Recreation-oriented people want to be “on the move” all year around whether it’s skiing or snowboarding in the winter or taking advantage of activities popular during the summer. This year is no different but is it “safe”? According to the Mayo Clinic, the Covid-19 pandemic does not have to halt summertime fun. On the contrary. Mayo suggests numerous choices ranging from low risk to moderate risk.
Five months into the virus, most people should know that it is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air when talking, coughing, or sneezing.
The Clinic points out that, when you’re outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So, you’re less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected. and being outside offers an emotional boost that can help you feel less tense, stressed, angry or depressed.
So, what does the Clinic consider low risk? High on the list are walking, hiking, running and biking. These are activities that can be enjoyed close to home.
Other options include fishing, golf, kayaking, boating and sailing.
Low risk social activities include picnics or outdoor gatherings with family members or small groups of friends, outdoor Farmer’s Markets, and drive-in movies. In all cases social distancing is a must. The Clinic stresses avoiding crowded sidewalks and narrow paths and recommends choosing routes that make it easy to keep your distance.
Low-t0-moderate activities are outdoor “patio” dining at restaurants, camping (although If you only have close contact with people you live with, camping is low-risk), barbecues and pot lucks assuming gatherings are small and social distancing can be maintained as well as swimming pools and beach (social distancing also applies). The Clinic notes that water itself doesn’t seem to spread the COVID-19 virus to people.
Large gatherings, summer camp activities and playgrounds are considered high-risk activities. Like most health professionals, Mayo urges practicing good hand hygiene such as washing your hands, not touching your face with unwashed hands, social distancing from others, and wearing a mask when you can’t avoid being near other people. More and more communities are making facial coverings mandatory in efforts to combat the virus.