So I started a draft of this post the begining of March, and got a little busy. Today I returned to it and my how things have evolved!
We are a little less than a month out from what our scheduled CDT start date. We are ready, except for the preparation of resupply boxes. We are a bit concerned about what we initially thought was all this “hullaballoo” about COVID-19 and how it will affect our travel plans. (Remember this was several weeks ago, and the purpose of this post is to show how quickly things have evolved)
Our plans are to fly into El Paso where my father will pick us up. We have three concerns:
- Will there be travel restrictions by then? If there is an “outbreak” in the city or county we live in, and we are NOT sick, would we still be allowed to travel.
So as of March 16, 2020 the CDC has issued a “15 Days to Slow the Spread”. New Mexico followed suit by telling people who newly enter NM to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry. California has issued a “Stay home” order that so far is set for “indefinitely”
2. If flights were cancelled, could we drive to my father’s? Would Arizona and New Mexico let us “in”?
New Mexico has for all practical purposes told people NOT to come, and if you do, you need to self-isolate for 14 days. And, BTW no resturants will be open and hotels will only be allowed to be a 1/2 capacity. * A friend told me that she was passing through a “corner” of NM to get gas, she felt like a “leper” while filling up.
3. What if we travel via our original flight plans and we pick up “something” on the flight? Seeing as my father is going through cancer treatments, I would hate to expose him to something that may further compromise his immune system.
We have cancelled our flight for these exact concerns and have made preparations to drive.
More than an In-COVID-19-yence
So most of the thru-hiking community is in a quandary, with most (if not ALL) cancelling or putting their 2020 thru-hikes on hold. We are in the “on-hold” team, as we have the luxury of options. There are still people currently on all of the triple crown trails (PCT, CDT, AT) following their “dreams”.
We are in a constant state of flux. Our son, who works in the emergency services sector is living with us until June. Because of his job he is in contact with people who may or may not be “sick”. Most people are still NOT fully practicing proper and appropriate social distancing, especially our teens and 20-somethings. This requires us to be ever so diligent, especially since our daughter has a compromised immune system, suffering from Chronic Lyme disease. Luckily she has her own apartment and is on home “quarentine” per doctor’s orders. But then, for her, that doesn’t exactly pay the bills.
I have to admit that we initially thought this COVID-19 to be a bit over-hyped, and had planned on starting our thru-hike, no matter what. Those plans are out the window…for now.
I am wondering how this post would/will look 30 days from now.