Yes, you can go outside right now. And you should! Fresh air and exercise are vital to our mental and physical well-being, now more than ever. In fact, nature can help alleviate stress and anxiety, things that have certainly spiked during the last few months.
But for many of us, the way that we go outside has changed. I went for a walk in my local park the other day, only to find it packed with people. It was stressful trying to maintain 2 metres of distance between myself, my dog, and the other park visitors.
A walk in the park can feel like much-needed liberation from the confines of our homes. But it must be done carefully and responsibly.
For detailed information on park closures and reopenings, check out our list of which National Parks, Provincial Parks, Municipal Parks, and Conservation Areas are open during the coronavirus outbreak. Before you head out, learn how to safely go outside during coronavirus.
At Great Lakes Guide, we want you to be able to get outside and enjoy the natural spaces that we are so fortunate to have in this region. We’ve created a playlist to help you remember how to get outside safely, and have fun while doing it. Click here to listen to our social distancing playlist.
You might see other people starting to gather in a park. It might look like fun. It might make you feel like life has gone back to normal. But don’t fall for it! Don’t pull another Trinity Bellwoods incident.
Stay away from others, find another destination or wait for the crowds to die down. And if others are invading your personal space, just sing “don’t stand so close to me!”, or in the iconic words of MC Hammer… U can’t touch this.
Maybe you just met your one true love on Tinder, but sadly there’s no hug-ee and no kiss-ee allowed right now. In the meantime, how about a virtual walking date? Put your headphones in, call each other, and go for a walk “together”, but separate.Don’t stand so close to me - The Police
“Don't stand, don't stand so
Don't stand so close to me”
Monkey See, monkey do (I don't know why)
Rather be dead than cool (I don't know why)”
“Always no hug-ee no kiss-ee until I get a weddin' ring
My honey my baby, don't put my love upon no shelf
She said don't hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself”
“People line up to see
But there never seems to be enough space, space, space, space”
“Go away, go away, go away
Don't come back here anymore
“But from my head to my toes
From my knees to my eyes
Everytime I watch the sky
For these last few days leave me alone”
“I told you homeboy (You can't touch this)
Yeah, that's how we livin' and ya know (You can't touch this)”
It may be tempting to visit your favourite park right now, looking for peace and solitude, but if you arrive to find hordes of people, well… don’t come around here no more. Go your own way and find somewhere only you know. If you go there and you can stay a safe distance from others, sit back, pat yourself on the back and say, “This must be the place.”
You don’t have to feel fenced in. As the sun comes out, sit down on the dock of the bay and just watch the tide roll away. Soak up the fresh air with your feet on the ground, and your head in the sky.
“Don't come around here no more
Whatever you're looking for”
“You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way”
“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies,
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze”
“Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun”
“I'm just come sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time”
“I don't wanna go there
I don't wanna go there anymore...
And the world it spins around you, I believe it
And the world it really needs you, now I see it”
“And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go somewhere only we know?”
“Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me around...
Feet on the ground, head in the sky”
We know face masks aren’t exactly comfortable or stylish and your hands may be raw from washing them so much. But staying behind the mask keeping your hands so fresh and so clean is your best chance to stay healthy. Oh, and don’t touch your face.
“Don't you come too close to me
You're dangerous, can't you see
You can make the darkness mean more
Than it ever did before”
“Stay away from me
Wash your hands
Don't touch your face
How do you like that?”
“Well, we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out
And show ourselves when everyone has gone”
“Ain't nobody dope as me I'm dressed so fresh so clean
(So fresh and so clean clean)
Don't you think I'm so sexy I'm dressed so fresh so clean
(So fresh and so clean clean)”
“Let the rain fall
I'm coming clean
Let the rain fall down
And wake my dreams”
While we might have to wait to see “friends shaking hands” again, these songs are still a beautiful reminder of the wonderful world that we live in. When you’re keeping 6 feet apart from your loved ones, just remember, you’re not alone and this too shall pass.
“People are wonderin how long will it last
As the saying goes, this too shall pass”
“It's a mystery, I suppose
Just how long this thing goes
But there'll be crowds and there'll be shows
And there will be light after dark
Someday when we aren't six feet apart”
“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing that you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
All you need is love”
“I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing
Each time I find myself laying flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race
“I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”
“You're not alone
I'm with you
I'm lonely too”
Snap out of it! If people keep crowding into parks, packed like sardines, more people are going to get sick, more parks are going to close, and it’s going to feel like we only go backwards. Think about your health and the health of those around you. Don't be stupid. Don't do this...
“Don't be stupid, you know I love you
Don't be ridiculous, you know I need you”
“I wanna grab both your shoulders and shake baby
Snap out of it (snap out of it)”
“Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin'”
“You better think (think)
Think about what you're tryin' to do to me”
“It feels like I only go backwards, baby
Every part of me says, "Go ahead"
I got my hopes up again, oh no, not again
Feels like we only go backwards, darling”
Follow us on Spotify and share your social distancing songs with us @greatlakesguide and using #greatlakesguide.