How the Meaning of Walking has Changed During the Pandemic

Mary Stevenson, Staff Writer

When school was canceled on March 13th, 2020, everyone thought we would be out of school for only two weeks. That mentality quickly changed, and the worst was upon the nation. There were–and still are–so many unknowns with the pandemic. One of the biggest unknowns was how to spend our free time. There was one answer that came to mind: walking. 

Walking has become an escape for many people who are willing to go outside. Living in a town that is surrounded by the beach, Scituate residents have the opportunity for great walking adventures throughout the months of quarantine. Of course, going out for a walk is very different: putting on masks and staying six feet away from other people is challenging. However, many people are outside during the day, because walking is the only get away from being in the house. 

Before the pandemic, walking was taken for granted. It was something that was done as a form of exercise rather than a way to escape the real world. However, with the pandemic, the meaning of walking has changed immensely over the past year. When walking now, there is so much to appreciate. Being able to walk, even if it is with a mask, is something that is no longer taken for granted. Being able to look and appreciate nature is something that is looked at in a much more positive sense. This appreciation for nature will be taken beyond the pandemic, as walking will continue to be an escape for many. 

Walking during the pandemic has become essential. Without walking, life would become even more overwhelming than it is with the pandemic, school, work, and much more. Walking provides physical benefits, but more importantly, walking provides many mental benefits. Walking has been something that many have done, but with the pandemic, the meaning of walking has changed: it is now something that people love in a much deeper sense rather than just walking with no purpose in mind.