The Recluse’s Guide to Leaving the House

Rejoining civilization for the first time in months? You might have a few questions.

quarantine family hiking

Photo via Getty Images

What Do I Do If…I See Fellow Hikers on the Trail?

Let’s get this out of the way: When you visit a beautiful park on a beautiful day, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see other people out enjoying it too. But don’t panic: Just be sure to practice safe social distancing and remove those earbuds so you can hear others on the trail. When passing, downhill hikers should yield to those heading uphill, form a single-file line, and shout, “On your left” loud enough for others to hear.

What Do I Do If…I Have to Fill up the Tank and Use the Bathroom at a Rest Stop?

A few months ago, we wouldn’t have given this question a second thought—now it requires a full-on battle plan. Pack your own snacks and drinks to avoid lines at the cash register, and wear disposable gloves while pumping gas. Most important, don’t assume public restrooms are stocked with everything you need to stay safe: A kit consisting of paper towels (to dry your hands and avoid touching handles and toilet seats) and sanitizer and wet wipes (in case soap and hot water are unavailable) should do the trick.

What Do I Do If…I Want to Check Out an Open Shop in a Cute Town?

If you’ve been out grocery-shopping recently, you already know the drill: It’s all about the mask. Bring it and wear it to protect yourself and others—it’s the law, after all. And try not to touch anything unless you’re going to buy it.

Massachusetts Day Trip Ideas For Your Socially-Distanced Summer