Toby Young Toby Young

This lockdown may kill me


I have a new job, which is maintaining a website called Lockdown Sceptics ( It’s a compendium of evidence that the lockdown is a needless act of self-harm that will almost certainly cause a greater loss of life than it prevents. I set it up myself, so I can’t complain, but trying to stay on top of all the news about coronavirus, moderating the comments and writing the daily update is taking up almost all my time. On Sunday, for instance, it took me about nine hours to summarise the latest data — and leaven the mix with jokes, memes and anecdotes —and by the time the clock struck midnight that post had received 544 comments. It’s a Sisyphean task and every day it begins all over again.

The result is that my diet and exercise regimen has gone completely to pot. As of now, we’re allowed to take unlimited exercise, but I cannot even find time to walk to the corner shop. I used to feel guilty if I did fewer than 10,000 steps a day. Now, I’m lucky if I manage 1,000. And my ‘intermittent fasting’, whereby I didn’t eat after 9 p.m. or before 1 p.m. and scrupulously avoided carbohydrates, has been replaced with the kind of diet I associate with a software engineer trying to debug a program before a new product launch — Domino’s Pizza, Coca-Cola and chocolate bars, all consumed at any time of the day or night.

I’ve become a kind of hermit, living in the shed at the bottom of my garden and rarely seeing sunlight

Predictably enough, I’ve begun to pile on the pounds. For about two years I managed to keep my weight down to around 11 stone, but now it’s crept up to 12 stone and shows no signs of levelling off.

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