Trying to Get Our Life Back

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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11 thoughts on “Trying to Get Our Life Back

  1. Same down here in Florida. We have been staying home as much as possible but when we do go out we wear masks. But most times we are in the minority. People in Florida seem to have taken reopening to mean, it’s over! Time to get out and get back to life. And our numbers are going up like crazy. I have also heard the one about, if you want to live in fear stay home. Wow. What happened to being countrymen and caring about each other? In these times we are so desensitized that people don’t even think twice about saying out loud, I’m not worried about you, I’m going to do what I want and I really don’t care how it affects anyone else. We have a place in FL but before that we fulltimed for 5 years and we have both said several times over the past months how glad we are that we aren’t in the rv right now.

  2. Glad to hear your test came back negative! Did Lee get tested? It is completely ridiculous that it still takes so long to get a result for a test anywhere! By the time you get it back, you could have caught it somewhere else, rendering the result irrelevant! Anyway – safe travels when you do get moving!

  3. We can certainly understand the desire to be out of Texas in the summer and hitch itch is real. 11 summers spent in Texas when we lived there and there’s not much that would ever make me voluntarily go back in the summer ever again.
    We reached our summer destination in early June and it felt like winter with below average temps and LOTS of cold rain. However, looks like summer is arriving right on the first official day of summer.
    This will be first time we’ve ever stayed anywhere longer than 6 weeks, by the time our 3 months are done here hitch itch is going to be a major factor in our desire to “travel like normal” for the month of September through Oregon and Northern Cal, we’ll see if that actually happens.
    It’s a perplexing time trying to determine where to go and how much to travel.
    It does amaze and sadden me to see how many people aren’t willing to wear masks here in North Idaho and Eastern WA. I don’t think we’ll be venturing out much this summer other than hikes and bike rides. We’re definitely in the minority with our masks and there’s an attitude of “it’s not real” . Neither of us is in the high risk category, but we’re both being cautious without being paranoid. That in itself can be a challenge!
    Good luck with your travels!

  4. Hubby and I are full-time as well and we are both in the high risk category for Covid-19. We are spending the summer in northern Illinois near our kids and grandkids. We get together with them regularly, but we still practice social distancing. This means we wear masks and do not hug. It’s definitely hard – but we have found a way to be with them that works for us. We spend a lot of time outside working together in the garden at their homes – pulling weeds, trimming bushes, planting flowers, etc. We can keep our distance while working together. Also, we are fortunate to be in a state where the governor greatly cares about the health and welfare of citizens. He took a lot of pressure because we were on complete quarantine longer than most states. But, our cases and deaths in Illinois have been steadily declining and for that we are grateful.

    I agree with you completely about masks – wearing them is really important – and some people just don’t get it. I truly wonder if these people read or listen to the news. I also get frustrated in the stores when people don’t follow the “one-way” signs marked on the floors. If everyone would just do the right thing, fewer people would get sick. Just my two cents.

  5. I realize the US gets very little news about Canada but thought a COVID-19 comparison would be of interest. The US population is approximately 8.8 times that of Canada. If we multiply by today’s stats:
    Canada’s confirmed cases 101,000 x 8.8 = US cases should be around 888,800 not 2.25 million
    Deaths. 8,346 x 8.8 =.US deaths should be around 73,445 not 120K
    Because Quebec’s spring break (with visits to France and NewYork) was 2 weeks earlier than the rest of Canada and before the world new there was a pandemic their numbers really increased Canada’s total. Not scientific but interesting I thought.
    Safe travels and stay safe and healthy! 😊

  6. We do know hitch itch…it is very real!! However, we also know that you and Lee are the only ones that can take care of YOUR health. The public, in general, are not doing the things that need to be done;-(((

    Bill and I, though old, are very healthy…but we decided to cancel our travel plans to Maine. We were suppose to be on the road from May to Oct. Instead, we are in Florida finding things, at home, to do. We do not go out except for groceries and ALWAYS wear a mask. IMO, we will miss some travel and family time now so we are here, healthy & happy, to enjoy those things after this passes!!!

    Please choose on the side of SAFE…your family and friends will thank you!!!!

  7. Hi Trace and Lee, If you go to NC to be at your grandsons 1st Birthday, just wear masks and keep a safe distance. Don’t let this stupid pandemic cause you to miss important milestones. I know it’s scary, but things like this can be done safely. We can’t let our lives stay confined, we need to see family members. But with the necessary precautions. Hope things go perfectly!

    • I appreciate your thoughts but Lee is high risk and the kids are working in maskless environments. Even with social distancing it’s a major concern for us. The kids actually asked us to stay away because they were worried.

  8. Pingback: Sixth Year – The Emotional Arc – Camper Chronicles

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