Nature, Near and Far

Due to health and safety concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, many local, state, and national parks have closed, including Acadia National Park, after experiencing a surge of visitors seeking solace and space during otherwise stressed and isolated days of social distancing.

Of course people are seeking out parks, given the increasing awareness of the restorative power of nature, the benefits of exercise, and the need for a break. Going for a walk outside feels like the one safe thing a person can do these days.

The crowding in “parks” specifically, compared to other outdoor places, reveals a phenomenon with relevance to science communication: psychological distance.

Read the full essay.