COVID-19 has caused life around the world to come to a screeching halt. With many cities and states effectively going into lockdown with shelter in place orders and social distancing recommended across the nation, life feels as though it may never get back to normal again. However, despite the deluge of bad news coming in over the last several weeks, it is important to remember that this situation isn’t permanent.
Realistically, the finish line is in sight and social distancing recommendations and shelter in place orders will likely soon be relaxed in the coming weeks and you’ll once again see life moving forward, so you should start considering now what you’ll do once everyone is allowed out and about again.
Plan That Vacation … Again!
It goes without saying that travel plans have all but evaporated since the COVID-19 pandemic began rampaging around the globe. Vacations, whether in the neighboring state or across international borders, were effectively canceled en masse over the last few weeks due to travel restrictions and uncertainty over how things were set to pan out. However, once the State Department lifts imposed travel bans and the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization give the go-ahead, vacations will resume and the ability to hit the road will again be in your grasp.
When everything begins to settle down, you’re more than likely to want to get away from your home for a while. Even though you’re going to be able to travel again, you’ll want to continue exercising caution as the COVID-19 pandemic will most likely still be an issue, especially if traveling outside of the country. While France, Germany, and Italy are all wonderful countries with rich and vibrant cultures, they are also dealing with the virus and might have very different timelines for travel restrictions being lifted, so it is important that you do your homework and stay safe no matter where you decide to go.
If you do decide to head off on vacation when authorized to do so, it will be more important than ever to be a mindful traveler. The respect that you show a new country, city, and culture should also extend to the people living there, and you should still do your best to practice social distancing, proper handwashing, and even wearing masks out in public. Even if the risks are said to be low, it will still be wise to take extra precautions until the novel coronavirus is proven to be a non-issue.
Go Enjoy the Great Outdoors
While certain outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and going on walks are safe to participate in as long as good social distancing is being practiced, going it solo can be a lonely and unfulfilling experience. Time spent outside is usually best in the company of friends and family, an option which has been unceremoniously taken from the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once everything calms down again, you will be free to go out to your local park with friends, plan group hikes, or get everyone together for a fun camping trip.
Socializing has become quite difficult in the past weeks and planning a camping excursion with your friends in a group message or over video calls now is a great way to both keep in contact and get the jump on preparing for a great adventure. Other than collectively deciding where to go, you can plan out who will make what meals during the trip and figure out who has what equipment so that you can pool resources and ensure that you have everything you need. Just because you can’t go next weekend doesn’t mean you can’t get ready for a perfect camping trip with friends.
Again, it is important that even though you’ll be outdoors again, precautions should be taken. If you happen to run into other campers, give them a good amount of space just in case. Additionally, you should keep in mind that contracting the coronavirus is far from the most dangerous thing that could happen to you while you’re camping away from society at large, and you should be prepared to deal with any disasters, natural or otherwise, that could occur when you and your friends are miles away from a hospital.
Loving the Little Things
Shelter in place orders and social distancing has made it nearly impossible to keep up with friends, family, and communities as a whole. While some are getting creative in how they interact with their community, many are struggling with the lack of human connection, no matter how brief or insignificant. Whether making small talk with the barista while waiting for a cup of coffee or even just saying hello to a stranger as you pass them on the sidewalk, life’s little interactions are no longer happening, and it can be hard for many.
The things that we used to take for granted are now greatly missed. Petting friendly dogs at the park, hugging your relatives, even giving a high five to a friend will all feel magnificent once we are able to go and do them again. While it is unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has done so much damage to our way of life, in a way it has given the world a new perspective on what is really important.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it at this moment, eventually the world will get back to normal. Social distancing will one day be a distant memory, and you will once again be able to travel where you want and see who you want. Soon we will all be free to do the things that make us happy and human again, but until then it is important that we stay safe, because the better we are now the sooner life will become what we want it to be.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.