In response to the closings across the country, many of us are wondering what fun things we can do while practicing social distancing.
Life as we know it is effectively canceled for the time being.
As a self-professed wanderluster, I was already mourning the cancellation of my trip to Japan that was planned for the end of March. I might have actually shed a real thug tear over that one.
Now the efforts to slow the spread of CV here in the U.S. have reached drastic measures to essentially close down all large venues and large gatherings of people, sports events, school closings.
Even Disney World and Universal are closing their doors (and y’all know The Mouse doesn’t close).
Trust me when I say I feel your pain. In addition to Japan being cancelled, I’m an annual passholder for both Disney and Universal, I had tickets for a Jill Scott concert that is now postponed, I had tickets for a show at the Straz, and I had plans to go to the annual Renaissance Festival that I so look forward to every year.
But, as an asthmatic, I do have concerns so I’m taking this more seriously and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve.
All of the closures of places we love has many of us looking for fun things to do away from large crowds of people.
5 Ways to Have Fun While Staying Away From People
1. Visit a State Park or National Park
Before you plan a visit during your spring break make sure you check the websites for the most up to date information. There could be some closures to places like the visitor centers and possibly some ranger-led tours though I haven’t seen that information yet.
However, this is still a great activity with lower risk. You will be hard-pressed to find yourself within 6 feet of other people on a hiking trail.
There’s plenty of space in nature to enjoy in the great outdoors.
Some of my favorite parks in the Tampa Bay area are:
- Hillsborough River State Park
- Myakka River State Park
- Edward Medard Regional Park
- Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park
- Weedon Island Preserve
- Eureka Springs Conservation Park
2. Make Board Games Great Again
For many families with kids, the decision by many school districts across the country to close and add additional time to spring break means parents are struggling to figure out how to keep the kids busy at home.
My family and I have always been huge board game and game night fans!
So now is the time to break out that Monopoly game, Sorry, Uno, The Game of Life, Utter Nonsense, Telestrations, Heads Up, Scrabble, and the list goes on.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you host a large game night gathering where you are inviting lots of other people into your home. The whole idea of social distancing is to minimize your contact with other people.
3. Road Trip!
Some may disagree with me here and think that we should just barricade ourselves inside from the whole world. I don’t think we have to be quite that extreme but we should definitely follow the guidelines provided by local, state, and federal officials.
If your spring break plans dictated flying on a plane or taking a train where you are likely to be in an enclosed area with other people then perhaps you can modify your plans and take a road trip instead.
Include some stops at national forest, or waterfalls, or state parks where you have minimal need to be in close contact with other people.
Eating out, may prove to be a risk you have to weigh the pros and cons of. Perhaps instead of eating in the restaurant, you order to go. There still some risk of the person preparing your food but that’s much less I think than sitting in the restaurant sharing air space with other people.
As for hotels, their doors are still open. And many of them are hurting during this time so patronizing one is helpful. Pack your disinfectant wipes and spray to sanitize your room.
I personally would not have housekeeping services during this time to minimize having someone else in your room. You can still leave a tip for them upon check out if you are able just to say thank you in this difficult time.
4. Go Camping or Glamping
Camping and glamping is another fun activity that doesn’t require exposure to lots of people. Besides we could all use a little time to disconnect.
Check with your campgrounds to see if they are still open.
5. Relax and Enjoy the Time at Home
In a society where we are always plugged in, always making plans, always on the go, it’s really a bit of a shame it took a global pandemic outbreak of a new virus strand to sit us all down and make us be still for a moment.
This pandemic is here, and so we have to deal with whatever that means. So if we have to be home, then use the time to relax a bit.
Enjoy those moments with your family. Laugh together.
- Watch movies on Netflix and Disney +
- Introduce your kids to all the old school cartoons and movies you loved as a kid.
- Build a pillow fort in the living room.
- Watch virtual museum tours online.
- Play charades.
- Play duck, duck, goose and hide n’ seek.
- Run through the sprinklers.
- Read new books and discover new stories
Seriously, this is a great time to get back to basics.
Facetime friends and distant family to help you still feel connected.
Reconnect with your partner. Have creative date nights with just the two of you.
Fall in love with someone new.
Practice Healthy Habits
I am not a healthcare professional. Please follow the advice of the CDC, WHO, your healthcare professionals, and local, state, and national officials regarding protocols.
If you are sick or think you have been around someone who is sick then please please please stay away from other people.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer in public when you can’t wash your hands. Try not to touch your face often especially when you’re out in public.
Gloves aren’t a bad idea in public when you need to handle a lot of things and you are less likely to touch your face.
Practice Self Care During Isolation
This is uncharted territory for us in this country where we have been sheltered from other outbreaks that have ravaged other parts of the world.
But it’s not impossible and it’s not new to history.
Worrying won’t change it and it certainly doesn’t help your immune system.
If you pray, then pray. Meditate. Do more yoga. Practice whatever destressing mechanisms you have.
Find a way to be grateful during this time because we truly still have much to be grateful and thankful for.
Be kind, be considerate of your neighbor, and tell people you love them.