Hark – the sparkling waters of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific beckon, and many Bay Area residents are raring to catch up on some sun, sand, and surf after months of staying inside their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visiting Bay Area beaches are among the fun things to do in San Francisco, especially at this time as the ocean’s regular production of negative ions — through the water’s exposure to sunlight and the constant movement of the tides — have an anti-microbial and mood-boosting effect.
However, with the pandemic still ongoing, safety protocols in this new normal must be observed as you hit the beach or explore the coastline.
The good news is that according to health experts, being outdoors actually has lower chances of transmission than staying indoors in poorly ventilated conditions with other people. The consistent airflow minimizes the concentration of the virus in a certain area, making it less likely for anyone to catch it.
Moreover, the fresh air and a healthy dose of sunlight in a beach setting are probably what lockdown-weary people need these days.
If you’re planning an outdoor excursion soon, below are some important reminders to keep in mind, as well as some recommended Bay Area beaches.
Wear a face mask and maintain a safe distance
It is important to wear a face mask whenever you are in a public space, and the beach is no exemption. While risks may be lower outdoors, masks are a necessary precaution that protects you and those around you from transmission.
Keeping a safe distance from other groups while you’re out is also a good practice.
While in the water, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises swimmers to not wear masks. But as a precaution, make sure to maintain adequate distance from strangers while in the water.
China Beach (also known as East Beach) is a lovely cove where families can enjoy soaking in calm, shallow waters. Alternatively, you can take a shoreline walk during low tide to find beautiful sea creatures clinging to the rocks or simply appreciate a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Avoid staying in one spot for too long
Active recreational outdoor activities — like walking, biking, and swimming — are especially recommended these days as constant movement reduces the risk of transmission among people. Note, though, that extended periods of close proximity to others can significantly heighten the risk of catching the virus.
To keep you moving for some spectacular views, you can visit Lands End, a secluded beach with a picturesque hillside. While swimming is not allowed here, the lovely hiking trails are wide and flat enough to accommodate even wheelchair access. You won’t be staying in one place here to take in the natural majesty of this venue.
Another site that’s perfect for outdoor activity is California’s famous Ocean
Beach. With its coastline stretching for 3.5 miles along the west side of the city, Ocean Beach offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Savor the salty breeze as you take a walk along the coast or fly a kite during the afternoon. While the waters here may be too rough for the average swimmer, simply exploring the beach is a treat in itself.
Don’t share food and beverages
Enjoying a meal is one of the most important social activities that bring people together. Then again, the current situation calls for added precautionary safety measures during meals in public – especially during beach picnics.
Communal food platters are risky as continuous contact from numerous people increases the risk of infection. Instead, bring your own food and drinks for your beach trip and eat only with people from your household. Of course, always start and end your meal by sanitizing your hands.
If you’re buying food or snacks from stalls or establishments, using your own utensils is encouraged. Disposable cutlery is the last resort — just make sure to properly dispose of these afterward.
Stay home if you’re unwell
Needless to say, the health of the community remains the top priority. Do not go out to any public place if you’re feeling under the weather. In case you’re suspicious that you’re infected with the dreaded coronavirus, keep yourself in quarantine. That way, you prevent infecting others and avoid deadly complications.
These changes in habit may take some time to get used to. However, these measures can ensure your and the community’s well-being while allowing you to enjoy daily activities as you used to.
For real estate needs and more ideas for things to do in the Bay Area, Nina Hatvany and the rest of Team Hatvany can provide valuable recommendations to you. Reach out to the team by calling 415.710.6462 or by sending an email to team(at)teamhatvany(dotted)com.