hundreds of kilometers outdoors, she was confined indoors, like all of us, starting March.

“Grabeh ako prayers (I prayed a lot), like every night jud, praying for something that would divert my worries, my overthinking,” Joy said of those early weeks. “I always want to be productive and the lockdown was so difficult. I realized that I needed to be creative and think of something that I love and have control of. I believe that whatever we feed will grow.”

Joy’s business started on June 21, Father’s Day.

“I dreamt about my Papa (Rolando, who passed away in 2017) before opening Queen Mary’s Kitchen and he has been my inspiration,” she said. “My papa was a very good cook and I was beside him when I was young. He taught me a lot in the kitchen. When I bake, I always think of my Papa.”

The 6-time Milo Marathon champ opted for baking muffins instead of cooking viands because, she said, “It’s an achievement when you get the right recipe and you’re able to give those who like it joy.”

Since Joy started, she has sold (as of yesterday) 2,755 muffins. That’s impressive (over 40 per day) for a first-time entrepreneur.

“The work is draining because I don’t only do the baking,” she said. “I also work on the packaging, the logo, the designing, the Facebook postings, the promos.”

But it’s all worth it, said the first Filipino to run the marathon in the Olympics (2016 Rio Games). When someone tells Joy that it’s “lami” or “perfect ang sweetness” and when they do repeat orders and become a “suki,” Joy is overjoyed.

I ordered four boxes last Friday. Inside was an assortment of colors and flavors: Banana, Choco-cheese, Banana Milo, and Coffee-choco. The verdict, in the words of my daughter Jana, “the muffins are moist, filling and tasty!” And the package came with a bonus: a Milo powdered drink sachet whose star model was none other than Ms. Joy Tabal. She autographed it with a note of thanks.

“My biggest dream,” she told me, “is to put up my own cafe. A place where I can display everything about my journey while you sip your coffee. You can roam around the shop and read my stories and the journey I’ve had while displaying my goodies. I want to start slow and learn along the way but I look forward to achieving that dream.”

Joy’s determination is evident in both the track oval and the kitchen oven.

“I promised myself that I will put the same hard work and passion (from running) to baking,” she said. “You have to love what you’re cooking or baking and put your heart into it. Papa once told me that the perfect recipe is the one made of pure love and joy.”

Donnie Nietes, entrepreneur

I had a 22-minute-long conversation yesterday with the country’s longest-reigning boxing world champ. Since he scored a TKO against Ricardo Albia in Jan. 29, 2005, the Murcia, Negros-born boxer has not lost in 15 years. But today, boxing is farthest from the mind of Donnie Liboon Nietes.

“Wala na gyud ang boxing (boxing is dead) this year,” said the ALA Boxing Gym legend. “I am not confident in being able to get a fight.”

Nietes with Michael and Antonio Aldeguer

At 38 years old, he was aiming for that career-ending “Dream Fight,” possibly against Chocolatito, Estrada, Ioka or Rungvisai. But Covid-19 struck. To keep himself busy, Donnie exercises daily. At his home in Canduman, Mandaue, a punching bag and speed ball are often battered by his spitfire punches. But it’s biking that he relishes most.

“I have a fat bike (Specialized brand) and I bike at least 3 times a week,” said Donnie. He’s been pedaling the fat bike for three years and used to go offroad trekking with 15 of his friends. But since the lockdown, he often goes solo or, at most, with three others.

“I wear a bonnet because it’s hard to breathe wearing a face mask,” said Donnie, who prefers biking at night, using headlights and blinkers, from 5 to 9 p.m. He also has two fixie bikes.  

On boxing, Donnie admitted: “Wala na gyud ta mahimo if boxing ang saligan. Ma pobre gyud ta. (We cannot rely on boxing or else we will become poor).”

Last week, he bought a Kia Bongo truck. “Lipat bahay” services, he calls it, hauling large items from clients anywhere in Cebu. In his Facebook post yesterday, his truck was fully loaded and en route to Bogo City. The driver: Donnie Nietes. “Ako syempre ma-ngunay (I do it myself),” he said.

Supplier of vegetables is another goal of Donnie. He visited farmers in Mantalongon, Dalaguete and aims to deliver fresh supplies to his contacts in Mandaue. “Tabang sad ni sa farmers (this will also help the farmers). They have difficulty with transportation,” he said, targeting to supply “repolyo, pechay, kamatis, sibuyas bombay, pipino, sili, luy-a.”

