A Doctor Explains What You Should Know Before Visiting A Park This Summer

You’ve been taking yourself out for walks every day, but you can only stroll around the block so many times without coming down with an outdoor version of cabin fever. But just because your local parks might be open again doesn’t mean you should go frolicking in the grass without regard for physical distancing measures. If you’re heading into the wild for some outdoor fun, first brush up on how to visit parks safely during the pandemic.

"There are many benefits to local parks — getting outdoors in nature and sunlight is great for your physical and mental health," says Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy, M.D., senior medical director of WebMD. "And it’s a wonderful change of scenery from your home for those of you sheltering in place."

Fortunately, it’s not just good for your mental health to stretch your legs and get some sunlight — Dr. Cassoobhoy tells Bustle that it’s one of the safer things you can do outside the home right now. "The evidence suggests the virus doesn’t spread easily outdoors, so a spacious, quiet park is a much better option than a public indoor space," she says.

Relatively safer doesn’t mean completely safe, though. "You’ll want to practice physical distancing if heading to your local park," Dr. Cassoobhoy tells Bustle. "Just like all public places, there may be people there who are not sick, but they might be infectious."

Even though the local regulations about what you’re allowed to do in parks vary, Dr. Cassoobhoy says that caution is still your safest bet. "The best activities are more solitary ones, like walking, running, or biking on a wide path. Some people aren’t wearing face masks during strenuous exercise, so space yourself much farther than six feet from others around you."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to stick to parks closest to home, but only venture in if it’s not packed with people. "Consider your physical safety, since you’ll want to choose a park that does not have crowds," Dr. Cassoobhoy says. "Avoid touching anything, so don’t plan on a pickup basketball game, climbing playground equipment, or visiting the park bathrooms." Even if you’re refraining from pickup ball, it’s a good idea to bring some hand sanitizer anyway. Dr. Cassoobhoy recommends thoroughly washing your hands both before and after your outing.

You’ll also need to rock your newest rainbow-patterned face mask or bandana, Dr. Cassoobhoy says. "Wearing a face mask is important, especially if you’re meeting a friend at the park. Along with keeping the six foot distance, a face covering protects others from your respiratory droplets as you speak."

If you, your friends, and all your friends’ cousins decide to descend on the same park at the same time, even the best intentions of wearing masks and keeping six feet apart might not help. "Parks are a natural gathering place for the community, so it can be a challenge to limit the crowds," Dr. Cassoobhoy tells Bustle. "If your local park is crowded with others not social distancing, protect yourself and don’t go." Note the time and day that other folks seem to flock to the grass, and check back at a different time or day to find when your park is the least crowded.

"Our understanding of the coronavirus is evolving, so best practices for going to a local, public park (and other places) may change over time," Dr. Cassoobhoy tells Bustle. "Stay informed and use your common sense as you make decisions about how to go out and be safe in public places."


Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy, M.D., senior medical director, WebMD

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Gigi Hadid Explains Why She’s Never Had Plastic Surgery

Gigi Hadid went live on Instagram with Maybelline’s Global Makeup Artist Erin Parsons this afternoon to walk through a natural, Zoom-friendly makeup look. Hadid spoke candidly on the Live about her beauty routine, plastic surgery rumors, and how her face has changed since the start of her pregnancy. The model is expecting her first child with Zayn Malik in the fall.

“People think I do fillers on my face and that’s why my face is round,” Hadid said while penciling in her brows. “I have had cheeks since I was born. Especially fashion month— when I was already a few months preggo, you know?”

Parsons chimed in that she was wondering how Hadid’s face would change now that she’s nearly six months pregnant. “I have the cheeks already so there’s not a lot to fill in,” the model quipped.

Hadid then shut down any rumors about plastic surgery. “For those wondering I have never put or injected anything into my face. I am so happy for everyone to do whatever they want that makes them happy and makes them feel more comfortable and good about themselves. Me personally, it terrifies me,” she said. “I feel like am too much of a control freak. I’m like, what if it goes wrong?”

You can watch the entire Live makeup tutorial below:

For Hadid, makeup is a tool she uses to enhance her natural features. “I think that people are so fast to do permanent things to their face. I’ve loved being like, I accept myself for how it is. It doesn’t mean I don’t have insecurities sometimes, but for special occasions you can sculpt your nose a little bit or do whatever with makeup,” she said. “Makeup is such a beautiful tool to help you feel your best for special moments but also to accept your beautiful face for exactly how God made it…and your mama and dada.”

To sculpt her cheeks and nose, Hadid used the Maybelline City Bronzer in shade 100 during the tutorial. “I do have a round face so it just helps like, hone the warmness into the center so the center is highlighted. I lightly go under my chin also because I have a round face,” she added.

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Angela Merkel explains coronavirus infection risk so anyone can understand

Germany’s leader says the country’s health system is in a ‘fragile situation’ as it prepares to slowly lift its lockdown.

Some shops are set to open their doors next week after social distancing measures brought coronavirus infection rates down, but Angela Merkel has warned that ‘caution is the order of the day and not overconfidence’. She says there is an ‘ice thin’ margin between hospitals are overwhelmed by a potential second wave of infections.

Speaking at a press conference today, the Chancellor said: ‘The curve has become flatter. It needs to be like this so it doesn’t overtax our heath system. We have made model observations.

‘We’re now at about reproduction factor 1, so one person is infecting another one. If we get to the point where everybody infects 1.1 people, then by October we will reach the capacity level of our health system with the assumed numbers of intensive care beds.’

She warned hospitals could reach capacity by July if the infection rate rose to 1.2 – where one person in a group of five infects two and the rest one.

The Chancellor said a rate of 1.3 would bring that breaking point to June.

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She added: ‘So that’s where you can see how little the margin is. And the whole evolution is based on the fact that we can assume that we have an infection figure that we can monitor, that we can track, and that we have more protection concepts and thanks to them we can loosen restrictions.

‘But it is thin ice, as Mr Tschentscher (Hamburg Mayor) said, or a fragile situation, or really a situation where caution is the order of the day and not overconfidence.’

As well as small shops, car dealers, bicycle shops and book stores can all reopen, regardless of their size next week, but hairdressers will have to wait until May 4 provided they comply with ‘strict hygiene measures’.

It is not clear when restaurants, bars and cafes will be allowed to go back to business.

Social distancing rules will stay in place until at least May 3 and people will be asked to wear face masks in shops and on public transport.

Germany announced 315 deaths from coronavirus today bringing its total to 3,569.

The overall number of cases rose by 2,866 (9.7%) to 130,450, marking the third day in the row infections have risen after almost a week of decline.

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