STAY SANE & STAY HOME
Let's talk about the elephant in the room. Coronavirus.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. Many people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are able to recover within their own homes, in isolation. Others have reported very severe symptoms, require hospitalization, and ventilator assistance. Worldwide, there have been over 49,000 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19.
And with the US as the forerunner in COVID-19 cases, Governor Sununu has issued a Stay at Home Order for the state of New Hampshire. All non-essential business are shut down. Come to find out, a lot of businesses are considered essential (including liquor stores?). But, we New Hampshirites are encouraged to stay home.
One week into this new order, I think everyone is going a little stir crazy. I know I am.
Soooo....to cut to the chase, here is a list of things that you can do (young or old) while staying home & practicing social distancing.
S T A Y H O M E
1 . P O R C H S I T
Okay, I have to admit, this could sound kind of boring. But, sitting on the front porch is actually one of my favorite things to do. Grab some chairs (preferably the rocking variety) and go sit out on your front porch, patio, walkway, or even driveway. Stay in your pajamas if you want to. The cars won’t notice. Grab your drink of choice, sit in the sun, and let your worries melt away. Bring your quarantine buddy if you’d like or get some peace and quiet by yourself.
2 . C A M P F I R E S
There’s something so nostalgic about campfires. Sitting around the fire. Roasting marshmallows and telling stories. But, campfires don’t have to be a thing of the past. Grab some firewood and have at it, and don’t forget the s’mores! You may find that starting a fire (and keeping it going) is harder than you thought. For an extra challenge, consider making a fire by flint. Just be sure to follow all local rules and regulations and be smart--no singed eyebrows please!
3 . R E A D A B O O K
It’s really easy to turn on the TV or scroll on your smartphone. We’ve gotten away from books, which is such a shame. Take some time to pick up that book you haven’t had time to read. If you’re looking for book suggestions and want to learn more about New Hampshire’s history, try Not Without Peril: 150 Years of Misadventure on the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. The book discusses historic breakthroughs, minor mishaps and huge catastrophes on one of the most dangerous mountains in the world—Mount Washington. I was surprised by how big of a role our little Mount Washington has played in hiking history worldwide.
4 . T R Y A N E W H O B B Y
Have you been looking for an excuse to try something new? Well, this is your excuse. Or maybe you just haven’t had time for that activity you love. Now is the time to pick up where you left off. Get in touch with your creative side. Pick up your old guitar or try your hand at watercolor painting. Put down the junk food and start a new fitness journey. Learn a new language with your quarantine buddies. Or have a go at sewing. (If sewing proves to be your strong suit, consider making and donating Medical Face Masks. Sewing patterns are available online and many stores are giving away free kits with everything you need to make a mask.)
5 . H O M E I M P R O V E M E N T
If you’re like me, you have 10 house projects already started. Whether you’re redoing your kitchen, putting on a coat of fresh paint, or just planting a few flowers, now is a fantastic time to finish your projects (before starting a new one!) Maybe it’s time to declutter a bit—to clean out that junk drawer or the skeletons in your closet. Spring cleaning will not only leave your home looking better than before. It could increase your home’s value, and seeing a job well done is oh, so satisfying.
S T A Y L O C A L
Alright, now according to Governor Sununu's Stay at Home Order, we New Hampshirites are still encouraged to go outside and workout as long as we practice social distancing (staying 6+ feet away from others). Don't believe me? Here's Sununu's Order for proof:
Great. Now that we have that settled, here are some suggestions for things to do outside while also staying local.
1 . R A I L T R A I L
Need some fresh air and a place to stretch your legs? Head over to the Goffstown Rail Trail. Spanning from the Goffstown Village to the Goffstown-Manchester line, the Rail Trail is 5.5 miles and is dog, stroller, and bike friendly. Take in views of Glen Lake, the Piscataquog River, and the Hillsborough County Complex. Now used as Administrative Buildings, these brilliant redbrick buildings were once coal storage for the Boston & Maine Railroad.
2 . U N C A N O O N U C S
If you’re looking for something to get the heart pumping, consider a hike up the Uncanoonucs. With few mountains in Southern NH, we’re pretty lucky to have these babies in our very town. Both mountains have great views at their summits and offer lots of opportunities to explore. While North Uncanoonuc’s summit is only accessible to hikers, you can drive right up South Uncanoonuc. Park the car and go for a short walk to the scenic vista. On a clear day, you’ll even see the Boston skyline.
3 . G L E N & U N C A N O O N U C L A K E S
While it’s definitely not swimming weather (yet), don’t count out a trip to the lake! Goffstown boasts 2 lakes—Glen Lake (located in the Village District) and Uncanoonuc Lake (located at the base of South Uncanoonuc). Grab your walking shoes, a yoga mat, or even a fishing pole and get a little bit of exercise with a fantastic backdrop.
4 . C L O U G H S T A T E P A R K
Clough State Park is located in Weare on the shore of Everett Lake, a 150-acre lake formed by a dam on the Piscataquog River. The park has a 900-foot sandy beach, playing fields, large picnic areas, and a dam to view everything from. Bundle up and take a walk on the beach. You might be lucky enough to spot some spectacular wildlife. Or, get your steps in and walk across Everett Dam. Walking to the end of the dam and back will bring you to ~.74 miles
5 . R O C K R I M M O N
Just a short drive away, on the outskirts of Manchester, sits Rock Rimmon. The park boasts amenities such as a swimming pool, basketball courts, and even pickle ball courts. But, the real attraction is its backdrop—a 150 foot granite cliff. Visitors can take a short (and leisurely) hike up the outcropping and are rewarded with fantastic views. Take in the southeasterly views of all of Manchester. Or, turn to the West and catch a glimpse of the Uncanoonucs with their foothills.
Whatever your situation is, whether you're going stir crazy at home with the kids or trugging through this quarantine solo, I really encourage you to take some time and do something fun.
I know times are tough, but so are you.
For comprehensive and up-to-date COVID-19 worldwide statistics, please visit the Johns Hopkins Resource Center.