Getting ready for when the park opens.
It appears we may be approaching a “flattening of the curve” as per the data graph from Health Canada. We all hope some of the restrictions currently placed on our inter-Provincial travel will be lifted soon. While it is an inconvenience, it is after all for the best to help keep us safe and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. The physical distancing measures seem to be working. Although the park is still not yet open for the season, we’re going to need to be prepared for when it does.
People who use a cottage or trailer are going to have to learn to live differently. The way we interact with each other and live. We’ll all need to learn and practice new habits to stay safe.
If the people who reside in your home are the same people who go to their cottage or trailer, the logical conclusion would be those people can go there as soon as the Provincial government says it is permitted to travel for that reason. Those people would still need to abide by all the guidelines and orders established by Government of Canada and Ontario Ministry of Health.and regional health authorities.
Chances are high that we will all have to learn how to live with COVID-19 for some time.
In this world of post COVID-19 we are all going to have to limit ourselves to behaviours that keep us safe. Until there is a vaccine available you are at risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. It is likely that this virus will exist for a long time due to outlying transmission by people who are not following the guidelines set by Health Canada or the Provincial Ministry of Health. As long as there are still people with the virus in our society, there is a possibility you can get it. Reducing the risk of exposure is what will keep you safe.
When we are finally permitted to visit our cottage or trailer in the campground, we will need to continue the measures and resume the prevention behaviours to make sure we are all safe:
- reducing contact with others by following the guidance for self-monitoring, self-isolating, or isolating
- practicing physical (social) distancing and proper hygiene
Being in nature is good for us.
Studies have shown. It can improve our physical and psychological health. Researchers have established a threshold at which spending time in nature starts to be associated with good self-reported health and high self-reported well-being: 120 minutes per week.
The positive effects of nature affect the way you treat others. People are more caring and positive when they are exposed to and around various forms of nature.
Engage your senses to maximize the health benefits of being outside. Breathe deep, as the scent of fresh pine has been shown to lower stress and anxiety. Make sure to pause and listen, as studies show that listening to nature sounds like bird songs and rushing water can help lower stress levels.
Feeling stressed? Research shows a link between exposure to nature and stress reduction. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity. Time in green spaces significantly reduces your cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Nature also boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.
Here are some of the questions we think people will be asking when the Provincial Government says we can visit our seasonal properties.
Q: Who can come to my cottage or trailer?
A: The only people who can visit your trailer or cottage are the same people who were with you in self-isolation at home. Do not invite your relatives or friends. You must continue to practice physical distancing and follow the guidelines set by Health Canada.
A: What about grocery shopping?
Q: Continue to shop for food and prescriptions as you would at the stores near your home. Shop once a week. Purchase only what you need. Do not hoard food. The supply chain can handle consumer demand just like it did last summer, but only if people behave with courtesy and respect for others.
Q: What activities can I do?
A: You can do pretty much what you did before COVID-19. Just keep in mind that you need to do it within the guidelines set by the Government of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health. Continue to practice social distancing with people who are not in from your home family. Go for a walk, hike, bike or boat ride. Enjoy the outdoors. It’s good for your health.
Q: What will be closed?
A: All non-essential facilities as stated by the Province of Ontario. In parks and campgrounds that will likely be any gathering place where more than 5 people could meet. Places like a visitor centre, pool, clubhouse will all be closed until the Province permits use of public facilities and spaces.
Our priority should always be that we all survive this pandemic, and learn to live in a way that is safe no matter where we are.