In the upcoming months, the COVID-19 pandemic will present Utah residents with a new challenge: Staying active during what will likely be a socially-distanced winter.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of COVID-19 occurs mainly from person to person. As a result, there has been a global push to limit or restrict close contact between people within many public areas.
For Utahns, a “quarantined summer” still allowed for a broad variety of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, jogging, fishing, camping and boating. However, for local college students, faculty and staff alike, an online curriculum that already inhibits socialization, coupled with Utah’s historically cold and harsh winters, means that keeping active during a “quarantined winter” may not be an easy task.
“I started saving up for a season pass to Brighton early in the year like I always do, even though I wasn’t sure if [ski] resorts would even be open,” said Kavlyn Kain, a Salt Lake Community College student. “I’m going to go up as much as possible; it’ll be a nice escape.”
Utah has long boasted having the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” which attracts tourists from all over the world year after year. According to Ski Utah, fifteen alpine ski resorts offer a combined 31,000 vertical feet of skiing, as well as a lift system that has the capacity to move over 257,000 people every hour.
“I haven’t skipped a season in years, since I was a kid. Last season got cut short because of COVID, so I’ve just been hoping ever since that it wouldn’t still be shut down by now,” said Gabby Hindoain, a University of Utah student and another Brighton resort fan. “We’ve all been cooped up for too long, and I haven’t been as active in quarantine so this is definitely something to look forward to.”
Other popular recreation ideas shared by local students included makeshift home gyms, Zoom yoga classes, playing Wii Sports and learning dance routines from online videos.