1. Parks, trails and open spaces
2. Being alive/not dead
3. Being close to nature
This is the first — and, god willing — the last year this category for surviving COVID-19 will exist. To hell with it. The winner, however, a worthy winner if I do say as a COVID survivor myself, is parks, trails and open spaces. Yes, it beat out being alive/not dead to take home the grand prize, which may surprise a few, but what is being alive worth if we can’t enjoy the little things in life?
The better half of quarantine as I call it, or the first couple months of living in a pandemic world, was a time of extreme isolation. Restaurants were closed, bars were closed, people were actually following social distancing measures and we are all hiding out in our caves we call our homes and apartments. But what made it better was the meditative state of trekking away from our isolated holes and into the idyllic Lane County springtime nature where we could take stock of the important things in life.
While my first time back to running after having COVID on Pre’s Trail only lasted a mile and a half because my lungs still didn’t work, the sunset from Knickerbocker Bridge was a reminder of why I was lucky to be alive. Imagine those views and beautiful spaces when we get through this mess: That nod to the oncoming runner, petting a stranger’s dog or even having a smoke with a stranger by the river; the audacity to be stupid and worry-free in the fairy-nymph wonderland we call our home.