The Outdoors Issue: Everything's closed; time to get into nature

The Boundary Waters of Minnesota

The Boundary Waters of Minnesota Getty Images/iStockphoto

When we started writing a special issue encouraging people to get out of their homes, it was… still safe for people to get out of their homes. The idea that our city, our country—the world—would go into lockdown to prevent a pandemic?

It seemed impossible. In many ways, it still does.

Experts say we might be avoiding concerts and movie theaters and crowds of any kind until the summer (at least) to curb the spread of COVID-19. But there’s one thing we don’t need to avoid: the great outdoors.

“I think outdoor space… I think being outside will be really crucial through this period—getting fresh air, getting exercise,” Mass General physician Daniel Horn, who’s leading a team that’s strategizing to combat coronavirus, told the Atlantic. Minnesota State Parks are staying open (even if some buildings are closed). “Now is a great time to get outdoors,” said state DNR commissioner Sarah Strommen. “Parks are a great place to do some social distancing and enjoy the health benefits of nature.”

Don’t do anything that makes you feel unsafe; maintain distance between your hiking or bikepacking partners; and for the love of mother nature, don’t take a trek with friends if you feel sick. But when the blinds on your windows start to feel like bars on a cage, we hope this issue will help you find a place to escape, even if it’s temporary.

“Nature is still there,” Minnesota’s DNR tweeted earlier this week. “You can be too.”

The Outdoors Issue: