Heads up! Tennis is the sport for the new normal
I don’t know about you, but being stuck in quarantine has helped put some things into stark perspective: The internet is a remarkable tool that isn’t without its shortcomings; having a stockpile of unread books can actually come in handy; cooking is more of an exercise in creative liberty than most people think, and tennis …
I don’t know about you, but being stuck in quarantine has helped put some things into stark perspective: The internet is a remarkable tool that isn’t without its shortcomings; having a stockpile of unread books can actually come in handy; cooking is more of an exercise in creative liberty than most people think, and tennis is actually a great way to have fun with friends even in the midst of a global pandemic.
With a bit of reflection, it actually makes a lot of sense. Apart from the introductory handshake (which is a nicety that you don’t strictly have to observe these days) the only real point of contact between you and the people you play with is a fuzzy neon green ball that’s blistering past at averages of 130 to 200km/h.
…That’s mildly scary but let’s pretend we’re cool with it, yeah?
To the surprise of many, 2020 turned out to be a great year for tennis all things considered. It must have caught on that physical distancing was an integral part of the game and that unlike many other competitive or solo sports, the implementation of sanitary protocols and social distancing is that much easier here.
While it honestly can be a bit hard on your joints, the high intensity of the workout you get is absolutely great for strengthening your core and improving both reflex speed and hand-eye coordination—muscle memory counts for a lot when trying to track a small ball moving so quickly, and you need to take every advantage when it comes to maintaining a clear view.
Another reason why tennis is catching on could very well be aesthetics. Compared to a lot of other “proper” sportswear, it’s just much easier to look absolutely classy in tennis gear than, say, a football jersey. It has its own charm of course, but come on, you have to applaud the optics here:
In all, the initial investment can be a bit daunting but there are scores of affordable gear to get you started, and rentals are always an option if you’re still testing the waters. It’s a great way to burst right past the doldrums with a boost of endorphins and make up for lost time with friends and family, plus it’s not the worst date idea if you’re looking to get back out there.
So what are you waiting for?
These apps are stalking you—for the greater good
Thanks to smartphones and social media, we can spend hours joking about how Big Tech has been having an easy time keeping tabs on each one of us, and being able to predict with alarming accuracy what we might have a craving for hours before we pull up the FoodPanda app. But like any other …
Thanks to smartphones and social media, we can spend hours joking about how Big Tech has been having an easy time keeping tabs on each one of us, and being able to predict with alarming accuracy what we might have a craving for hours before we pull up the FoodPanda app. But like any other technological advancement since the invention of the wheel, there’s nothing inherently bad about new things—it’s how we use it.
That’s a conversation for another day, though. What people should be talking about now is the fact that, after slow going over the last few months, the use of contact tracing apps has been on the rise. It’s a decision that the Philippines must consider and deliberate on, what with the country seeing a spike in new cases, no thanks to people growing careless in following health protocols.
Unfortunately, the holiday season has led to people ignoring social distancing as they crowd leisure centers and transport terminals to get home to their loved ones for Christmas, giving ample opportunity for the virus to mutate. Aside from established protocols of social distancing, wearing masks and face shields properly and practicing good hygiene, using a contact tracing app is a good way to keep the virus at bay, as it identifies those who may need to be isolated after exposure.
The Philippine government already mandates the use of the StaySafe.ph app for local and national-level agencies, which has been widely adopted in many cities and municipalities:.
The Department of Health (DOH) also has its own database simply called the “COVID-19 Tracker”, which amasses reports from across the country and releases data drops to help people keep abreast of developments in cases.
TanodCOVID is another platform spearheaded by Globe Telecommunications in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) that allows local government units to report trends reported via constituents over SMS to help delineate cases.
Earlier in the year Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued an order for all Cebuanos to install the WeTrace app developed by a DOST graduate in order to expedite and aid contact tracing in the area.
On an international level, Apple and Google have set their differences aside to work on an Exposure Notification infrastructure that, while not an app in and of itself, allows for the easy development of contact tracing programs with baked-in security and privacy features to prevent information from being misused. There are efforts too to develop a multitude of other contact tracing apps, among them the ENDCoV app from the graduate students of the Asian Institute of Management that presents real-time data down to the barangay level.
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