Donnie also sells Kimchi. No, he doesn’t prepare it himself but has a Korean friend who acts as supplier. Chorizo, alcohol, face masks — these are more items the champ sells.

In Balamban, he has a sand and gravel trucking business (with a partner) and they deliver to Dumanjug, Barili and Toledo.

Botin LPG? Yes, Donnie is a dealer of these refillable LPG canisters (used for portable gas stoves). “Safe and legal ni ang Botin!” Donnie said proudly. He’s also happy that one of his resellers is a dear friend: boxing coach Edito Villamor. “Aside from Botin LPG reseller si Coach Dito, I also plan to supply him with vegetables so he can sell them near his home in Pagsabungan, Mandaue.”

To do business with Donnie  — and get the chance of speaking with a Cebu icon — you can message him in his Facebook page or text/call him at 09177168787 or 09338574078.

“Bisag unsa,” he said, “basta maka-negosyo ta.”

That resilience and resourcefulness, my dear friends, is what makes a champion.

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Categorized as ALA Boxing

Ironman 70.3

Today, August 9, would have been the ninth edition of the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 race here in Cebu. It was in August 2012 when triathletes first dove into the white sand shores of Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and swam 1.9 kms., when they pedaled 90 kms. to do loops around the South Road Properties (SRP), and when they ran a half-marathon under the scorching noontime heat in Punta Engaño.

Before 7 a.m. today, the starting gun would have been fired in Mactan as thousands of hearts from all over the globe would have started the swim-bike-race craze that’s nicknamed IM70.3.

Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr. is the man responsible for bringing the Ironman brand to the Philippines. He’s Cebuano. We know plenty of successful Cebu-based businessmen family-named Uytengsu. 

Fred was born here in Cebu City. And though he was raised in Manila and studied college in America, where better to bring triathlon than a place you call home: Cebu.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to stage the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 event for obvious reasons,” Fred wrote me yesterday. “This event is world recognized and popular with many professional and age group triathletes. It also brings a lot of tourism dollars to Cebu.”

Each August for the past eight years, an estimated 10,000 people — including 2,500 triathletes — converge in Cebu for this spectacle. Organized by Sunrise Events, Inc., the Cebu race is often recognized as one of the world’s best, twice hosting the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championships. Participants get to compete alongside pros like Tim Reed, Mauricio Mendez, Belinda Granger and Caroline Steffen.

Back in 2014 when I joined as runner for a relay team, one of the bike relay participants was Pete Jacobs. He was the 2012 Ironman World Championships (Kona, Hawaii) winner. While Pete Jacobs was readying his bike before the Cebu race began, he kept looking at the bike beside him (a sleek Pinarello) and wondered who professional might be beside him. It was my bike relay teammate and best friend Dr. Ronald Eullaran! I can’t think of any other event where you get to stand and prepare beside the world champion.

With the Regent Aguila Ironman 70.3 race, this 2020, we were struck by Covid-19. And though Sunrise Events, through the indefatigable general manager Princess Galura, did all it could to prepare for the race, there was no stopping this ruthless virus.

“We are guided by ‘safety first’ even as Cebu is on GCQ,” said Fred, bowing to this unseen enemy that has disturbed all sporting events worldwide. 

“We would have had to be comfortable enough with our revised safety protocols to hold an event amidst the pandemic and this would have resulted in a drastically smaller race,” said Fred. 

“So while we are all disappointed, we realize we are dealing with a much bigger issue and we all have to do our part to observe safety and help mitigate the risks of Covid-19.”

As for the sport of triathlon, Mr. Uytengsu believes that, while racing is on a hiatus, the urge to train and compete will return.

“Once the situation improves,” he said, “I believe triathletes will resume their usual training regimen and the sport of triathlon (and Ironman) will continue to flourish in the Philippines and around the world.”

“Triathlon is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle,” he said. “So many people are new to the sport and are just getting situated. I expect the pent up demand to result in a lot of racing… hopefully in 2021.”

Fred Uytengsu added: “We hope to return to Cebu to continue this great tradition.”

Fred Uytengsu

The Cebuano who brought Ironman to the Philippines is, himself, an Ironman. And when we say “Ironman,” we mean the full and “pain-full” experience: 3.8 kms of swimming the open seas and 180 kms. of pedaling against headwinds, topped off with a full 42K marathon.

