March 19, 2020 / 11:43 AM / 19 days ago

Workout with a toddler: Londoners adapt to life under coronavirus

Tom Kennedy does his morning exercise with his daughter Claudie (15 months) while people walk by in Clapham Common, as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases grow around the world, in London, Britain March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - As Londoners adapt to a new way of life under the shadow of the coronavirus, one father managed to combine fitness with childcare on Thursday: doing squats in his local park and using his toddler as a weight.

Earlier this week the British government told members of the public to avoid unnecessary social contact and work from home where possible, as it ramped up its response to the outbreak which has now killed more than 100 people in Britain.

Tom Kennedy took his 15-month-old daughter Claudie to Clapham Common in south London, where he and his friend George Lyons took turns to do squats and lift her into the air while the other ran a lap around the bandstand.

“We are just trying to adapt to the reality and come out and do some keep fit and do some exercise while juggling working from home and childcare at the same time, so we can incorporate all three elements, putting the little one to some use,” 37-year-old Kennedy, originally from New Zealand, told Reuters.

Kennedy, who works for a tech company, and his wife have been working from home since the start of the week and his daughter’s nursery closed on Wednesday.

London is now braced for a possible shut down as underground train stations across the capital closed on Thursday and Prime Minister Boris Johnson mulled tougher measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

“The uncertainty is more anxiety-inducing than anything but I think once people understand what they need to do, you just have to get on with it and adapt and do what you can to muck through,” said Kennedy.

(This story has been refiled to fix spelling in paragraph 3)

Reporting by Dylan Martinez, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mike Collett-White

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