This kind of outdoor, together yet separate, where we each can creatively maintain our physical bubble is something I would encourage us all to explore, especially if you or a member of your family is in the highly vulnerable category either due to age or health issues or both. We are likely going to be practicing physical distancing for a long while. And we humans need the company of others! At least most of us do.
Maybe we phone up a family member or friend and offer or invite a lawn or porch distancing for short “hello” from 15 (or so) feet for 15 (or so) minutes.
Maybe we each pack individual picnics and go sit on a piece of driftwood, physically distanced apart, for a meal instead of hosting a dinner.
Maybe we invest in folding chairs and take up the quiet rural street with neighbours like I noticed in our neighborhood a few days ago.
Maybe it is an outdoor physical distancing yoga or group meditation.
Maybe it is outdoor knitting even, with a couple of friends.
Maybe, if you have large yards and gardens, it is a small team weeding party from one yard to the next where distances can still be easily maintained.
The ideas are only limited by our imagination.
I have heard about many regular over-the-fence chats happening and more households sitting in the front yards where they can wave and call out a few words to the neighbours or work safely apart in their gardens.
Of course, as long as the activities are within your abilities, there are hikes, mountain biking, road biking or strolls in the neighbourhood or on a beach that can be done while easily maintianing appropriate physical distancing. If you live in an urban area that is more crowded, maybe try a really early morning time for that walk on the beach or through the neighborhood or on a nearby trail or to play tennis.
For us, it is summer plein air painting! It is something we have been doing for several years now (and not always in summer and nice weather) and it seems to work well under these physically distancing conditions.
Everyone has to assess their own individual risks and the risks to those they will be connecting with or who live in their household during this slow and cautious opening up over the weeks ahead. But within these considered applications of the recommended principles and protocols for your area, let’s be creative, if we can, about moving beyond Zoom or FaceTime and phone calls. Finding these creative solutions are likely as much a part of maintaining our good health as eating our greens and getting a good night’s sleep. Once we figure out what we like and what works, it gets easier. If visiting with your first choice of special people isn’t possible for a variety of reasons, choose others you enjoy.
Search for ways to say “yes” to connecting with few faces in big spaces outdoors. I promise, it is totally worth the extra effort of thinking it through and making an unfamiliar plan!