Fred Uytengsu has competed in over 50 events but none more fulfilling than the Ironman World Championships. Of the hundreds of triathlon races worldwide, the one in Kona, Hawaii is most prestigious; it’s the Wimbledon of triathlon. Fred finished twice, recording a personal best of 12.5 hours in 2011.

“But after 17 years of Ironman and triathlon,” Fred told me the other day, “I’ve taken a step back and focused on competitive swimming at the Masters level.”

On swimming, Fred gave this speech during the 2016 PSA Awards in Manila: “I took swimming in a relatively late age, starting off playing baseball, but I like the notion of swimming because, as a baseball player, sometimes you lose because your teammates struck out or someone dropped the ball. 

“What I liked about swimming is that you look at yourself in the mirror whether you won or lost, and it is whether your work ethic or your time in the pool or your racing plan was executed that defined winning or losing. If I didn’t train hard enough, I had no one to blame but myself. If I’m successful, it’s because I worked harder. 

“I enjoyed that notion competing for 13 years, swimming four hours a day, six days a week, 50 weeks a year. Along the way, I learned a lot about the importance of a great work ethic, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. All of these would turn out to be great life lessons as I began my working career.”

Fred became the captain of the University of Southern California swimming team. He also represented the Philippines in the 1981 SEA Games.

Several decades later, Fred is back to competing in the pool again.

“Last August 2019, I competed at the World Masters Swimming Championships in Gwangju, Korea and was able to finish in the top ten in the 50 meter and 100 meter butterfly,” he said. “So I’d like to improve on that when the Masters World Championships are held in Fukuoka, Japan (now moves to 2022). I’ll be in a new age group next year (60-64), so looking forward to that.”

These days, given the restrictions of Covid-19, Fred has worked-out at home by focusing on strength and core training with just body weight. He also did jump rope but said, “while it’s a great cardio workout, it was hard on my knees.” Lately, when the restrictions eased up, he’s been back on the bike or on the pool.

“I’m also working on improving my lung capacity using a new gadget called Air-o-Fit,” he said. “So far, so good but I need to keep at it for at least 6 months.”

A Lakers fan, Fred has been stuck in Los Angeles the past months, unable yet to fly back to Manila. His parting words to us: “We need to keep a positive attitude and realize things will get better. #cebustrong #philippinesstrong.”

Hon. Hontiveros

Dondon (center) with (from left) Manny Villaruel, Raffy Uytiepo, Girlie Garces, John Pages, Edri Aznar and Caecent Magsumbol during the 37th SAC-SMB Cebu Sports Awards held last February 2020

Donaldo is his first name and Dondon is his nickname but we’d call him by the moniker “Cebuano Hotshot.” He studied in Don Bosco, USJ-R, and as college heartthrob, the University of Cebu. When the Cebu Gems was formed in 1998, he stood as the shining gem. 

From the MBA, he hopped to the PBA, playing 17 quality years with Alaska, Petron, Tanduay, Air21, and San Miguel. Among his achievements include being ranked fourth in the list of most 3-point shots made in PBA history, behind Jimmy Alapag, Allan Caidic and Ronnie Magsanoc. He also netted three PBA championships, one with the Aces and two with the Beermen. 

In a list of superstars that played in Cebu that include Abet, June Mar, Jojo, Ramon, JR, Aldrech, Greg and Arnie, the name “Dondon” is, on a first-name basis, recognized.

Last year, Dondon Hontiveros played a different game. He dribbled into politics, shooting for a slot as Cebu City councilor. Long accustomed to being a top-scorer, Dondon was the highest pointer among the 16 elected councilors, garnering over 161,00 votes. The tallest stood tallest.

“Basketball is a team game and each player has a role to play,” he told me a few days ago. “But it’s your attitude that helps when facing a challenge. In a game, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll win but when you put in the work, you give yourself a chance.”

The 43-year-old Hontiveros has a different role to play these days, given the Covid-19 pandemic. A few months back, he was inside the Cebu Coliseum — the same arena where he’s spent hundreds of hours assisting and playing basketball — but this time, he was assisting with the relief goods distribution, playing leader as the city helped prepare food kits.

“When I was in-charge of the repacking,” he said, “I was able to get a workout everyday because, with the help of my coaches, we helped carry the boxes of canned goods. I also tried to bring the team some energy.”

