Winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21. But we’ve already had a taste of it – a cold, snowy mid-October dose.
|Domed shelters outside Hotel Landing, Wayzata|
And with colder weather comes greater concern about the spread of COVID-19.
It’s a pretty simple idea – folks who live in Wayzata or any other place in Minnesota generally spend more time outdoors when the weather is warmer. Of course, there are many outdoor enthusiasts who love the winter weather, but for the most part, Minnesotans spend more time inside when temperatures drop.
Spending more time indoors in small or larger gatherings lends itself to greater transmission of the disease. Also, similar viruses survive better in lower humidity which of course winter is known for. Finally, the holidays will present their own challenges – indoor family gatherings, potential travel, etc.
But let’s face it, we’ve stared down a lot of challenges in 2020 and we’ve marched on.
Hand washing, mask wearing, and other precautions have helped and will continue to help.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided a guide for upcoming holiday celebrations. You can review that guide here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
The health of Wayzata’s business community is also something to watch. Sure, there have been some businesses that have closed shop and moved out, but there are others that have specifically chosen Wayzata as their new home. And the mainstays have weathered the storm – adjusting the way they do business to accommodate a new reality and keep serving their customers.
Back to the indoor/outdoor idea again. It’s tough to beat Wayzata on a warm, sunny day. But this community also has fantastic outdoor winter recreation choices. And this may just be the winter season you make that extra effort to put on an extra layer and get outside.
Soon Klapprich Park will transform from a baseball field and dog park to a skating and hockey rink. And down the road, once the ice depth of Lake Minnetonka is at a safe level, ice fishing and cross-country skiing will be an option.
The Wayzata Parks and Trails Board recently discussed potential outdoor winter activities on the newly constructed Lake Street park plaza.
Currently, the city of Wayzata is working with Hennepin County on a Business Assistance Grant in order to increase winter activity with outdoor dining spaces, events and programming.
During the last Parks and Trails Board meeting, members discussed potential outdoor activities for the plaza.
Some of the ideas floated were curling, watching sporting events on a large screen, bonfires, snow sculptures and music. Stay tuned on that.
Yes, there are reasons why there may be a COVID surge in the coming weeks. But we’ve had nearly nine months of preparation and plenty of opportunities to make outdoor recreation a safe option during the cold months ahead.