As many others who are full time RVers, Lee and I have been talking about how to get moving again. The summer is ticking away, and for the first time in a long time we have a steady income that allows us to travel, but because of COVID concerns we have stayed in place. Don’t get me wrong, we are incredibly grateful to Cori and Greg for allowing us to stay with them so long, but hitch itch is a real thing, and I am anxious to get moving again.
Part of those feelings come from the fact that an RV is a small space. Generally that trade-off is worth it as it is the vehicle (literally) that allows us to visit cool places, but when we are in one place for a long time I start to miss having more living space. Unfortunately the COVID situation is incredibly fluid and the south in particular has experienced a spike in the number of cases. Lee is high risk because of his 35+ years of smoking and heart attack, so we need to weigh the desire to move with our very real concerns about protecting his health.
There are two very strong factors though that are pushing us to move. One is the weather, and the desire to head north and/or to higher elevations to beat the heat is strong. We have done an outstanding job all these years of following the weather and for the first time are experiencing a summer in the deep south. That forces us inside, which exacerbates the feeling of confinement in small spaces and the combination of the heat and COVID has stopped us from almost all outdoor activities.
The second factor is that my grandson turns one on July 20th. I feel really lucky that we have the ability to be with him on his birthday, but unfortunately COVID keeps getting in the way. After much discussion, Lee and I agreed that we would head east on July 5th and would take our time getting there. We have rushed through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia more times than I can count, but we have time (and I have taken no vacation this year) so we can stop and see a few things and finally get our state stickers. We were fine with working through individual restrictions on places we wanted to see and still felt we could be both safe and enjoy our travel.
Unfortunately we have experienced problems on the other end. Both my daughter and my son-in-law work at restaurants, and those restaurants have both been open for a few weeks. South Carolina has thrown caution to the winds on their reopening strategy and not surprisingly people in both of their restaurants have been exposed to Covid. Testing in South Carolina is still very slow, and people are waiting 3-7 days to get results. Once those results come in, everyone else gets tested and it’s a two week cycle before people know if they have it. Craziness. Especially since I got a 15 minute test in Texas and got my results same day recently. They were negative by the way!
**As a side note, before deciding to eat in your favorite restaurant be aware that many states do NOT require testing or require reporting if one of their employees gets sick. Restaurants do NOT have to close, as I previously thought. Personally we are only doing carryout and then microwaving once we get home. The only exception to the microwave rule is fast food restaurants who seems to be taking all the right precautions.
There is no point in heading east if one or both of them get sick, so we are waiting to see. And we understand that even if we head that way we could need to divert at the last minute. These concerns are nothing of course compared to their lack of income and their concerns about being sick, but for someone who likes to have a plan in situations like these it is tough. I also miss my grandson terribly and although we Facetime frequently I really miss holding him.
All that being said, I need to put my husband’s health first. And it is difficult when so many people refuse to social distance and wear masks in public. I strive very hard to keep politics out of this blog, but when they intersect with my RV life in such a huge way I feel I can comment. In my opinion it is a small thing to ask to protect the safety of others, but I continually see people in Texas who are mask free and refuse to keep their distance. In general less than 50% of the people are wearing masks here, and there have been several times when I am the only person with a mask on in a store and that includes the employees.
We still aren’t going out that much, but we have been testing the waters in order to make our decision, and it saddens me to see the behavior. I understand the strong desire to get back to normal. I fight with it myself everyday, but I wear my mask just in case. The day after I got tested and had my COVID free paperwork in hand, I still wore a mask because it was the right thing to do. Other people wouldn’t know I was just tested and there was a small chance I picked up the virus while getting the test itself. I would never want to be responsible for getting someone else sick and for me it is a small and reasonable price to pay.
Others feel differently though, and whether that is motivated by politics or selfishness it doesn’t really matter. The general consensus seems to be if you are at risk stay home and let everyone else do what they want. Well, that’s fine I suppose, if you aren’t in the at risk category, but for those of us who have people who are its a really shitty deal. Sorry for the language, but the situation is frustrating. Anyway that is where we are. I’ll let you know what happens as we get closer to the tentative departure date!
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