Hon. Hontiveros is busy these days, going out almost daily to help with the Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex. 

“I am the logistics coordinator at NOAH under Atty. Joy Pesquera. Our quarantine facility at the SRP was able to discharge over 306 asymptomatic clients. Currently, we have over 270 at the facility,” he said.

When I asked for advice to his fellow Cebuanos, he had these “positive” words: “Use your energy to make a positive impact. It might be lending a hand, encouraging a person going through a difficult time or saying a prayer. You rise by lifting others. You find fulfillment when you were able to help. We can a make a difference bisag unsa pa na kagamay. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit, what matters is we make a conscious effort to help.”

Finally, I couldn’t end my interview without asking him one thing.

“I am excited with the return of the NBA,” he said. “I was cheering for Kawhi (Leonard) when he was still with the Spurs and Raptors. But LeBron has been amazing, as well as Giannis. My pick: any of the L.A. teams and the Bucks.”

Pinoy Basketball

Football may be the world’s most beloved sport, revered by an estimated 3.5 billion people, but here in the Philippines, we know that our No. 1 game is the one introduced to us by the Americans. 

Not long after the U.S. colonized the Philippines in 1901, basketball was introduced in Manila. It was a new game, developed a decade earlier (1891) by a P.E. teacher named James Naismith.

James Naismith

By 1910, the Philippine public schools included dribbling and rebounding as forms of exercise. By February 1913, when we hosted five nations in the Far Eastern Championship Games, we won gold in basketball, besting China and Japan. We were so dominant in Asian basketball that we won nine out of 10 of those biennial events from 1913 to 1934.

When the 1936 Olympics were played in Berlin and Adolf Hitler stood as Fuhrer, basketball was introduced as a medal sport for the first time. Led by team captain Ambrosio Padilla (who would later become a senator), we beat Italy, Mexico, Estonia and Uruguay and lost only to the U.S. Our team (photo below) was called “The Islanders” and we placed fifth — a standing that remains as the highest-ever for any Asian country in Olympic basketball history.

Given our dominance, when the first Asian Games was organized in 1951 in New Delhi, India, you don’t have to guess who stood tallest. Led by Caloy Loyzaga, Lauro Mumar and Moro Lorenzo, the Philippines won gold. 

We won the first four Asian Games basketball tournaments, including 1954 (Manila), 1958 (Tokyo) and 1962 (Jakarta). Sadly, in the 14 succeeding Asian Games, we have not snatched another gold, settling for one silver and two bronze medals.

Fast forward to 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association was established. The PBA is not only Asia’s first pro basketball league but is also the world’s second oldest, bested only by the NBA (founded in 1946). 

Since the PBA was organized 45 years ago, some of the most famous Filipinos are ballplayers. We have Ramon Fernandez, our fellow Cebuano and now PSC commissioner. Robert Jaworski, James Yap, Alvin Patrimonio, Johnny Abarrientos, Allan Caidic, Atoy Co, Jimmy Alapag, Jojo Lastimosa, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Chito Loyzaga — these names, especially to those who followed the game in the ‘80s and ‘90s, are superstars. Today, there’s (our own) June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, and Arwind Santos.

Dondon Hontiveros, who played for famous teams like the University of Cebu, the Cebu Gems, and PBA squads Alaska and San Miguel, is not only well-known but a dedicated public official. Hon. Hontiveros is a Cebu City councilor.

Why this basketball history and talk? Because, as the NBA season restarts this Friday, I’m reminded of my chat yesterday while biking with Dr. Ronnie Medalle and James Co.

Never, in our basketball history that spans 109 years, has a homegrown Filipino played in the NBA. But there’s one who will, I dare say, play in the NBA by 2026. His name: Kai Sotto.

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Categorized as Basketball

Kai Sotto

Less than 3,000 people worldwide, it is estimated, stand over 7-feet-tall. That’s 0.000038% of the planet’s population of 7.8 billion. The likelihood of being taller than your door frame (which has a 6-foot-8 clearance) is so miniscule that even in the NBA, where giants breathe and cohabitate, there are only 15 active players standing over 7-feet-tall. Famous names include Marc Gasol and Rudy Gobert, both 7’1.” The tallest is Tacko Fall of Senegal; he’s listed at 7’6”.

Kai Zachary Sotto stands 2.18 meters tall. In inches, that’s 86”. In feet, he’s 7-foot-2. He’s the same height as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dikembe Mutombo. And Kai turned 18 years old just last May 11. He may still add an inch, standing equal to a player he idolizes most, the 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis.

