Over the past days and weeks, life in America—and around the world—has changed dramatically.
As we all grapple with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, one message has been abundantly clear: Social distancing is essential. Now, communities are taking extensive actions to keep their communities as safe as they can. Concerts, festivals, schools, restaurants, bars, gyms—the social hubs of our communities—are canceled or closing. In the San Francisco Bay Area, millions of people are under a “shelter-in-place” order. People who can are working remotely. Others are counting on their neighbors to keep their distance as they report to work for essential jobs—health care workers, first responders and many others.
“Social distancing is critical; it’s the one thing that will stop the spread,” said Dr. Joseph B. McCormick, regional dean and James H. Steele professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTHealth) in Brownsville.*
Our lives and our communities have been upended in ways we never could have imagined, and in some cases, the questions outnumber the answers. At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), we’ve heard from many who aren’t sure if it’s okay to be outside, or on the trail, but public health experts are quickly sharing information about the value of being active, especially outdoors, right now.