Cabin fever is a common ailment these days. As much as we love and enjoy our homes, many of us are ready to get out into the community. With COVID-19 still looming as a major health crisis, it’s important that we stay safe as we do so.
Feeling confined and separated from friends, family and activities can be especially difficult for Individuals challenged with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) – a topic we addressed in our June blog. And overcoming the frustrations those Individuals experience presents challenges for their Host Home Providers (HHPs).
There are activities, however, that can be done safely. Many businesses and attractions have opened with restrictions and safety protocols in place.
For example, many restaurants that are open have taken service outside to allow for more physical distancing. They will likely limit the number in your party and require facial coverings or masks when you are not eating. Be sure to check before you go to see if reservations are required. If you’re craving your favorite restaurant’s food, you may enjoy taking a drive to pick up a meal which you can then take to a park or other outdoor area – or even back home – and enjoy as a picnic, safely distanced from others while supporting local businesses.
Outdoor recreation is safest since you can more easily distance and are not in enclosed areas where the virus can easily spread. Colorado abounds with outdoor possibilities. And with Labor Day weekend coming up, you may be looking for things to do. Here are some ideas for the holiday and beyond:
- Biking has become even more popular as an activity and a means of transportation.
- Get some exercise and take a walk at community parks, local walking trails or greenspaces.
- Visit a state or national park for hiking, wildlife viewing, photo sessions, picnicking, even camping. Check with your preferred park before you go since many now require reservations to avoid over-crowding.
- Some lakes are open for swimming and fishing. Choose a larger lake where you can easily keep a safe zone around you.
- Golf courses are open with modifications in place to maintain distancing and safety.
- Visit your local farmer’s market, try out some new foods and support community growers. Some markets also include exhibits and sales by local artisans. Be prepared to wear your mask and practice distancing. Check websites for any additional safety protocols that may be in place.
- It’s getting that time of year when state and local fairs and festivals take place. Some are still scheduled but with changes in place for safety. Check event calendars and websites for details.
- Drive-in movies are making a comeback in some communities. Take your favorite movie snacks along.
- Some new ideas, such as outdoor mural festivals, are popping up around the Front Range. And you can still find art festivals and local tasting events. Check your community’s calendar or events pages for what’s happening in your area.
- Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens. Check before you go to plan a time since the number of visitors is limited and, as of the writing of this blog, tickets are required.
- The Denver Zoo is open, also with some limitations and protocols in place. Tickets are required at this time so check out the website before you go.
- Now that we’ve moved into September we’ll soon start to see those beautiful colors in our leaves. So pack a picnic and plan a fall leaf tour close to home or pair it with an autumn festival.
- Check with local nonprofits for volunteer opportunities that incorporate safe protocols.
- Check your community’s event calendar and that of your local library often for updates on activities near you.
Be prepared to stay safe and healthy when you’re out in the community by always having a high quality mask along for everyone in your party. Take your own hand sanitizer and/or hand sanitizing wipes as well as some disinfecting surface wipes. Keep hands clean by washing them frequently, with soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds. Don’t touch your face. And keep that physical distance of 6 feet from others. Be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website often for updates to these guidelines as well as those of state and local public health agencies. It’s important to stay current on the best ways to keep yourself and others safe.
It’s a bit of an inconvenience to put these safety protocols in place. But Colorado’s management of COVID-19 has been far more effective than efforts of some other states because we have all been working together to keep these safe practices going. So keep it up! We can get out, participate in and enjoy our communities, while still staying safe and keeping our friends, families and neighbors safe as well. We will get through this together!