We Can Still Go Outside

Fresh Air and Sunshine

There seems to be a little bit of confusion as to whether it is acceptable to go outside and exercise during Sacramento’s shelter-in-place order. There are no current restrictions to avoid outdoor exercise either under the California orders or the federal 15-day guidelines to slow the spread of Covid-19. In fact, getting outside in the sunlight and cool breeze may be the highlight of our quarantined days. For now, we can still safely go outside and let’s hope that does not change.

Stepping Outside Safely

Fresh air and exercise are of tremendous importance to those of us prone to cabin fever, but because Covid-19’s primary method of transmission is via respiratory droplets, it is best to continue to keep distance between yourself and others, even out in the fresh air. For now, ditch the group activities and go for a solo walk, run, or bike ride. When encountering and passing by others who are exercising, be particularly cognizant of maintaining 6-10 feet of space, given the heavier breathing that occurs during aerobic activities.  

Sacramento, particularly the many suburban areas, is not as densely populated as other cities where the virus was able to spread quickly due to close quarters.  The fact that our population is more spread out allows us to maintain more personal space in the outdoors. Population density is likely why the infection rates in New York City and other urban areas of the world are so high. In not-so-densely populated areas such as the Sacramento metropolitan area, the increased airflow that is present outside likely reduces the risk of transmission between one person to another when the 6-10 foot safe distance is maintained.  

Seek the Roads Less Traveled

Many of us share the same idea, and default to the familiar and popular routes.  For example, recent reports indicate that the American River Bike Trail is unusually busy right now, resulting in clusters of people on certain parts of the trail. Think outside the box and explore some lesser-known nature areas. Even a walk or jog around your own neighborhood may lift your mood. 

Alltrails is an app you can download to your phone, which has information on hiking and walking trails within any proximity that you designate, for example, within 35 miles of your home. The app provides directions to the trails, parking information, trail distance and topography, and degree of difficulty.

Things to Look for Outdoors

Because we are in a slower period of life at the moment, and we may be only venturing outside once a day for a walk, run, or bike ride, take some time to notice things around you that you may otherwise overlook. Use your phone and its search capabilities to try to identify various trees, flowers, and plants on your route, or start a bird-watching hobby. If you are strolling through a residential neighborhood, keep an eye out for some of the ways in which some of us are sending messages of hope and solidarity:

  • Sidewalk Chalk Art: People are using colorful chalk to decorate the sidewalks in front of their homes with artwork and positive messages.
  • Christmas Lights: If you take a walk toward dusk, you may see a few houses lit up with Christmas lights. Don’t assume the occupants never took them down, as the re-emergence of Christmas lights and decorations is another way some are trying to brighten the world during this strange time.  
  • Window Decorations: One recent social media campaign suggested families cut out Shamrock shapes and tape them to their windows for scavenger hunt tokens. Parents then drove their kids around the neighborhood, searching for and counting window shamrocks. As we continue this period of separation, expect to hear more fun campaigns such as this.

Watch the YouTube Video. Dad creates a neighborhood scavenger hunt in the video below.

Warmer weather and sunshine are headed our way, so step outside safely to enjoy the fresh air and absorb some Vitamin D.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Call me for free, friendly advice if you or someone you love sustained injuries due to another driver’s negligence toll-free at (800 404-5400 or in the local area at (916) 921-6400.

Photo Attribution: Megan McGuire

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