Summer here in Colorado is highly-anticipated and for good reason – it’s really special. The days are warm and sunny, the nights are cool and there’s wildflowers everywhere. Parks and hiking trails are open here, and may have started to open up where you are, too.
Most of us are ready to take advantage of the warmer weather to be outside and enjoy the season, and I’m one of them. It feels especially important now, after months of being home. Lots of us (including me!) have questions about how to do it safely, so here’s what I’ve been doing that’s working for me and my family.
Since most research indicates that the virus is most easily spread among people who are in close proximity, social distancing remains important but that doesn’t mean we have to remain apart from others entirely. Spending time with family and friends is good for the soul! I’m not a physician so this is not intended as medical advice but personal guidelines I’ve been using to stay healthy and enjoy life.
- Most restaurants here have opened to at least partial capacity, and almost all are offering outdoor seating. Some streets have been blocked off so tables and chairs can be moved to the street which creates an atmosphere of a lively town square. Masks are typically required inside the restaurant (obviously not at tables) and social distancing is practiced, but it’s been great to enjoy some good meals out with family and friends, or meet for coffee at an outdoor café.
- Summer time is hiking time here in Colorado and this summer isn’t any different. Some trails or parks encourage wearing masks, and some leave it up to people to decide for themselves, either way, I practice social distancing not just for myself but for others. I’m also avoiding some of the more crowded trails. I haven’t let it keep me off trails, though, or from walks in my neighborhood.
- Time for a road trip! Our trip out of the country has been postponed, but that’s not keeping us from getting away. We have a road trip planned for later in the month, and plan to follow safety guidelines. Outdoor activities are said to be safer than those indoors, and most of what we’re doing is outside. Depending on what your plans are, it’s a good idea to check on local guidelines wherever you may head off to.
- Some cities are starting to offer drive-in movies again and even concerts. One of my favorite things to do is visit art museums and I’m fine with doing that, again following safety precautions. I wasn’t spending a lot of time at indoor malls before this started, but I visited an outdoor mall the other day and felt perfectly safe.
- Getting together with friends. Getting together in small groups is an option so we’ve been able to do that since lockdown restrictions have been eased, so barbecues and the like have continued. I’d rather spend time outdoors when the weather is warm, and that makes it a fun way to get together with others.
Again, this is in no way medical advice, but simply what has worked for me. I honestly don’t feel there are that many restrictions as long as I am following the recommended safety guidelines. For me, those include using social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others in public); Wearing a cloth face covering in public settings and when around people who don’t live with me; Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Having hand sanitizer available at home and in my car; and Checking with restaurants, and other places I visit on precautions they and their staff are taking.
Aside from that, I’m trying to keep perspective and realize that, while it’s definitely been a challenging time, it will pass and life will go on. I’m going to do my best to stay well and keep those around me well while I’m in it!
Be safe, stay healthy and enjoy the season!