Chances are, you’re starting to get a little cabin fever. Bars and restaurants in many cities and states are closed, sports have been canceled, and governments from California to New York City are ordering residents to shelter in place. There are only so many programs you can binge watch or hours you can bear reading, and your news feed is full of frightening headlines. If you’ve got kids, the close quarters are probably making the household a little maddening.
Here’s a suggestion: For an antidote to isolation, get out into nature. You don’t have to go all that far. Take the dog for a walk. Sit in your backyard or garden. As long as you’re able to do so in a way that meets the recommendations for social distancing, figure out how to get outside however you can.
At a time like this, such places can reground us. They provide perspective: a reminder of different time scales, proof of resilience and recovery. That’s a balm we need now more than ever. Nature can play a valuable role in this pandemic as the outdoors becomes one of the remaining places where we can connect with other people in a safe fashion—a space where we can enjoy the presence of others even as we maintain a safe distance.
Only in the outdoors do we find a place to stay safely apart yet still be together.