As the weather gets warmer, many families will start to spend more and more time outdoors. During a pandemic, one of the upsides of being outside is that with fresh air and more space between people, risk of catching the virus goes down. One of the downsides is that, as more people share space in the outdoors, social distancing may become more difficult. Here are some tips on how to safely enjoy warm summer weather with your family while minimizing your risk.
Avoid crowded spaces. While many of our parks and trails are open in Springfield, several are popular enough that the parking lots, trailheads, and restrooms can present a high risk of inadvisable contact with others. Seek out quieter spots, such as a path around your own neighborhood. You’ll also want to keep your group small, contained to just yourself and your household. Consider calling friends or extended family on the phone and virtually walking together if you want a more socially engaging walk.
Be sure to wear your mask while outdoors. The virus can be contagious for up to two weeks before any symptoms show up, but wearing a mask can keep those who may be unknowingly carrying the virus from spreading it. The exception to this is outdoor exercise like biking or running. Currently, there is no compelling medical reason to wear a mask while walking, running, or cycling, if you are maintaining proper social distancing of six feet between individuals from different households. However, you might consider wearing your mask around your neck so you can pull it on to be courteous when you’re passing others.
Stay close to home whenever possible. Take advantage of the warm weather to cook outdoors, start a garden, toss a frisbee or baseball with your kids. As restrictions are beginning to lift, you could even have neighbors or family over in your yard or driveway, so long as you maintain wear your masks, maintain six feet of distance, have your guests stay outdoors the entire time, don’t share food or utensils, and keep your hands clean.
While we’re not able to go back to the old normal or stop following social distancing parameters yet, warmer weather offers more opportunities for fresh air, exercise, and new ways of socializing. We at the Springfield-Branson National Airport are looking forward to some beautiful weather here in the Ozarks this summer and eagerly await the opportunity to safely serve as your connection to beautiful weather all over the world again.