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COVID-19 public health guidelines and distance running

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I don’t wear my glasses when I run, because they tend to fog up and make it hard for me to see, so I had to walk closer to see the message on the sign.

Hadn’t been out to the South River Greenway in a few weeks.

It’s been cold. I’m becoming a wimp in my older years; staying inside, riding the Peloton.

But it was nice out, temps on their way to 50, and I’ve missed the river.

The sign had me turning around and driving back home.

The parks and rec folks are enforcing masks on the greenway – for walkers and for runners.

Sorry, but I’m not running with a mask.

You can tell me it’s perfectly safe, but it’s hard enough to breathe on a long run without a mask on, if you’re trying.

On my drive home – it’s a short drive, five minutes, give or take – I thought through the rude email that I was going to send to the parks and rec director, and what I came up with was a doozy.

After my run around my neighborhood – sans mask, obviously – it started to sink in.


I mean, I get it.

We’re hoping people use the greenway to get out, get some Vitamin D, some fresh air – some exercise.

If we’re successful in that, then the greenway – the park system across the board – would have lots of people milling about.

And whatever you think about the efficacy of masks, they’re religion now.

I mean, and I’m not all that religious a person, in general, but when it comes to this matter, at the post office, the grocery store, getting seated at a restaurant, I’m a hundred percent – a thousand percent – pro-mask.

And from what I can tell, everybody else that I come in contact with is as well.

I remember seeing a guy at the grocery store last week without a mask.

It stood out to me because it’s the one guy that I can remember in months.

All that said, I’m not going to run outside in a mask.

I think that’s about the dumbest damn thing ever.

I prefer to run on the greenway because it’s closed to vehicular traffic, and after almost getting hit by a car a few years ago, running on the streets worries me.

It was a kid texting while driving.

Literally, I was waving frantically to get her attention.


Life is a risk.

Getting hit by a car, getting COVID.

We all end up going, one way or the other, sooner or later.

Preferably later, obviously.

When I run around my neighborhood, I rarely come across a walker, but when I do, I cross to the other side of the street, out of respect.

That, and my Peloton, will get me through the next few months.

But if you want, need, the greenway, and the handed-down wisdom says, masks, even outside, on the greenway, I’ve got no problem with that, I guess.

It’s not like I have a say in the matter anyway.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press