We are all facing unchartered waters as we navigate the new normal amid the coronavirus. Although we are confronted daily with unsettling news and upsetting health statistics, one thing we have noticed is that there may be a silver lining (or two) to be found. We are spending more time together, the pace of life has seemed to slow down and, beyond that, the parks and outdoors are bustling.
As one of the few public arenas that are not closed (while using social distancing), many of our beautiful outdoor parks and trails are being enjoyed. As we walk our dog at the park, we have noticed a remarkable increase in those at the park. Which is wonderful!
As we focus on the joy the outdoors brings, no words are more relevant and applicable to our current times than the one spoken by the “father of our National Parks,” John Muir: “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Let’s embrace the outdoors with some outdoor etiquette and safety etiquette added to keep us enjoying the outdoors for weeks, months and years to come.
Announce “passing on the left” when you find yourself at a quicker pace than those in front of you and you are needing to pass by them.
For those biking, yield to pedestrians that are walking or running. Keep a safe travel speed for those you encounter at the park.
Keep our canine friends on a short leash, regardless of how friendly your dog may be. It can be unsettling and cause some trepidation as a dog approaches that is unleashed, especially when you do not know the dog or pup’s personality. (This coming from crazy dog-lovers and owners of Rocky!)
Limit two people side-by-side at a time and keep close to the right so that all can enjoy the pathway.
Carry a charged cellphone for safety measures.
Depending on how long your walk is and should it be off the beaten path, remember to bring water and a snack. Once the sun shines and snow is a memory, remember sunscreen.
Consider using just one earbud instead of both, so that you can hear your surroundings for both your safety and the safety of others.
Allow children to blissfully enjoy the outdoors, while still keeping a close eye on your child.
When stopping, step off to the edge to avoid obstructing the path for those around you.
Tell friends and family where you are going. Safety etiquette is always the highest priority!
So, let’s enjoy the fresh air and continually recall that this, too, will pass. The day will come when we will be able to gather together again and this virus will no longer be in the forefront of our mind. Lastly, remember these words of hope and encouragement: “Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise” — Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables.”
You can find more etiquette, techiquette tips and view our videos on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and our Youtube channel, “Etiquette Chics.” Feel free to email us at etiquettechics@gmail.com. We love hearing from our readers!