Social Distancing At Its Finest

Students Spend Time Outside During Pandemic

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Times Changing: “Senior year was supposed to be an amazing year. It is. It was great. I’m trying to make the best of it,” Rhodes (20) said. “We all been saying that 2020 is our year no cap. Well, now we may not have a gown either and we cannot even see our diploma. It’s changing rapidly everyday but I have been finding things to do and they help distract me. It seems like the days drag but looking back time flew by.”

During these uncertain times, students have been doing their schoolwork at home and on laptops. Each week, students are assigned homework from all of their classes and the work is due at the end of the week. Since e-learning is new to students, some students such as senior Lauren Rhodes have been spending some time outside to get some fresh air.
“It has been so nice outside, I have really enjoyed getting the fresh air, it is a nice way to take a break from schoolwork and kind of clear my head after I have been cramped up inside for so long,” Rhodes said. “There was an article down in the paper a few weeks ago that with increased COVID-19 concerns more and more people are getting out to walk. I believe if people took a walk for 30 minutes every day and put their phone and homework and controller down, they might start to feel better and less sad. I know you’re not supposed to go out in public but just go for a walk. Go for a run. I’m happier, less tired, less grumpy and crabby and I feel so much healthier. ”

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Outdoor Benefits: “Going outside has greatly affected me. My sleep schedule is better, I feel more focused and energized. My mood is better and I feel happier,” Rhodes (20) said. “I go outside because I need to clear my head every now and then.”

Rhodes uses her time outside to take a break from schoolwork and to be more healthy and happy through these tough times. Other students like sophomore Grace Huntwork have been going outside to do something other than staring at a screen all day.
“I feel like a lot of people are going outside,” Huntwork said. “When I run around my neighborhood, I always see someone playing around in their yards or another person walking/running. I feel like getting outside more will help people get through having to stay isolated. It has given me something to do other than being on my phone or watching Disney+ all day. I also feel like I’m staying prepared for summer basketball and track if there is going to be a season.”

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Staying Fit: “It has been really nice out lately,” Huntwork (22) said. “I always go outside as it is, but it helps me feel better to know that i still have some kind of freedom to get out of my house instead of sitting inside all day losing my mind of boredom.”

There are other athletes such as junior Avery Kallman who are training for sports as well. Currently, Kallman is also doing physical therapy for her shoulder as well.
“I go outside probably once a day, maybe twice,” Kallman said. I have been going on 4-mile walks, physical therapy, Mahoney trails, and basketball privates. “I get bored very easily as well as physical training is mandatory for my shoulder. It also benefits me to go outside because this is the year to be recruited for basketball. I think it’s benefitting me because I am not bored and cooped up in my house. My shoulder is getting stronger and my basketball skills are getting better.”

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Staying Safe Outside: “I think going outside has made me happier,” Kallman (21) said. “I think people should get outside more often, but I think it depends on your situation. If you are sick or have underlying health issues no. If you do go outside, go somewhere serene.”

Although these are uncertain times for many students, getting outside is a way to use this time to go for walks and spending time outside. Counselor Dr. Hansen believes that nature has a way of healing people. It also has a positive effect on a person’s attitude and emotions.
“Getting outside affects people on multiple levels,” Hansen said. “Physically, just getting outside gives a person a change of scenery which can improve one’s attitude and outlook. Additionally, if a person is physically active (walking, shooting hoops) it releases endorphins which improves one’s emotional state. Gardening is another great activity that has a positive effect because a person is working in the dirt and will end up with something visually appealing. Nature has a way of healing that is not logically understood by the cognitive mind.”
Being surrounded by nature is a great way to improve people’s outlook. However, counselor Mrs. Palsenky also believes that having a genuine human connection is another way to get through these uncertain times.
“We have found a way in our world to sit in our houses and Netflix, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, Tweet, you name it! What we actually need is a genuine human connection whether that is through facetime or social distancing right now. We also need to move our bodies and not be sedentary. We owe it to ourselves during this time to take care of our bodies – it’s the only one we get.”
Although it is easy to sit inside and connect with people through social media or binge-watching, it is worth it to enjoy the outdoors and to be surrounded by family. The best thing that people can do right now is to take care of themselves and the people around them.