COVID Monthly Theme August 2020 Summer/Sun Safety

Summer does not have to be a bummer, even in the midst of COVID

Summer is a great time to get active and enjoy the nice weather outdoors.

With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, many experts agree that one of the lower risk activities is spending time outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding large crowds and practicing proper social distancing along with wearing a mask.

In deciding which activities are appropriate, seniors should consider their personal comfort level, medical history (including any risk factors), and the COVID prevalence rate in their community.

Outdoor activities

Fresh air and outdoor exercise are among the greatest benefits of the summer sun. Exercise is important year-round, and up to 30 minutes a day of regular exercise can help seniors strengthen their core and reduce the risk of falls or injury.

Aqua aerobics is a fantastic form of exercise for seniors and one that is deemed generally safe during COVID. As well as being cool in the pool, the resistance from the water strengthens muscles and is also low impact, making it especially helpful to those with painful joints or osteoporosis. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through water.

While humans remain greatly impacted by the pandemic, our animal friends are in peak migration, as it is nesting season for hundreds of different species. Birdwatching is a great activity to decompress while practicing social distancing. Here is a helpful guide for the beginner birdwatcher. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology even offers a multitude of live bird cams for a virtual window into the natural world of birds.

Strolls in local parks, gardening, picnics, and nature photography all are great options for safe summer activities during COVID.

Watch out for ticks

Notably, with the increased time spent outdoors during summer, it is also important to stay on guard for ticks. Most tick bites do not end up being serious, but it is a good idea to be aware of them.

  • Ticks are especially fond of wooded areas and tall grass, but can also be found on plants, grasses, trees, and shrubs in your yard.
  • After partaking in any outdoor activities, it is always good to do a tick check and examine your clothing, body, and hair.
  • Wearing insect repellant containing DEET and covering your arms and legs is another way to stay safe from tick bites.
  • Signs of a tick bite include a red spot or rash on the skin resembling a bullseye.

Summer 2020 does not have to be a bummer, even in the midst of COVID. Don’t focus on the activities that have been cancelled, but instead think about all of the wonderful things you can still do at home or while social distancing. All in all, these activities will help you focus on the simple pleasures of life and ensure that you end summer feeling like you got your fill of warm-weather activities, all while keeping yourself and your community safe.