Born in Las Piñas in 2002, Kai played — surprise — basketball for the Saint Francis of Assisi College in elementary. In high school, he moved to Ateneo, towering over teenagers and leading the Blue Eaglets to the 2018 UAAP junior title. He was named Finals MVP after averaging 17 points, 13 rebounds and 6.3 blocks per game in the Finals. The next year, he led Ateneo again to victory, averaging 25 points, 14 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per outing. He was the league MVP.

(Spin.ph/Jerome Ascano)

For college, every university on earth lured and tempted Kai Sotto. But he resisted playing collegiate varsity. Yes, he still traveled to the land where basketball was invented, but instead of an Ivy League scholarship, Kai joined The Skill Factory in Atlanta, Georgia. 

What’s TSF? It’s Mission Statement reads: “An organization providing the sports community with best in class professional services that engage each athlete uniquely and appropriately. TSF delivers transformative athletic experiences to athletes..”

After TSF, Kai posted this Facebook update last May 14: “There has been a lot of speculation about my next step towards my dream of playing in the NBA.. I understand that I have a lot of responsibility for all my fellow countrymen who are dreaming of seeing a Filipino in the NBA.

“In the last year I have been here in America, I have learned so much. I worked on improving my basketball skills, building up my body and gaining the confidence to play against the best basketball players around the world..

“Now, I have to take the next big step towards my NBA dream. We have many options available but after much thought, I believe this option is the best route for me to get closer and faster to that dream.. 

“I’m very proud and excited to start my professional career with the NBA G League Select Team.”

Based in Los Angeles, this is a new concept by the NBA. Instead of college basketball, the best young prospects, which include Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd, are mixed with veteran players. They train, practice and compete in exhibition games against other NBA G League squads.

Kai, whose mom Pamela is a 6-footer and dad Ervin is 6-foot-8, looms very tall in becoming the first full-blooded Pinoy to join the NBA. 

Kaya mo ‘yan, Kai.

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Categorized as Basketball

ABS-CBN Sports

Apart from the 11,000 jobs lost and the disappearance of Ang Probinsyano, one of the biggest losers with the stoppage of the TV giant is sports.

Thanks to the ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel, we’ve enjoyed countless hours of sports entertainment. There’s the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL). There’s the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a league founded in 1924 that has flourished because of the live coverage of teams like San Beda, Letran, Mapua and Arellano.

The Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) is another prominent show. Led by Cherry Rondina of Compostela, Cebu, the sport of beach volleyball is popular. Since the first TV broadcast in Boracay in 2016, BVR has volleyed from one beach site to another, including our own white sand paradise in Moalboal. It’s a huge loss not to be able to watch beach volleyball on TV.

Pinoy Pride. Led by the father-and-son tandem of Antonio and Michael Aldeguer, the ALA Boxing group rejuvenated our love for boxing — thanks in part to the innumerable hours of Pinoy Pride bouts showcased in ABS-CBN Sports.

Last May, while the planet was in lockdown, a series of every-Sunday features were showcased in S+A. On May 4, it was Albert Pagara. Two weeks later, it was former world champ Milan Melindo. Last May 24, it was Donnie Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino boxing champion, in “Pinoy Pride Greatest Hits: Into The Snake’s Pit.” 

Goodbye, Pinoy boxing. There’s more. It’s the PVL or Premier Volleyball League. This sport — thanks to TV coverage — has gained the biggest following in the past six years. 

Remember Alyssa Valdez? She’s the country’s most famous female athlete. I’ve seen her at the Araneta Coliseum and you’ll be amazed at the thousands of fans who, like magnets, flock to her. Television has helped promote Alyssa and Jia Morado, among others. If none of their PVL games involving Pocari vs. Creamline vs. BaliPure were broadcasted, volleyball would not be as celebrated. Volleyball has been dealt a powerful spike. Out!

Then there’s Manny Pacquiao. Without question the greatest ever Filipino athlete, ABS-CBN Sports helped lift his stature by airing incalculable hours of his boxing exploits. Plus, Pacquiao is the founder of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). Pitting city versus city, you’ve got the San Juan Knights against Marikina Shoemasters. The MPBL, in just a few years, has risen to prominence — thanks to S+A’s coverage. I’m disappointed in Pacquiao. Given his influence as a (still active) boxer and senator, he did not do more to stop the stoppage of ABS.

