Over the coming months it is crucial that we make our health and the health of others a priority. During this Covid-19 outbreak it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and others and in doing so, respect the advice provided by the HSE and WHO, but also to understand the vital importance of our mental health. When isolated and lonely for any reason, people are more likely to develop anxiety, so promoting well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority.
Spending time outdoors, with adjustments to how space is used, is a sustainable, proven approach to preserving mental health. Congregating in groups is no longer allowed, but spending time outside can still be a safe, practical way to buffer the stress and anxiety of new extreme social distancing measures.
Exploring Kilkenny can be a great escape from the confinements of home. Kilkenny offers so many beautiful walking trails across the stunning landscape and through the many picturesque towns and villages.
The HSE has listed guidelines on how to enjoy the outdoors safely, so we can enjoy our beautiful county, yet still help flatten the curve if we all follow the social distance requirements. The Kilkenny countryside is vibrant with life and just waiting to be discovered.
Let’s discover it responsibly!
Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.
To protect yourself and others:
► Avoid walking in crowded areas. If a walking trail is busy, visit at a quieter time.
► Walk during off peak hours
► If you feel unwell or have any symptoms however slight, please stay at home and contact your GP.
► Think of others when parking and don’t block entrances. Leave room for the emergency services to pass.
► When walking outdoors it is crucial that we maintain the physical distancing requirements. We must leave a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing or sneezing.
► Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.
► Reduce interactions with people and do not shake hands or make close contact, if possible.
► Do not walk as part of a group as the risk of virus transmission is increased.
► Practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or preferably with a tissue.
► Discard the tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitiser or with soap and water.
► Before and after your walk, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty.
► Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
► Keep hydrated and do not share your water bottle!
► Your dog must remain on a lead for the duration of your walk. Refrain from allowing people to stroke your dog.
► Leave no litter and follow the Leave No Trace guidelines.