Navigating Outdoor Recreation During a Pandemic

Friday July 10, 2020

Is it just us, or does every day during this pandemic feel like entering unchartered territory? At the end of the day, we’re all ready to go back to “normal,” but the reality isn’t quite that simple. At Go Ape, we’ve taken great steps, sometimes going further than what’s recommended by the CDC, or state/local mandates.

We also continue to monitor various reports and scientific studies to inform our approach. One recent article from the New York Times, written by Michael Levenson, Tara Parker-Pope and James Gorman, gave an updated review of outdoor activities. You can read the entire article by clicking here, but since it requires providing your email to read in full, here are a few key takeaways:

Is it safe to meet friends in the park, as long as they stay six feet away, on the other side of a blanket? What about a burger and beer at an outdoor restaurant? How risky is a trip to the beach or swimming pool with the kids?

The good news: Interviews show a growing consensus among experts that, if Americans are going to leave their homes, it’s safer to be outside than in the office or the mall. With fresh air and more space between people, the risk goes down.

“I think going outside is important for health,” said Julia L. Marcus, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “We know that being outdoors is lower risk for coronavirus transmission than being indoors. On a sunny, beautiful weekend, I think going outside is indicated, but I also think there are things to do to reduce our risk.”

The different approaches have left many Americans bewildered about what is safe behavior outside. Experts have a simple answer: Practice social distancing and wear a mask when that is not possible.

“I think outdoors is so much better than indoors in almost all cases,” said Linsey Marr, an engineering professor and aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. “There’s so much dilution that happens outdoors. As long as you’re staying at least six feet apart, I think the risk is very low.”

While this virus continues to be unpredictable and there is a lot more to learn, we feel very confident that our outdoor adventures provide an opportunity to stay active while minimizing risk. We are dedicated to our protocols and will continue to utilize the natural air circulation and easy social distancing once in the trees to create a safer environment.

We encourage you to do your own research and only adventure with us once comfortable. If you’re not ready now, we completely understand. We will be here to provide an amazing experience when the time is right. Please feel free to contact us with your questions so we can address any concerns you have about our approach to COVID-19.

Photo credit: People photo created by prostooleh –