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Walking the Heights

By Ina and Mike Levin

It’s a new world, isn’t it? Maybe there are a few who predicted something like this would happen, but did any of us think it would be so life-altering? So, we know you’re all sheltering in place, but (as of this writing) it is still possible to get outside as long as you stay six feet away from everyone you meet. This column is usually about the different walks available in the Heights. This time it is about just getting out of the house.

We find that being outside is an antidote to the doldrums. It really doesn’t have to be a long walk. A stroll could work wonders and, at least, will get us out of our pajamas. The air seems so clean and the vistas so pristine. That is, undoubtedly, partly due to the lack of car traffic. That is one advantage of our forced quarantine. Another is it is safer to cross our streets.

We have upped our steps since mid-March since there’s not much else to do except walk. But it is really the effects of moving that has helped us the most. It is obvious that those who walk are mindful of keeping their distance. Pass others on a sidewalk and either you or they will wait in a driveway until you pass or detour in the street or on a lawn to maintain that six-foot barrier. We ran into some friends this week walking the Heights. Anyone passing us and considering our ‘distance-conversation’ might have thought we were getting ready for a game of Four Square.

Since April began, we’ve noticed more of us wearing masks. That makes us more mindful of staying six feet away from those passing. We’ve also noticed how polite people are as we pass one another in the Heights. Could this kind of behavior be another benefit of this unusual time? How wonderful if these positive changes linger after all this is a memory.

So, to clear the cobwebs as well as to force a break from the newscasts, we suggest walking the Heights. Enjoy the fresh air and clean skies. We find it makes it much easier to stay inside the rest of the day. And take your phone to snap a few photos of our lovely vistas. Focus on the beauty that is still around us. Nature reminds us that things will return to normal.


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