We all wish that Covid infections were a thing of the past, but we’re learning that it continues to travel around the world in ever-changing variants. Those of us who plan on being vaccinated and boosted have already done so, and those choosing not to receive the vaccine are probably not going to change their minds.
Thus, we find ourselves several years into the pandemic and learning to live as normal a life as possible in the midst of it. We do know ways to minimize the spread of the virus and can make informed choices about what activities to enjoy this summer.
We know that Covid is spread by infectious droplets that come from mouths and noses when people cough, sneeze, talk, sing, or breathe heavily. The droplets are released into the air where they can live for some hours. Thus, outdoor activities where the air moves and disperses the droplets are safer environments.
There are no sure-fire ways to avoid becoming infected by the virus, but there are precautions we can take to minimize our contact with others. Doctors say that keeping six feet of distance between ourselves and others is enough to provide optimal safety. So, any activity in which people can gather out of doors but keep some distance between them is a safer space than in a crowded indoor space.
Here are some much-needed activities we can do relatively safely to boost our spirits and get some much-needed vitamin D. Just skip the usual handshakes, hugs and kisses when you greet your friends, then have a well-deserved good time.
Walk or Hike
Take a brisk solo walk, a leisurely stroll through a park or plan a hike on your favorite trail. Being outdoors in nature is good for our souls.
For those who love to run and get those endorphins going, this is the perfect time. If you run with others, be sure to keep some distance as you will be breathing heavier than usual and could transmit the droplets.
Eighteen holes in a beautiful, outdoor setting—what could be better? Keep your distance on the tee-offs and on the putting green.
Tennis out of doors is the perfect activity for getting a good workout and having social interactions without being up close and personal. Tap racquets instead of shaking hands.
Cast your line out on the water and enjoy the beauty of the water and the surroundings. Very relaxing and you might even catch your dinner.
Kayak, Canoe or Sail
The key here is to either go solo, or on a boat large enough to give some space between persons. It’s great fun to be on a body of water and very relaxing, too.
Rock climbing requires either partners or a team, but it doesn’t require one to be near the other. It’s strenuous exercise and very exhilarating.
This may be a time to camp with family members only or have separate campsites if you travel with friends. Be mindful of distancing and enjoy the great out of doors.
Grab your field guide and head out into grasslands, forests and other areas where birds make their homes. It’s immensely gratifying to find and document the birds in a given outdoor area.
As with camping, be sure to keep some distance, but have that picnic lunch and enjoy the outdoor surroundings at a local park, or beach setting.
Softball or Soccer
Softball or soccer are team sports that are played outdoors and where the players are usually distanced.
Tired of avoiding restaurants? Many have added outdoor seating for those who feel more comfortable and want to avoid indoor crowds. Check out your local restaurants and inquire about patio dining.
Go ahead and have some friends over for a barbecue. Just be sure to avoid hugs and handshakes, position people at some distance and use hand sanitizers as necessary.
It’s important for all of us to regain the quality of life as soon as possible, while being as safe as possible. Do a little planning, and then enjoy lots of fun, outdoor activities this summer.