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As We Shelter in Place, Access to Outdoors Should Not Only Be for the Privileged

A sign indicating that a public area is now closedOn May 3, 2020 an op-ed by JMP medical student Tommaso Bulfone appeared in Truthout.

“On the weekend that shelter-in-place orders were announced in California, regional parks and beaches registered record-high visits. The following week, as parks started to close across the country, visits boomed in the few that remained open, such as the Grand Canyon. In a historical moment of uncertainty, thousands sought relief in nature.

Isolation in quarantines can have disastrous psychological outcomes, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion and anger, sometimes with long-lasting effects. Research has shown that nature can be a protective factor against these dangerous outcomes. In addition to many physical benefits such as reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, access to nature has been shown to elevate mood, lower rates of anxiety and depression, and even lower mortality rates. […]”

Read the full op-ed on