Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Where is home?

Stay home, they say, to stop the spread of Covid-19. But what about going outdoors, away from people? There’s disagreement on that, different concerns and interests at play.

Craig Childs offered his thoughts on the matter. Here’s a link to his essay in High Country News. And here’s an excerpt:
In the West, we’ve got plenty of space. But are we supposed to be using it? We’re hearing different messages. There’s been a pushback against recreating on public lands, mostly from gateway communities receiving visitors they don’t want, even as people are being encouraged to enjoy parks and open spaces where they can keep a safe distance from others. Most national parks remain open, and entry fees have been waived. 
So which is it? Stay indoors, or go outside? If you go out for a walk, you might hear someone shouting at you from a window, “What don’t you understand about just stay home?” 
…I believe in the right to be outside, but at this moment it shouldn’t be exercised through visitor centers and bottlenecks. Forget the parks; seek out the spaces in between, the backyards and alleys. It’s a great time to explore an irrigation ditch or the woods at the edge of town — to see what’s around you. Be as local as you can.
My driver license says my home is Douglas, Arizona. My heart says my home is the West. I've been staying in Arizona the past couple of weeks to blend in, to pass as a local, to avoid possible flack in neighboring states. Right now the closest person is about a mile away. Social distancing is the default setting out here. Ain’t no viruses being exchanged from me or to me. I’m doing my part, just not in the way the house-bound majority imagines it.


  1. Smart, the crowd intellect has always been the nemesis of nomadic logic. Your where I would be Al, but kemo is currently my anchor. I would mist my grocery s with white vinegar before putting them away, change into fresh clothes after public sojourns, rubber gloves/masks and a handiwipe rundown of head and hands before climbing in the RST. Stay remote till this shit blows over.

    1. I didn't realize you were undergoing treatment. My best hopes and wishes to you.

    2. From a Consumer Reports article about household products that are effective against this virus:
      >>Disinfection recommendations using vinegar are popular online, but there is no evidence that they are effective against coronavirus.

  2. Doctors and the shelter-in-place orders have never been against going outdoors, other than congregating in large groups. There's been miscommunication and/or misinterpretation here. And you're right, Al, the only regs against use of public lands have really been about gateway communities not wanting a bunch of nonresidents crowding their towns and crowding popular destinations, e.g., the trailhead to a popular hike. They're just trying to avoid spontaneous congregations of people.

  3. I live in Carlsbad, CA. Cities of Carlsbad and SD outlawed being on the beach and closed parks and beach parking lots. There is still a healthy stream of walkers with dogs spread out along the beach walk, thank goodness. Surfers were still in the water earlier this week when there was swell. I think the government has gotten carried away--stay in the back country right now. It's crazy here.

  4. Rhode Island Police to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge Cars stopped, homes to be checked to enforce quarantines
    Officers halt cars on the interstate to start the crackdown