Resident Roundup: Matthew Geisz, M.D.

Matthew Geisz


Socially Distanced Fall Family Fun in the Triangle

As a resident, there is limited time away from rotations to spend with family and fulfill my roles as a husband and father. It has been especially difficult to find safe and responsible activities with my family due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has remained a large threat and concern to our community since the spring. As the temperatures drop and leaves begin to fall, it is important to remain vigilant and continue taking precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing. However, there are still many activities in the Durham area and at home that you can take advantage of to keep your whole family entertained! Below are some of my favorite ideas for fall family fun in the time of COVID-19.

Lights, Camera, Action

If you missed the summer blockbusters and finished your Netflix queue months ago, add a fun twist to family movie night with a movie under the stars. Hang a white sheet in an open space, connect a portable projector and speaker to your phone, and stream your favorite classic. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre is a great option to catch you favorite film and enjoy one of last remaining drive-in theaters in North Carolina. This classic drive-in is located 40-minutes outside of Durham and offers two features each night. Purchase your tickets online and view the films from your car for a night of socially distanced family fun!

All the Fun of the Fair

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Carolina State Fair was canceled for the first time since World War II. Missing the blue ribbons and oversized produce? Find a local farm to explore. Head to Page Farms in Raleigh or DJ’s Berry Patch in Apex this fall to find the perfect pumpkin. Take advantage of their large pumpkin patches to stay 6-feet apart and check their websites for additional COVID-19 guidelines.

If you can’t wait until October 2021 to get your fix of fried oreos and cotton candy, check the state fair website for future drive-thru fair food events. Satisfy your craving for roasted corn, funnel cakes, and turkey legs from the safety of your car.

Knock It Out of the Park

COVID-19 may prevent you from cheering on your team from the stands this fall, but you can still make game day a fun event for the whole family. Turn on the big game and set up chairs to mimic your team’s stadium. Create DIY tickets for you kids to gain “admission” to the game. Grab your jersey and have your favorite ballpark snacks on hand to pass out after each inning. Peanuts and crackerjacks, anyone?

If you’re still bummed about missing the Summer Olympics this year, create “Quarantine Olympics” from home. Get your kids’ input on their favorite silly games: crab walk, egg toss, balloon between the knees. No Olympic Games is complete without the medal ceremony—create DIY medals to award each participant!

Matthew Geisz is a third-year resident with the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program. Email with questions.
Editor’s note: Duke Family Medicine residents guest blog every month. Blogs represent the opinion of the author, not the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program, the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, or Duke University.