Why this P.E.I. man is inviting people to join him — virtually — on his nature hikes

In an effort to bring the great outdoors to Islanders in self-isolation because of COVID-19, Steven Balderston is inviting people to join him and his dog Penny on hikes through the woods — virtually, of course. 

Balderston has been posting his hikes through the Island's woods on his Facebook page over the past several days. 

"I thought I might make some videos, for anyone who's sick or can't get out and is stuck in self-isolation. Anyways, I thought this might be a nice little way to help," Balderston told viewers in one his recent videos, which virtually guides people along the Winter River.

He joined CBC Mainstreet host Matt Rainnie for an interview to talk about his new project, while enjoying a hike.

Submitted by Steven Balderston

"I go pretty much every day, the odd day I miss but I try and go every day. I just feel so much better when I make it out," Balderston said. "The rest of my day goes better," . 

'You start to feel good'

Balderston said he wanted to do something to alleviate the stress and anxiety Islanders are experiencing and help promote exercise during this difficult time. 

"After about two minutes you start to feel good. It's the exercise, plus the fresh air," he said. 

"In self-isolation you're probably trying to find all kinds of things to do to pass the time and I thought, here's one more thing people can do." 

Balderston also said he likes having the opportunity to show neat places on the Island with which people may be less familiar, as well as some of the creatures that call P.E.I. home. 

If you're interested in joining Balderston and Penny for a taste of the outdoors, you can head to their YouTube channel.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.