As the air turns a little cooler and fall rolls in, many states — including Deupree House’s home state of Ohio — are beginning to open back up after the COVID-19 shutdowns in the spring. While we’re all eager to rejoin our communities and return to our favorite activities, we need to continue to think critically about whether or not specific outings and activities are safe.
Seniors are still considered to be at high risk of COVID-19, so it’s essential to think before taking advantage of the mild weather. Here are a few of the most popular activities and whether or not they’re a good idea to partake in right now.
5 Fall Activities & Their COVID-19 Risk
1. Going to a Park
The beautiful fall weather here in Cincinnati makes everyone ready to head to a park. Visiting a park is one of the safer activities in terms of COVID-19 risk. Take your mask with you, especially if you’re going to pass within 6 feet of someone else. Otherwise, feel free to get some fresh air, stretch your legs, and soak in the sunshine and crisp air.
2. Eating at a Restaurant
Dining out is a tricky one. Eating inside a restaurant is relatively high-risk, and you should avoid it if at all possible. Sitting outside is a better choice, but it still has a low-moderate risk rating.
Instead, if you need a break from cooking or something from your favorite restaurant sounds good, order takeout and enjoy your restaurant favorites in comfort (and safety) of your home. You could always coordinate with a friend or two for a 6-feet-apart picnic if you’d like some other company. Don’t forget to try some new recipes to reinvigorate your weekly meal plan, too!
3. Attending a Sports Game
Busy stadiums aren’t the best place to be right now, but the good news is many are limiting their attendance anyway! Tune in to watch your favorite football teams play on TV. If you have grandchildren or friends who play in recreational leagues, think twice before going to their games. While it is an outdoor event, there are often many people close together. If you choose to go, make sure you bring your lawn chair and set up camp at least 6 feet away from others.
4. Visiting the Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo is always so beautiful in the fall, and it’s a popular attraction for many locals and visitors alike. Going to the Zoo offers a moderate COVID-19 risk, as there will still likely be many people there, but it is outdoors.
Right now, the Zoo is operating by reservation only so that you can pre-select your arrival time. If possible, choose a weekday morning at the earliest possible time to try to be there when the crowds are at their lowest. Wear your mask, especially in areas like Hippo Cove and the gorilla exhibit, where it’s hard to social distance.
If you’d like to see the animals but don’t feel comfortable going yet, check out the Zoo’s Facebook page, where they have their Home Safari videos from over the summer!
5. Going to an Appointment (Doctor, Dentist, Hair, Nails)
Telehealth is becoming more and more popular for doctor’s visits, but some appointments still need to happen in person. Depending on the appointment, there could be a moderate to high risk. The more time you spend inside, the higher your risk is likely to be.
If possible, wait in your car until the time of your appointment. If you don’t need to go to an appointment, it’s best to avoid it right now. But if you must go, be prepared.
For salon appointments, call beforehand and ask about their COVID-19 precaution practices. Are their technicians wearing masks? Is hand sanitizer available? Are there plexiglass barriers between technicians and patrons?
In general, before you leave the house, make sure you have your mask, some tissues, and hand sanitizer to help ensure your safety, according to the CDC. Remember to stay 6 feet apart and wear your mask. Stay outdoors if at all possible, and don’t go out if you’re not feeling well.
The COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine have taken their toll on almost everyone. We are all eager to return to our favorite activities and feel like life is back to normal. Taking care of your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health, and sometimes that means getting a change of scenery. If that’s the case, follow the CDC’s guidelines, and wash your hands thoroughly when returning home. Remember, FaceTime® is still an excellent option to connect and visit with your loved ones!