On Saturday, March 15, 2020, we had a big snowfall. This made it hard to get around and marked the beginning of our travel restriction time. We have not ventured very far from home since that date. I noted in my diary on that date “Life is virus filled.”
That was exactly 5 months ago today. Our lives settled into a virus-controlled routine that meant getting outside and walking as much as we could, doing inside exercises when we could not get out, and cooking a lot in the mornings. During the evenings we included a movie via Netflix or some other service in our routine almost daily. The 2 best films we have seen lately include one very old and one very new film–The 400 Blows and The Old Guard. Ruth has been playing a lot of Scrabble on her phone and improving her vocabulary and competition skills. I have been writing almost daily. Many of my blogs are not about travel because that has become impossible, hopefully temporarily. We have gone nowhere. I have accessed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, cdc.gov., hoping to see some change in the situation. There has been no change. The Center is still saying that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19 so, “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others….”
Lately I have seen some signs of hope. Several neighbors have gone places and returned without incident. We have several chain-type motels near us, and their parking lots are filling again. I have heard, however, that most of their guests are walk-ins and that people are still afraid to book long-term stays. People around us who have ventured out are not going very far. I also read yesterday that people-magnet Times Square in New York City has seriously reduced pedestrian traffic. The number of people passing through is down by 83%.
Ruth and I are considering a short trip to neighboring state California. I just read that travel restrictions still allow travel there, and many tourist destinations have reopened. Calling ahead to intended stops to learn about local restrictions seems like good advice.
A short trip in a vehicle requires staying overnight occasionally, getting fuel, taking bathroom breaks, and feeding ourselves. Can all 4 be done safely in a world where several In-N-Out employees have just tested positive for the virus? I have begun planning to learn that the lowest risk for feeding ourselves involves drive-through food purveyors, take-out, and curb-side pick up. These are the lowest risk options. The CDC says that public restrooms can be used if you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. To get gas, use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before touching them and use sanitizer after pumping. For hotels and motels, the CDC recommends checking their virus prevention practices before you go. Cleaning and disinfecting rooms has become critical.
Hank on the road?