Harvard University researchers say that a simple walk in the woods can help relieve anxiety, depression and stress.
Other research shows that exposure to nature also can contribute to your physical wellbeing by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension.
I faithfully adhere to health care guidelines put forth to help prevent spread of COVID-19 — frequent hand washing, avoiding crowds and so on. But I will continue to seek solace and hope and joy in the outdoors, such as in our state parks.
As of this writing earlier this week, the Georgia State Parks department said its parks are staying open. "With many Georgians avoiding crowds and canceling travel plans, parks provide nearby places to enjoy nature and solitude," said the department. (Updates: https://gastateparks.org/Alerts)
If all of this changes, however, I may be left to connecting with nature only in my yard and the woods behind my home. But as long as they also have birds, blooms, butterflies and bees, I will be OK.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be new on Monday night. Mercury is very low in the east just before sunrise. Venus is low in the west just after dark and sets about two hours later. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are low in the east about three hours before dawn.