We get it. It’s been almost two years into the pandemic. It’s been two years since your world almost stopped. You stopped doing the things you’ve always loved doing. You stopped traveling, exploring new places that have always been on your bucket list. What’s worse, you even stopped dining at your favorite restaurant. Restriction orders force you to keep your distance from your family and friends, and you rarely get to see them just to be safe. You have your groceries delivered, even your favorite food. Work was the only thing that distracted you, but even that you had to do at home since your company implemented a remote work setup.
You’re stuck at home. You’re bored, and you’re feeling burned out. You just want to go out.
Now that you’ve already been vaccinated, you’re thinking if this is the perfect time to go back to your pre-pandemic routine slowly. But admit it. You’re still a little scared.
Hey, cheer up! It’s not the end of the world. Now that things are getting better pandemic-wise, we’re already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to know how to balance your fears and your mental health.
We Have the Same Fear
To make you feel a little better, you are not alone with all this anxiety.
A study conducted by health experts from premier universities in Scotland found that people who had no outdoor space at home experienced mental health issues more than those who have. This means that if you don’t have a patio or a garden, you are most likely to feel stressed and anxious over the pandemic. People who have outdoor spaces get to spend time under the sun and breathe fresh air, compared to those stuck 24/7 in the four corners of their room.
So if you are one of those who don’t even have a small space outdoors at home, it is understandable that you’ve been longing to enjoy the outdoors. You don’t just want the outdoors. You need to go out. How to go out safely, that, you have to figure out.
More People Are Going Out
Don’t fret. We’ve got good news.
Now that vaccinations are already rolling out worldwide, the government has also eased some restrictions. While specific guidelines differ from state to state, generally, you can already go out as long as you’re vaccinated. And, many Americans have already been enjoying outdoor activities by now.
According to a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the majority of American respondents are more confident now to go back to their activities. These include visiting friends and family, shopping, going out to eat at a bar or restaurant, and traveling. They also said that they would work out at a gym in the next few weeks, attend a sports event, and watch a movie or a concert.
While 34% of Americans believe that the restrictions have been lifted too early, at least four in 10 Americans said they think the timing is just right.
If you are part of those who believe it is now time to go out, here are tips on how to make your outdoor trips safe:
Be mindful of touching surfaces
If you are going to malls or restaurants, be cautious in touching surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and tables. Custom railings are there to protect mall-goers from falling. However, they are also the most touched surfaces in malls. Thus, be sure to use alcohol after touching them. And just a reminder: do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Wear your mask all the time
Some states do not require masks anymore if you are already vaccinated. However, if you still do not feel comfortable, no one is stopping you from wearing one. As they say, err on the side of caution—no harm in trying to be as safe as you can be. If you will be talking closely to people, a mask is still recommended.
Maintain social distancing
Even if you’ve been vaccinated, it will still be safer if you keep your distance from other people, especially those not from your household. This will lessen your risks of getting the virus. And, if possible, choose areas with proper ventilation.
As they say, at some point, life has to go on. We have to get back to our usual activities slowly. We can’t let the pandemic tie us down. As long as you follow the minimum safety protocols, you can start enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. It is about time you step out and breathe some fresh air. You deserve it.