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COVID-19 News for Sunday: ‘Wildfulness’ can help families with stress

  • The Kimball Jenkins Estate off of North State Street in Concord on Thursday, December 6, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER

Concord Monitor
Published: 8/16/2020 8:34:18 PM
Modified: 8/16/2020 8:34:14 PM

Most people who live in northern New England understand the health benefits of being among nature. Dartmouth-Hitchcock emphasized those benefits over the weekend when it shared an article titled, Wildfulness: Nature’s Cure for Stressed Families.

“Getting families into the wilderness might be my biggest impact on public health. There’s no better prescription,” Dr. Sarah Crockett, co-director for Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Emergency Medicine Student Education, said in the article. “There’s no better prescription.”

Crockett is a Wilderness Medicine specialist and a mother of four who has leaned on nature in recent months to relieve her own stress.

“When COVID-19 hit our area, it was scary, and my anxiety level was intense,” Crockett said. “Nature is where I find peace, so one of my stress interventions was sitting by the brook near our house and, in my own way, meditating. I still try to make it to that spot every week.”

Crockett suggests that families start with easy hikes.

“Flat rail-trails are the highways of hiking; you can’t get lost,” she said. “Remember, if the trail you’re on is too challenging, it’s OK to turn around or stop and play who-can-find-the-most of something.”

Families are reminded to go over some basics before they start a hike so they can plan, and pack, accordingly. Figure out how the length of the hike and the forecast (and if either might change) so you can bring the right equipment and wear the right clothes. Hikers should also bring food and water beyond the minimum expectations, a navigation tool (map, compass, GPS device, etc.), sun protection, light, tools (knife, gear repair) and fire (matches or lighter).

While having all that stuff is a good idea and may prove very handy, there’s something even more critical to take with you.

“The most important thing to bring on a hike is a good attitude,” Crockett said. “Parents might want to climb a peak or make it to a waterfall, but kids don’t care. They just love being outside with people who love them. Play games. Sing songs. Stomp in puddles. Build fairy houses.”

More money for businesses

Vermont’s congressional delegation says the state is getting $2.1 million through the federal CARES Act for a revolving loan fund that will help businesses hurt by the pandemic.

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch said the money will provide critical financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The numbers

The Vermont Health Department on Sunday reported five more people testing positive for the virus, bringing the total to 1,515. The number of deaths remained at 58.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday said eight more people tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to nearly 7,000. The number of deaths stood at 423.

Dollars for dance

Eastern Ballet Institute had a successful, and socially distant, fundraiser at Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord on Saturday. The dance company is moving into the school and will use the proceeds from Saturday’s event to replace carpeting and install multi-use dance flooring at the school’s Carloyn Jenkins Gallery.

The event included a dance-inspired print exhibit, a dance performance and a food truck from Baked Brewed and Organically Moo’ed.

Material from the Associate Press contributed to this report.

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