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Time is right to get out and enjoy great outdoors

It is that time of the year again when the days are a bit shorter and cooler and people are getting back outside to enjoy activities in the great outdoors, including on the Natchez bluff.

It seems like years, even though it has only been a few months, since we have been able to congregate without fear of spreading or contracting COVID-19 and the great outdoors makes the prospect of congregating a little bit safer as long as we keep our distance and take precautions.

As anyone who lives in the Miss-Lou knows between about mid-June and mid-September the outdoor temperatures are prohibitive of spending long stretches in the outdoors.

With the change to October, however, the heat and and humidity seem to disappear and the outdoors become attractive again.

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic the great outdoors is probably the best place to be.

Not only do the outdoors provide ample space for social distancing but also aerosolized droplets of spittle are less likely to be passed from one person to the next as opposed to being in an enclosed indoor facility.

It is no surprise, then, that people have been flocking in recent weekends to the Natchez bluff, area parks and other outdoor venues to enjoy the cooler temperatures and to congregate with other people.

Last weekend, the bluff was hopping with activity including a motorcycle festival sponsored by the Seeds of Change charitable organization and a cancer awareness walk.

Blue skies and cool temperatures made the events perfect for getting out and seeing friends and neighbors and hearing good music and having fun.

In the weeks ahead, the Natchez Balloon Festival will be held on the bluff as will a series of live music events on the bandstand situated on the bluff at 5 p.m. on Fridays, starting Oct. 16 and repeating Oct. 23 and 30.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet ended, numbers in the state and local area appear to be flattening.

If we practice proper protocols, including social distancing and mask wearing when social distancing of six feet is not possible, along with hand washing and not touching our faces, we should be able to get together on the bluff to enjoy each others’ company, entertainment and the beauty of the bluff.

If you are someone with preexisting conditions that make you more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, you might want to sit it out the gatherings even in the great outdoors but that is an individual decision we each have to make.

Otherwise, take the proper precautions and consider getting out and enjoying all the area has to offer in the coming weeks.

A little fresh air in the great outdoors might be a great remedy to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott Hawkins is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com.

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