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Social Distancing Makes Some Walkers Angry



How not to frustrate others as you try to practice social distancing

Terrie walking
I am on my way home, looking ruddy and dripping wet from my three-mile walk. I practice social distancing when I walk because I am hoping it saves my life.

Yesterday I went walking at Chadwick Lake, in the town of Newburgh. If you have never been there, it is a beautiful well-maintained park. Wooded paths, fishing, picnic areas and host to an active recreation program.

The dam creating Chadwick Lake was constructed by the Chadwick family in 1926 and the lake remained private property until the Town of Newburgh purchased the 450 acre property, including the lake, in 1962.

Staying at home. Hopefully staying safe.

My husband and I have been staying close to home since the beginning of March. You know how it is eating three meals a day at home, plus snacks. I knew that my body had been getting wider with each passing week.

I tend to find food comforting. Especially, chocolate...in any form. The chocolate cake from Anna's on Broadway is luscious. Then Dairy Queen had the nerve to open and make it easy to use their drive-through. (By the way, the Dairy Queen apps offer great deals. Today I could get a any size blizzard for $0.99. Who could resist that?)

But I found this lack of movement really began to wear on me. (I registered a half mile on my Fitbit on April 30th. The steps were measuring the distance between my couch and the bathroom. Probably spent the day watching one of my favorite tv series. I must have played hooky because I work full time. This stay-at-home stuff can be challenging. )

I know for you young moms out there, you wish you had the time to just lounge. Believe me when I tell you that after a while lounging is not all it is cracked up to be.

What the Center for Disease Control says about social distancing

CDC suggests that in addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.

Social distancing can bring out the worst in  people

So beginning the first week of May, my husband and I decided to implement a walking regiment. We visited Chadwick Lake Park. Some times we brought our lunch and ate in the car. But there were times we went to the McDonald's drive through and bought lunch. Not the best eating, but boy is it fun.

After lunch we walked on the gravel paths which are about 10 feet wide. And we talked.


Robins making their first nests. Long lines of turtles sunning on wet branches. Geese and their newborn goslings. Trees bursting with green.

Although we took face masks with us, I find it almost impossible to walk and take deep breaths while wearing a face covering. So we were careful. Because the park has posted signs along the paths about the rules of social distancing, I didn't think it would be too traumatic.

May 4th - 2.37 miles; May 8th - 2.84 miles. 16 miles the first week.
May 13 - 3.33 miles; May 14 - 3.48 miles. 21 miles the second week.

Most people we saw were very respectful and tended to maintain social distancing by moving to one side of the path or the other. 

That is until Sunday. I was walking alone on my way back to the car. A couple was coming towards me, and as we got closer they gave no inkling that they intended to move to either side of the road. I asked, "Which side of the road works best for you?" His answer, "I am not moving. It's your problem."

He continued to shout epithets as he walked by.

So much for a quiet walk on a sunny day. Sometimes social distancing is not easy to practice. But I am hoping it saves my life.




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