Finally, the UAAP. Oh, how we’ll miss watching La Salle vs. Ateneo. Through the years, in football or basketball or volleyball, we’ve been privileged to watch live, pulsating action of the country’s top collegiate league. As Thirdy Ravena said goodbye to Ateneo, we say, goodbye UAAP.

Why did ABS-CBN and S+A get knocked out? If this were boxing, our government officials can do all the weaving and bobbing, but we know the truth: it’s a dirty punch called Politics.

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Categorized as UAAP

Risk factors

I just read, “Will Your Soccer Club Ever Meet Again? A Guide to Outdoor Sports This Summer,” an article penned by Christie Aschwanden (of the website Elemental). It will help me explain the Covid-19 hazards of certain sports.

BASKETBALL. This sport is risky. You’re in close proximity to each other; you may wear masks but there’s sweat jumping off your body and you’re breathing hard beside one another. Plus, you’ve got one ball that’s being passed around.

You must have read about Japeth Aguilar, Thirdy Ravena and their group playing 5-on-5 last week. They got fined and reprimanded. Solution? Shoot hoops alone. Or invite a family member and play one-on-one. 

TENNIS. In a previous article, I labeled tennis as low risk because you’re standing 78 feet away from your opponent. But I’m mistaken.

“If you’re sweating and touching your mucous membranes and then touching the ball, you could potentially spread the infection on the tennis ball,” read the article; that quote was by Syra Madad, a special pathogens specialist at NYC Health + Hospitals. 

You can use your racket to pick up the ball and pass to your opponent. The problem is: how are you going to serve? Ha-ha. You need to touch the ball. The USTA offers a few tips: stay six feet apart, wash hands before and after playing, and don’t touch your face.

FOOTBALL. To play an 11-A-Side game might not be permitted until the vaccine is out. This is because football is a contact sport. Although less risky than basketball because the field is much bigger, you’re still pushing each other shoulder-to-shoulder in 90 minutes worth of close contact play. The advantage of football is you don’t touch the ball with your hands. Still, it’s best to pick a partner, find an open grass area and just kick the ball to each other. 

RUNNING. This is one of the safest because it’s an individual pursuit. If you run alone in a park, you’re in a very low risk situation. And even if you’re with two other runners, it’s safe as long as you keep distance. It’s even safer if you wear a mask. (I wrote an article about that last month; I couldn’t breathe and had to take off my mask.)

BIKING. “Cycling is one of the safest things you can do, because you’re outside and there’s lots of airflow, Snoeyenbos Newman (an infectious disease physician at the University of Washington) says,” the article reads. 

If you can bike alone and wear a mask, you’re at your safest. But even if you ride with a group, it’s the same advice: keep a distance of six feet. It’s also advisable not to be directly behind another cyclist because the respiratory discharges can fall on you from the rider’s slipstream. Lastly, no sharing of anything: food, water bottles, gels and bike pumps.

SWIMMING. “There’s very little risk of getting Covid-19 from water,” says Ms. Aschwanden. And since swimming is the most individual of sports, you’re safe, right? Yes, underwater. But while outside, beware. The shower areas or locker rooms are usually space spaces and you’re near people.

Published
Categorized as Covid-19

Djoker, Covid-19 is no joke

By now, you’ve read about the disastrous Adria Tour organized by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Scheduled to be played in four European cities, the tennis exhibition matches brought together Sascha Zverez, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Djokovic, among others. 

Tennis (unlike basketball and football) is contact-less. Your opponent stands 78 feet away. In rankings of the “least contagious sports,” tennis ranks at the top. But what Djokovic did was mind-boggling. He allowed the players to shake hands, hug, and party to end the tournament. He allowed spectators, over 4,000 in Belgrade, to sit side-by-side. The result: after a couple of weeks, Djokovic, Dimitrov and several of his tennis-mates got Covid-19.

Nicknamed “Djoker,” Covid-19 is no joke, he realized. Djokovic has since apologized and been lambasted by sports fans around the world.

The US Open is scheduled next month, on August 24. Given the catastrophe that happened to Novak’s event, I’m sure the officials will be strict, more so because the site is in New York City, previously the epicenter of this pandemic.

No fans. Testing for all. No shaking of hands, only the crossing of swords (rackets) between opponents.