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Social Distancing = Wilderness Therapy

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Almost everyone at the moment is in one way or another affected by COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the desire in all our thoughts is for this to be over without further detriment. As the relevant authorities in society work towards this, we should be quick to take on the responsibility as individuals too in this endeavour. Two of the most important interventions, which you may already have heard of, are social distancing and self-isolation. Now, for adventure loving souls like us, it’s a nightmare thinking that we can be cooped up in rooms as we wait this out. Not to seem in opposition towards self-quarantine and social distancing, but we can look into ways to do this responsibly while still being in the natural spaces we love so much.

Let’s define a few terms first. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people. You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country or the world where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person. For people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. Isolation can take place at home or at a hospital or care facility.

For the latter, being recluse in a permanent space for an extended period of time is needed but luckily in the case of social distancing it doesn’t require you to become a shut-in... 

Enter Wilderness Therapy.

One of the advantages of the wilderness model is the nature of being remote. There is something about separating oneself for a time from the man-made parts of society into the wilds of nature that does something to your inner spirit. Going on a secluded run, walk or bike ride are fine ways to stay active outside -- just maintain at least six feet of distance from other people. Find an area where you won’t encounter crowds to keep your immune system strong and clear your mind. Be in nature. All in all, please ensure you practice self care and for this pandemic that includes:


Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 2 metre (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain viruses. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

So let’s stay safe and healthy during this period and let’s also help spread awareness to those around us. Your overall well-being matters. Off into the forest we go and if we see each other we’ll make sure to have a “Hello from the other side” moment as we smile and wave.

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