By Kathy Knotts
No restaurants, no bars, no live music events, no library. What’s a Chesapeake resident to do during our self-imposed quarantine?
The good news is that Chesapeake Bay was made for outdoor adventures. There’s little risk of picking up a virus when you are out on the water or on the trails. This is prime time to explore our state, county and local parks and waterways. Although visitor centers and other amenities may be closed, you can still enjoy nature in all her early spring beauty.
All Anne Arundel County Parks are open—with no entrance fees. Play a round of disc golf at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville. Run the trails at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. Look for osprey along the Patuxent River at Jug Bay Wetlands Park. You can also head down to Enticement Stables in Harwood for horseback riding lessons and enjoy the fresh air and farm life.
Trails are open in Prince George’s County parks, too. Enjoy springtime at Patuxent River Park or at Watkins Regional Park.
In Calvert County, Jefferson Patterson Park and Annmarie Garden’s trails are both still open for strolling, as are most county parks with the exception of Battle Creek Cypress Swamp. Take note that water fountains will be off at Calvert parks.
And of course, the temperatures are just starting to warm up enough to hit the Bay for fishing or just lazily exploring by boat, kayak or however you enjoy the water.
Use this opportunity to bring along something to collect trash in and help keep litter out of waterways.
Weather looking iffy?
Some local gyms are going online with live-streamed fitness and yoga classes. You can find personal trainers form Chesapeake Health and Fitness in Deale on Facebook live, working out in their living rooms as you sweat and stretch in yours. Grow Yoga in North Beach is doing the same, taking their classes online with the Zoom app.
Maybe it’s time for some online learning. Anne Arundel schools are using a deep toolbox of e-learning resources to give students the opportunity to play educational games, read online storybooks, and catch up on assignments. Students can log on from aacps.org or watch lessons broadcast on Comcast channel 96 or Verizon channel 36 throughout the day. The school website also offers a long list of learning extension activities.
The county libraries may be closed but their online services are still open for readers and explorers. If you checked out books before the closings, you can keep them until libraries reopen as all late fees are waived since bookdrops at all locations are closed. Downloadable movies, ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and music continue to be available.
Families are swapping craft supplies, puzzles, board games, DVD players, homeschool materials and offering to read stories to each other’s children online via YouTube or Facebook. Dr. Wendy Bohon, a geologist and parent in North Beach, plans on using Facebook Live to talk to interested students about earth structure, plate tectonics and earthquakes.
Many are using this unexpected time at home to clean and purge indoors or get the garden and yard ready for spring. Consider putting aside items for consignment shops, online auction sites and charitable donations. Or post your items for free online, too.
All this social distancing is for the greater good and it may actually do you and your loved ones some good, too.