Going Outside to Survive Quarantine

How going outdoors can improve your health and well being during times of isolation


by Alija Ernst, Content Manager

As people are being ordered to stay in their homes and going out in public for only essential things, people are quick to dismiss these things especially if they are so in the habit of doing their normal life stuff. However, as more and more people are catching cases of the Coronavirus, the more people are realizing that this pandemic is something that can be ignored. So, these people are trying to stay sane without doing the things they would normally do. Furthermore, these people are realizing that it is a good idea to get outside rather than staying inside losing melanin. From a local tree hugger and mother to two annoying children, Shanika Hartrum, says that going outside is beneficial for your health and keeps you sane in crazy times.

“Being outside in nature is something that can benefit you and your family because it can give you vitamin D and the proper nutrients that a lot of people miss when they are stuck inside. Going outside makes me personally feel more relaxed and also is something I look forward to everyday because it’s a break from teaching my kids and just being a mom,” Hartrum said. “I personally think that going outside makes me more patient with people in my life, and it is just a space in my life that I can look forward to. It also makes me feel more alive in the sense of not being held down by my responsibilities.”


For people that aren’t used to going outside on a day to day basis are struggling to maintain a stable state of mind. However, people that have been outside have noticed a difference in their mood, anxiety, and are even starting to sleep better than before the pandemic. For example, there was a poll sent out asking people if they have gone outside or if they have stayed inside during the COVID-19 outbreak. 87.5 percent of students at SCHS have gone outside while only 12.5 percent of students have not gone outside. Virginia Werth, a senior at SCHS that answered the forum saying that even though she hasn’t been to any restaurants or any public building, however she has found this time to spend with their family. 


“ It is really important to spend time outside and is not only good for one’s happiness but essential for physical and mental health as well. As long as those outside are following the protocols to take safety precautions so as to not spread the virus, it is a great way to get some sunshine while having fun with a small group of family members who are isolated with you at home, or even by yourself! I have been running, reading, playing with my dog, and even working on homework outside while enjoying the beautiful spring weather.”


Werth also expresses how crucial it is to stay safe during these hard times of social distancing as well as for being in quarantine.

“It is important to distance oneself from others during this serious pandemic, however, it is also important to spend some time outside everyday, whether by oneself or with other family members who have been quarantined in one’s house with them. Because we are in quarantine, the best way to take a break from homework or electronic devices is spending some time outside in the sunshine, even if it’s just sitting in a front or backyard for a couple minutes everyday- you may find that it will become the best part of your day.” 

Here are links to St. Charles County Parks website where you can see what parks are open as well as the parks policy for handling COVID-19: http://www.stcharlesparks.com/park/http://www.stcharlesparks.com/coronavirus-information/

Here is a link to the Chicago University News where they list why going outside during the pandemic is important: https://news.uchicago.edu/story/why-time-outdoors-crucial-your-health-even-during-coronavirus-pandemic