I have always been a fan of Survivorman. Watching him trek through the wilderness, eating things that are too disgusting to imagine, and enduring the elements that I will only watch on TV. I thought that these shows could bring some interesting perspective and tips for helping us reemerging from quarantine living for the past 3 months. Who knew that watching Survivorman on Saturday afternoons could inspire me to draw some parallels as we navigate our way through COVID-19 and what is still to come.
Survivorman AKA Les Stroud (http://www.lesstroud.ca/survivorman/) shows us with his little camera how he stays alive in the wilderness. He uses wit, planning and sometimes just damn good luck. As we gently dip our toe into this new world order and peak our heads outside our home, some of these same skills may serve us well. Now that’s probably a bit dramatic, but you get the point and it may not be that dramatic.
I remember one episode where Mr. Stroud told the story of an experienced hiker who was out for a day trip and never came back. Why? Because he FORGOT several key tips that you should NEVER forget, no matter who you are and your skill level.
- Are you physically fit? As we reemerge, have we been eating healthy, staying hydrated and generally taking care of ourselves. This certainly has applications for today. Many of us have friends, family, acquaintances that have had COVID-19 and may or may not have survived. If we are in our best optimal condition, we may have a better chance. If we continue to eat foods that cause inflammation, smoke cigarettes that damage our lungs – we may be a bit more vulnerable. It is not to late to make changes as we will have COVID-19 or some version of it for the foreseeable future.
- Do you have the right gear? He was talking about something warm, good hiking boots, tent, etc. I’m talking about hand sanitizers, masks, and good social distancing skills (not gear, but still important).
- Know your route and go with what you know – sometimes the path of least resistance can be your downfall. Survivorman was talking about looking down a steep incline and thinking you could get down faster (risking a fall or worse). I am talking about planning where you are going and why. Is that mass gathering for a party worth the risk? Are you going to a place where you don’t know if people have been ill or exposed to someone who has been ill? Do you know who you will be with in case you become ill so your contacts can be traced? Thinking before doing and weighing the pros and cons.
- Last – do you have the will to survive? Survivorman says those with a strong will to live generally do survive, because they will take the time needed to figure things out and not panic or give up. To have the will to survive COVID-19, I believe we have to have the will to do the right thing and keep ourselves safe and others safe.
The above tips are paraphrased, and even embellished from what I remember from the episode of Survivorman. The tips and commentary are a metaphor for how we choose to reenter our new world. IT’S UP TO YOU! Now get out there and do something fun, but just be prepared.