We’ve all heard the suggested guidelines at this point for helping flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19: We should all practice social distancing by staying home, keeping six feet away from other individuals and washing our hands frequently.
But as many people have found after a week or more now in isolation, staying inside can get pretty old pretty fast. As human beings, we still need to exercise and stay active. How do we do that while still doing what’s best for our community?
For the time being, we’re still allowed to enjoy the great outdoors—as long as we keep a six-foot radius around ourselves and those around us. Because of this, it’s a great time to support your local parks.
Nature is perfect for social distancing, not only giving individuals a place to exercise but take a mental break from the stress of the news as well. Many spaces are large and open, and there aren’t a lot of surfaces to avoid touching. Plus, most are remaining open as restaurants, museums and other venues close down around them.
What about our furry friends? The National Recreation and Park Association recommends keeping your dog on its leash at all times, even when at the park, and continuing to adhere to the six-feet rule.
When it comes to using trails, be sure to announce your presence to others as you pass to allow proper distance. It also might be smart to bring along your own water, as drinking fountains may be inoperable and shouldn’t be used even if they are still in use. The NRPA also suggests bringing your own trash bag so as to protect park workers.
So, if you’re feeling cooped up and need a change of scenery, consider heading to your local park—just remember to be safe, practice social distancing and stay home if you aren’t feeling well.
For information, check out the NRPA’s guide to social distancing at your local parks.