How to Enjoy the Outdoors While Practicing Social Distancing?
In these tough times, we know many people want to do what we always do — find peace & comfort in the natural beauty of our beautiful coastal city of Newport Beach. In fact, outdoor activities aren’t simply a luxury in Californian’s lives, it’s an important part of their daily lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, you are allowed to venture outside during the current coronavirus crisis. Public parks and beaches may be closed; however, you can still continue to participate in outdoor activities as long as you’re practicing social distancing. Here are six ways on how to enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing in Newport Beach and beyond.
What is Social Distancing?
First and foremost, what is social distancing? According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
- Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
- Do not gather in groups
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.
When COVID-19 is spreading in your area, everyone should limit close contact with individuals outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Can You Go Enjoy the Outdoors Yet?
Not quite yet. Be sure to follow the latest mandates in your area as they evolve. For example, mask are required to be worn when venturing outdoors in Los Angeles. While Orange County has yet to mandate that new rule, you may choose to anyway. Stick to doing outdoor activities alone or with members of your household. Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from respiratory droplets, plus it protects your eyes from UV radiation from the sun.
Tips for How to Enjoy the Outdoors While Practicing Social Distancing
1. DON’T FORGET TO LISTEN TO OFFICIAL GUIDELINES EVEN WHEN OUTDOORS
Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can stop listening to the recommendations of the city and health officials. Avoid areas that are heavily populated and, if you encounter other adventures, make sure you keep appropriate social distancing. Carry hand sanitizer to ensure you’re keeping your hands clean even when running water might not be available.
2. AVOID AREAS YOU THINK MIGHT BE MORE CROWDED
Since community spread is a concern during times of contagion, seek outdoor areas that are typically less crowded. For example, picking a small park for an adventure might not be ideal. Additionally, outdoor hot spots are likely to experience a higher level of closures. Seek off-the-beaten path alternatives.
For guests staying at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, the Resort Bay is temporarily closed; however, the beach and the sidewalks remain open for guest and visitors practicing social distancing. You may even want to take a hike to the Upper Newport Bay Reserve.
3. TRY TO STAY CLOSER TO HOME IF YOU CAN
With ever-changing closures and state and local mandates, taking trips closer to home is a good idea to avoid unnecessary stress. While this can mean visiting a nearby park or trail, it can also be as simple as taking a quick walk around the block. Even taking the time to enjoy your own backyard can offer a nice respite from hours indoors. Get creative with how and when you can get outside and avoid the crowds.
4. LIMIT YOUR TOUCH POINTS
Getting outdoors is a great way to relieve stress in trying times, but still try to limit your exposure opportunities. Don’t call up all your friends, rather limit your group to those in your immediate household. Similarly, avoid making stops at shops and stores on your way (hopefully you’ll already stocked up on snacks). Hop in your car, get to the trail, breathe the fresh air and make your way home.
5. BE AWARE OF CLOSURES
Have parks in your area been closed? Is the state not allowing overnight use at state parks? Be sure to plan ahead and do a bit of research regarding possible closures before heading out. While one spot might be closed, another option down the road might be open and ready to explore.
6. IF YOU FEEL BETTER WAITING – WAIT
While cabin fever is all too real, if you’re at higher risk of contracting an illness during an outbreak it’s probably best to just stay home. Consider using this time to day dream and plan future trips. It’s never a bad time to think about where you want to go next. The outdoors will be waiting for you!