Wednesday, May 25, 2022




As the COVID-19 quarantine reaches (hopefully) its last phases and “normal life” begins to resurface, it is interesting to look back upon the pressures of lockdown. Not only were these financial, but emotional as well. All it takes is a scroll through any social media platform to feel a push for productivity during quarantine. Fitness gurus released free at-home workout guides, nutritionists began posting healthy “at home” recipes, and “Quarantine Weight Loss Challenges ” became an influencer’s marketing jackpot and a consumer’s nightmare. NDTV Food posted an article titled, “Lockdown Challenge: 11 Weight Loss Diet Tips To Follow In Quarantine” about utilizing this free time to lose weight. When did this become the goal? Wasn’t the goal of quarantine to not contract the coronavirus? Was this secretly a ploy for us all to get fit with abs? I must have missed the memo.

The University of California Irvine features a blog piece titled “Beating The Quarantine 15” in an attempt to create a play on words for the “freshman 15.” Weight fluctuates, and a constant panic about a number on a scale in no way dictates whether an individual is healthy or not. To put pressure on something so trivial during a time of such unrest and fear couldn’t be more than a ploy to have people subscribe to your workout program or buy your recipe book. 

Quarantine is NOT a weight loss competition or a “look how fit I can get at home” challenge. 

In “Why You Should Ignore the Pressure to be Productive During Lockdown,” an article posted by The Guardian, Kiran Misra wrote:  “The emotional impact [of lockdown] is profound. We live in a political and social climate where our sense of self-worth is often reduced to our productivity.” So, as a society, people have begun to put a measure on how well they are “doing quarantine.” Memes have been posted that mock the potential of weight gain during the lockdown, and even glamorize contracting the coronavirus because the illness can cause weight loss. It became a trend on Twitter to wish coronavirus upon oneself due to it causing weight loss.  

It is important to realize that we were in lockdown for our health, for the health of those in our community, and for the global public to limit the contraction of COVID-19, not to lose weight and get abs. 

Social media accounts such as @feminist on Instagram took to their feed in an attempt to shut down this “trend” for productivity and weight loss. 

Staff Sgt. Kevin, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain assistant, displays his workout video at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 30, 2020. Kevin created high-intensity interval training fitness videos for people to workout at home while practicing social distancing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Omari Bernard)

So, as stores reopen and the world has its first attempt at normalization, remember that if you did not lose weight, if you gained some, or even if you did use this time to start working out, that was what you did for you. Quarantine was not a weight loss competition that you didn’t attend.