It’s Time to Head to the Woods

Welcome. Life at home seems about where it was a week ago, in this age where it seems to be Wednesday every day, though where I stay we are heading into the dog pound of summer, fans whirring everywhere against the heat. It’s hard to stay focused, hard to seek pleasure against the pressures of the work day or the day spent looking for work, when so many of us are still at home as summer beats on.

To the mailbag! A reader writes:

I live in Los Angeles and it is becoming more and more clear that we are not going to be back in the office for the rest of this year. Yet at the same time, my boss is encouraging us to take vacation time, even if we just stay home.In my head I have fantasies of trying to find a beach house for a month, but that would be a bunch of money for just a change of scenery.

Do I take a road trip and stay with friends in a different part of the country? But then am I putting them at risk? Do I just go drive out into the woods and camp? I rarely make it home to see family in the Midwest — do I try to spend a month there?

Now, you might well go see your family, though there’s more stress involved in that kind of visit than many people imagine. You introduce risk to their lives. Same deal with visiting friends. I think you go to the woods instead, if you have the gear to camp. Since June, California has reopened 85 state parks for camping, according to the state’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Being outdoors is beneficial after all this lockdown, and the risks of infection are lower than at a bunch of friends’ homes. Leo Carrillo State Park, for one, is just an hour out of Los Angeles, in Malibu. Try that, and I’ll try to do the same on the other side of the country. Let’s all of us try.

More good advice for living a good life at home and near it is below, and At Home. Please let us know what you’d like to know: [email protected]

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