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The COVID-19 diaries: inside exercise


This is a comic from Sunday – as you can see I’m running a little behind myself – and it was truly a phenomenon when the sun came out at about 3.30pm. Everybody took to the streets. I am normally a neighbourhood walker. I like the calm walking brings me, but I have never seen so many people walking in this suburb. It was like a freaky carnival where everyone kept their distance, walked along the middle of the road, and all the bands and hot chip and waffle caravans had cancelled. There were little groups yelling at each other – I ran into about three people I knew. It was both festive and eery, like we were all infected already and were compelled to walk to our deaths. It did strike me how truly car-centric so many of us are!

COVD-19 adds an extra layer of anxiety to diabetes management. After all, it’s one of those underlying conditions that ups your chances of dying of it. I like to tell myself that I will be exempt because my sugar levels are reasonably well-controlled but some days it’s really hard and my sugars start rising for no good reason and the weather means I can’t go do a vigorous 30 minute walk that generally guarantees that my insulin will start taking effect again.

I have this really great testing app on my phone that scans a sensor in my arm. It’s not funded (I hope it will be soon!) and it’s quite expensive at $50 a week – but it does mean that I don’t need to prick my fingers and it constantly graphs my results. This is stressful in itself – I feel a sense of satisfaction when my sugars are 91% in target, but when they slip back to 32% thanks to a shitty day of highs and lows I feel like a complete failure and the anxiety kicks in. The trick is to get good nighttime levels – that way you’ve got at least 30% of your day within range.

I did make myself a really great dance playlist thanks for a bit of crowd sourcing! Happy to take more suggestions though. What tunes make you want to get up and dance?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Brent Putze permalink
    31/03/2020 9:52 am

    Ah, enjoying my daily read of Let me be Frank. Thank you for sharing your management of diabetes during these (sometimes) scary days in lockdown. It helped me realize that even though we’re all go going through some similar experiences, each of us are facing our own unique challenges at this time. You have a lot to manage but you seem to be seem to be so onto it. I really like the panel wear your daughter is blankly staring at you while you’re dancing. I hope you don’t mind my regular comments on your comics. Even more than ever during these days of isolation I think it’s important for people who are putting work out there to know their work is being enjoyed and appreciated.

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      31/03/2020 9:55 am

      I love your comments, Brent! It’s really lovely to have a response to my work. Somebody who i’d told the anecdote to pointed out that I had missed out a panel – I have inserted it now!

  2. Brent Putze permalink
    31/03/2020 10:49 am

    Yep, saw the added panel. Nice.

  3. Susan Pearce permalink
    31/03/2020 11:54 am

    I love your drawings of all the dancing, Sarah. Oddly enough my children have the same reactions to my attempts to sing. x

  4. 31/03/2020 3:44 pm

    I think we are all getting cabin fever . Imagine how we’d all be if we were like the poor men on Guatonamo Bay Sp?Great expression of our frustration


  5. Mathilde permalink
    31/03/2020 9:30 pm

    Personally I like to danse alone in my tiny bathroom in the dark…And this makes me move:
    Good as Hell, Lizzo
    I’m Feeling It, Blinky Bill
    Jouer le jeu, The Pirouettes
    It’s My House, Diana Ross
    Mr. Big Stuff, Jean Knight
    How Long Do I Have To Wait For You, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      31/03/2020 10:26 pm

      What a great list! I will add it to mine tomorrow… I do already have some Lizzo and some Diana Ross

      • Mathilde Caër permalink
        03/04/2020 10:26 pm

        yay! 🙂

  6. Barbara Grace permalink
    31/03/2020 9:36 pm

    Another great episode and a reminder of what a daily challenge you have to manage.
    I am so enjoying cycling in Auckland at present – it’s wonderful and so many people and kids and every sort of bike. So quiet on the streets that you can hear the whirr of the ebike motors! (How appalling that it takes a life threatening virus to achieve this state)

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      31/03/2020 10:26 pm

      It is funny, isn’t it! A weird dystopic utopia

  7. annadusseau permalink
    10/04/2020 1:00 am

    I’m loving this series of posts and your cool drawings! Thanks for keeping us all entertained. Lots of interesting stuff in your articles.

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