You’ll be hard pressed to find a year in recent history where people focused more on their health than 2020. After all, we all know about what COVID-19 has done to people’s physical health, but the seismic disruption COVID has caused in just about everyone’s life has also taken a toll on mental health. Fortunately, there is a way to improve your physical and mental health while still being protected from catching COVID.
It’s a little thing called getting outside.
Spending time outside is good for your body and escaping from isolation inside your home is also an excellent way to change your scenery, relax, and give your mind a break from everything happening in the world. To help you get outside as quickly and safely, as possible, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a quick guide for how to social distance when outside. Check it out before you get out!
Best Activities for Social Distancing
Socially distancing in the outdoors should be easy. Afterall, where can you find more space to spread out from people than outside? However, there are a few activities and actions that can put you more at risk than others.
For example, camping can either be very safe or potentially dangerous depending on how you do it. If you camp alone or with a group of people who you live with and away from other groups of people while practicing good hygiene, then camping is safe. However, if you meet up with a group from other households, towns, or regions and camp near or interact with other people then you could be putting yourself at risk.
You can apply the same logic to other activities. Running, fishing, and hiking are all safe outdoor activities as long as you avoid crowded areas and keep proper space from other people. The best way to do that is by planning your trip in advance, arriving and leaving away from peak hours, and avoiding high use areas like playgrounds.
You’re less likely to spread germs when you’re outside than indoors, but that doesn’t mean that a facemask isn’t required when you’re outside. If you’re coming within six feet of other people, then you should be wearing a cloth or layered face mask.
It can be tempting to wear a thin facemask like a gaiter or bandana to avoid getting hot. However, thin gaiters and bandanas do a poor job of stopping particles from spreading from your mouth and into the air and can even divide the particles and make them more likely to spread. For this reason, you should wear a cloth mask with two layers, disposable medical mask, or thick gaiter when around crowds of people outside.
Keep a Social Distance and Stay Local
We know that everyone doesn’t have the beautiful Eastern Sierra in their back yard like we do, but a great way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by staying local when you go outside.
By avoiding areas populated with tourists and other travelers, you can help curb the spread while also discovering the best outdoor areas and attractions your region has to offer. The big mountains, lakes, and parks will still be there when we’ve beaten COVID. You can help us get there sooner by staying local and giving some attention to your area’s outdoor attractions.
Wash Your Hands and Avoid Touching Your Face
The good hygiene your parents told you about when you were a kid is important now more than ever. In addition to make sure you stay a safe social distance apart, always wash your hands with soap and warm water or hand sanitizer after being out in public or touching public surfaces and don’t touch your mouth, eyes, or nose until you do so.