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Scott Thompson: At times like these, a walk can be the best medicine — dog or no dog

A man sits with his dog on a bench as they watch the Mediterranean sea in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 26, 2020 as the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus continues. From Sunday, children under 14 years old will be allowed to take walks with a parent for up to one hour and within one kilometer from home, ending six weeks of compete seclusion.
A man sits with his dog on a bench as they watch the Mediterranean sea in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 26, 2020 as the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus continues. From Sunday, children under 14 years old will be allowed to take walks with a parent for up to one hour and within one kilometer from home, ending six weeks of compete seclusion. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Rather than trying to figure out life during a pandemic in 2020, sometimes it’s better to forget about it for a while, and take the dog for a walk.

Following protocol, of course.

We were very fortunate to have gotten a new dog the year before COVID-19 paralyzed the world.

It was something the family had discussed at great length over the years and we decided the time was right for us.

Read more: Ontario considers changes to safety protocols at gyms due to Hamilton COVID-19 outbreak

During the pandemic, the dog has been a great source of comfort for the whole family, kids included, especially when cabin fever ramps up the tension and anxiety.

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Sometimes we don’t realize the toll a global pandemic can have on oneself and one’s family, even if we’re fortunate enough to stay employed and in some sort of routine.

Click to play video 'Self-isolation exercises' Self-isolation exercises
Self-isolation exercises

In some cases, the pandemic has brought family together. In others, it’s only highlighted the trouble that always existed.

Unlike the family, dogs always listen, never give their opinion, don’t judge you on the way you are or how you are feeling — their love is unconditional.

Okay, so is a family member (maybe), but are they as cuddly and forgiving?

Read more: Dogs might be able to sniff out COVID-19, study suggests

So if you’re feeling a little fatigued from COVID-19 — or the Thanksgiving leftovers — get outside, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Walk longer if you can.

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It is needed for your sanity in this suddenly secluded world.

And by the way, you don’t need a dog for the walk.

However, it does seem to be the only thing we can hug right now.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​