One of the things that has pleasantly surprised me about the state of this country during this pandemic has been the number of people I’ve seen outside. Just today, I was outside for about 20 minutes and saw around 20 different people. Each time I look out my window in the afternoon, I see someone walking by, either with grocery bags in hand or just going out for a stroll.
It has been uplifting to see people in the neighborhood. Everything now feels slower and watching people walk around outside gives me the feeling of Mayberry. One of my favorite songs growing up was the Rascal Flatts tune with the title of the town from the Andy Griffith Show, and it caught my attention today as I walked around. The song starts with “Sometimes I feel that this world is spinning faster than it did in the old days. So naturally we have more natural disasters from the strain of a fast pace.” It goes on to say “We can’t slow down because more is less and it’s all an endless process. I miss Mayberry… where people pass by and you call them by their first name, watching the clouds go by.”
Now Mayberry is an unrealistic ideal but the truth is that we have been going way too fast for far too long. These ideas of social distancing and shelter at home are very scary because they force us to slow down. We no longer have to feed the machine of capitalism. Our health has taken priority over our bank accounts and even some corporations have come to, at the very least, acknowledge the risk of continuing on the same path for now.
So we go outside. We take walks because we can’t go to restaurants. We go for runs because we can’t hit the gym. We spend time with those closest to us because we can’t hang out in large crowds. We have collectively slowed down and despite the pressures from certain government officials to get back to normal as soon as possible, we should seriously enjoy the current speed as long as health and situation allows.
What I have been enjoying over these past couple weeks is disc golf. There are a few courses in my area so I have played a few rounds, some by myself and even with Darby and Sam on Sunday. It is something I do to remain active and feel like I accomplished something while also not being too strenuous. It is outdoors, can be done with plenty of social distance, and is really cheap – you only need the disc as all courses are open to the public.
If you are healthy and want to remain calm and relaxed through this time, I would suggest this or finding another outdoor activity that you would enjoy. Go jogging, ride a bike, pick up yoga (I’ve been doing some of that too and yikes it’s not easy), or simply go for walks. My dear friend Doc Ryder is 89 years old and he gets out to walk every few days. I know he will tell you that it is great for his health, and it is likely great for your health too.