Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

Back to the great outdoors

Lyna Mohamad

A 53-year-old military retiree Haji Zaini takes his health and fitness seriously.

Being a former trainer at the military training centre, it is difficult to question his quest for good health. 

Expressing his gratitude for the easing of restrictions, which has allowed him to get back to his fitness routine, Haji Zaini said that wearing of a face mask is entirely up to the person.

“We look after ourselves when we’re engaged in fitness activities. The minister said that when going in groups, it is advisable to wear mask. I prefer to do my activities solo and that is why I don’t feel the need to mask,” he told the Bulletin at the Damuan Recreational Park.

Commenting on the rising cases of COVID-19 in the Sultanate, he said every individual should be responsible by adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“As a responsible community, we should be grateful that we have been given the opportunity to celebrate our major festivities albeit on a small scale. So it is only fair that we follow the health guidelines,” he said.

Pengiran Norlelawati, who is also a retiree, does at least five days a week of brisk walking every morning.

ABOVE & BELOW: Haji Zaini, Pengiran Norlelawati and Hajah Nafisah at the park. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

Asiah and her children

On a fine morning, she would go to Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in the capital, and if the weather does not permit, she would head to the Damuan Recreational Park.

When engaging in fitness activities, the retiree still wears her mask for protection, however partially. Should she pass a crowd of people, she will cover her face.

On the rising cases, Pengiran Norlelawati believes people should not be complacent and urged the public to perform antigen rapid test (ART) before going out, especially when visiting relatives for Raya.

“COVID screening before leaving the house is one way to keep the virus from spreading,” she added.

Meanwhile, senior citizen Hajah Nafisah from Kampong Sengkurong strolled for the first time at the Damuan Recreational Park as she joined her granddaughter Izah for a morning run.

She said that although the minister assured that it is not necessary to wear a mask when doing physical activities outdoor, someone in the 70s like herself may want to wear it as a precaution.

“For me it is not a hassle to wear my mask as I am not doing heavy workout like my granddaughter. I am only taking a stroll with my walking stick, so I don’t feel uncomfortable nor do I find it difficult to breathe,” she said.

Housewife Asiah of Kampong Katok ‘B’ used to take her children out for recreational activities, before the pandemic hit the Sultanate.

With restrictions easing for outdoor activities, she decided to start getting back to the routine with her three children.

She said engaging in outdoor activities calms her and knowing the health will improve is a plus.

As for the option of wearing a mask, she decides to leave it in her pocket when she’s outdoors and reach for it when needed.

Asiah also advised people to be responsible by following the SOPs to avoid sudden spike in COVID cases, especially during this festive season.

“We have grown used to wearing masks so there is no reason not to wear them when visiting close relatives.

“It is also good to perform ART before going for visits as you are protecting everyone, including yourself. And stay home if you are under the weather,” she said.

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