Folks, we will be observing another week of no organized runs this week. The past week has been challenging. Businesses have closed and the places that we used to gather are also closed for the time being. Because of this, some unintended consequences occurred. This past weekend our trails saw probably more activity than at any other time in recent memory as people attempted to find a sense of calm amidst the uncertainty. This was an understandable inclination, but probably in the long run did little to help us slow the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is one of the medical leaders of our nation’s response to the threat of coronavirus as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is also himself a longtime runner. Dr. Fauci has often said that his greatest therapy during a distinguished career that has seen him on the frontlines in the battle against infectious diseases for more than four decades has been his ability to go out for a run, often with colleagues with whom he could share knowledge, strategy and ideas. That said, Dr. Fauci’s message to all of us is very clear at this moment: “I think we should do everything we possibly can do. I mean, in all sectors, because obviously I’ve said so many times, when you think you’re maybe overreacting, you probably are not acting as forcefully as you should. So as we’ve always said, we’ve got to try very much to stay ahead of the curve.”
Our community of runners needs to do its part in staying ahead of the curve. Please do not run in groups unless your own personal safety demands it. Even then, try to keep your group very small. Maintain social distancing throughout. Remember that social distancing is actually physical distancing and that six feet should feel like you’ve created a huge gap of separation between you and your running partner, or the person you are passing on the trail. Fight the inclination to venture far into the wilderness. Our public health system at the moment is intertwined with our community first responders. Any time that first responders must provide aid or search and rescue resources for runners injured or lost on a trail is time lost in serving and tending to those who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. Save the epic adventures for a few months in the future, when the specter of COVID-19 will be greatly lessened.
Together, we can do better. Let’s keep working on setting the best example possible.
– John Trent