The Biathlon

This past Tuesday, I started to explain to my husband how I felt as though getting through the pandemic can be compared to approaching the end of a long run. You know the finish line is there; you can even see it. Having that knowledge should mentally make it the easiest part of the run and as such, this segment of the run should be the easiest for us to social distance and to a stricter extent, quarantining.

My husband started to agree with my metaphor, but he elaborated and made the brilliant point that the pandemic is more akin to a biathlon. A biathlon is a cross country ski race with the added obstacle of rifle shooting. For every target that is missed by the athlete, either time or additional laps are added.

Through this lens, we ski our laps but rather than continue with an eagle eyed shot, some of us flub the shot or do not even stop to take the shot. This adds more time to our ski requirement. So we ski some more. We ski and we ski and we ski because those going to holiday gatherings or vacations are the ones missing their rifle shots. I’m getting so tired of skiing but I’m not going to stop my laps until we finish this thing.

Anton Shipulin (Russia), left, at the shooting range during the men’s pursuit race at the 2017–18 Biathlon World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen, Austria © Alexander Vilf © Sputnik

With impending cold weather, what could be cozier than a holiday season, cooking chili in the crockpot, allowing the smell of the food to waft through the home, and curling up with a blanket. Had this been a typical year, I would have cancelled many plans by this point, in favor of staying in and getting cozy. Who identifies?

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