Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island and/or without TV or the internet for the past few weeks, you’ve heard the term “social distancing” at least a thousand times a day.
Basically, it means avoiding places, events and activities with large groups of people. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advocates keeping yourself at least six feet away from people.
And while it does mean keeping your distance from people as a precaution to slow the spread of the coronavirus and overloading the hospitals and healthcare providers, not to mention not passing the virus to those who are most vulnerable, it doesn’t mean not enjoying yourself.
In light of this, we asked Chronicle readers: “As you’re practicing ‘social distancing,’ what are some outdoor physical activities you are doing to maintain your well-being?”
Here’s what some said they were doing:
Walking. Whether it’s around the neighborhood, through the woods or out on one of the paved trails around the county, many said they’re taking advantage of the sunshine and low humidity.
“Went out early this morning and walked five miles,” said Laura Cintorino Zayas. “Waved to some who were in their yards. The walk was very therapeutic and I enjoyed seeing and taking in all of God's beauty.”
Kelly Liechty said, “I walked my neighborhood. I’m not going back into work until at least April 15 … so I’m going to walk every day.”
Fishing. Grab a pole and a bucket of bait and head out to the water.
Rick Fein said he’s been spending his social distancing time cleaning his fishing boat, rods and reels, restringing reels, sharpening fishing hooks — and going fishing.
Don’t have a boat? Fish from a bridge, pier, dock or shoreline. But before you cast your line, you need a license. Get one by going online at www.myfwc.com.
Water activities. Susan Shipp recently cleaned her pool house to get it ready for summer while her sister’s kids swam.
“My granddaughter and I took a couple hours and floated on the river,” she said.
Heather Serafini suggested playing in the sprinklers on the lawn, Rachel Reiter suggested water guns, Keni Fisher suggested a “giant Slip ‘N Slide” and Tom Stein said he’s doing some boating on Lake Henderson in Inverness.
Gardening. From yard work to growing flowers and fresh produce, several readers suggested getting down and dirty. Jean Alderman Badyna said she and her husband recently bought a house and are working outdoors on their landscaping.
“We are also enjoying our pool every day,” she said. “Fresh air and sunshine for us!”
Biking. From pedal-powered to motorcycles, people are two- and three-wheeling it. Bike shops in Inverness renting lots of bikes for riding on the Withlacoochee State Trail.
Sherry Bechtel, owner of Inverness Bicycle & Fitness, said every bike rental is cleaned and sanitized between users.
She also said the trail hours have been modified to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kayaking. For those interested in renting a kayak, call ahead to get the latest updates. As of Friday, the on-the-water hours for kayak rentals launching in Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River are restricted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to information from Hunter Springs Kayaks. This pertains to rentals only at Hunter Springs Park.
Nothing much and Miscellaneous. Other activities people suggested include: DIY home projects (or watching DIY shows on TV), working on genealogy, washing windows, sitting on the porch or patio getting fresh air, trampoline jumping, spring cleaning, prepping for hurricane season, quilting, embroidery, cross stitch, washing the car and, as Sherri N Jay said, “keeping the kids from killing each other.”
Gas is cheap and Bonnie Panella said she’s planning a drive to her hunting camp in North Florida to prepare it for the upcoming hunting season.
“My family doesn’t have to worry about Publix being out of meat,” she said.
Laura McKee said she’s spending time playing with her dog in the backyard and “doing the things I always do but now do with greater satisfaction knowing I don’t have to go out.”