COVID-19 Social Distancing – “Exercise Activity Plan B”

Tigard Street Heritage Trail entrance, near the chamber building.

On Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020, I showed up to the front door of a fitness center I frequently use. They were allowing 25 members in at a time to comply with COVID-19 social distancing rules. Regardless, the gym was closed the next day until further notice. Since my wife and value daily exercise, we pulled out Exercise Activity Plan B.

The next day, we walked to Dirksen Nature Park and made use of the outdoor fitness center. The weather was beautiful and people were out in numbers like we’ve never seen before. In-between exercise sets, we noticed a huge mass of parents and children intermingled throughout the playground area. I said, “There are a lot of parents off from work and children out of school. I don’t think children tumbling around other parent’s children is safe from COVID-19.” It was obvious to us the public health message – avoid close contact to prevent the spread of an aggressive virus had connected with parents. Apparently, city officials noticed.

Two days later, I wasn’t surprised when they shut down basketball courts and playgrounds. Tigard police announced on Twitter and other public notice media over the weekend, “You can access the rest of our parks, but we ask that you avoid congregating in groups.”

If you’re feeling cabin fever and need an outdoor break, most public use recreational amenities are accessible. Just avoid congregating in them and respect social distances. I think this is a great opportunity for drone, plane or remote control car toy hobbyists who want to brush up on their skills in public use green space. Or create your own plan B exercise activity to explore nature, walk the dogs, or just reconnect with a significant other. If everyone does their part to comply with the social distancing rule, the bulk of Tigard parks and trail systems will remain open for everyone to enjoy.

One of my favorite Plan B exercise strategies is to use Tigard’s newly paved 10’+ wide ~.75 mile Heritage trail system. This is a great place to rollerblade, bike, and jog, walk the dog and perform basic exercises, etc., in a safe environment. Park your car downtown and access the trail at Tigard and Main Street. Local businesses also need your support. Support them by purchasing to-go food services for outdoor picnics and trail treks.

Get innovative and creative with outdoor exercise, play safe and stay healthy by following COVID-19 guidelines and related city policies and we all win.

For daily updates and impact on city services and public use facilities, visit Tigard City Website corona update link: www.tigard-or.gov/corona.