By Ann McAdams | March 19, 2020 at 12:12 PM EDT – Updated March 19 at 7:09 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – It’s top of mind for almost everyone right now, but despite dire warnings about the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19, many people appear to be going about their daily lives.
Several New Hanover County parks have been busy with children, who are out of school indefinitely. Parents say from a practical standpoint, they have to do something with them to help their young kids burn some energy.
“I mean, I have boys. They eat dirt and play and get dirty, so it’s like you got to let kids be kids you know?” Ebony Jones, mother of two, told WECT while sitting on a bench at Hugh MacRae Park watching her kids. “You can’t keep them cooped up in the house and isolated from other people. My children are fine, they just left the doctor about an hour ago, so a little germs won’t hurt.”
While it’s easy to say we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and each other, there is a limit on what people are willing to do to isolate themselves. And it’s not just parents of young children who are venturing outside of their homes.
WECT has spoken to a number of elderly adults who continue to go to the grocery store, to work, and to run their errands as needed. They were well aware of the outbreak, but it had not significantly deterred them from going about their day.
Health officials are providing some guidance about preventing the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, while still allowing some outlet for getting outside and visiting with others.
“As long as you’re going to a non-crowded place … at this point, I would encourage people to do that,” Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health and a professor of infectious diseases at the Yale School of Medicine, told the TODAY show. “Social distancing doesn’t mean nature distancing. Go out, as long as you have distance.”
But while you are out, be careful to avoid touching surfaces that could be contaminated, like handrails, benches, and playground equipment, especially with uncovered skin.
If you are looking for other ideas, The Los Angeles County Health Department put out a helpful graphic, with suggestions for activities that are safe, unsafe, and activities that should be reasonably safe during this pandemic, as long as you use caution.
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