Is it safe to camp amidst this epidemic? The first coronavirus death was reported in China, January 11. What a difference six months make! In that little stretch of time our planet has been taken hostage by this stubborn virus. Certain industry has been devastated as a result, like the airline business, other businesses, however, like the RV industry is seeing catapulting sales. As of June 5, less than six months after the virus began, 488,000 lives have been taken as a result of the coronavirus.
Spring vacations were all canceled or postponed
It seems like an eternity, but when the virus first struck America, we were cautious about stepping out of our houses. Not much was known about the transmission of the coronavirus, as a result lots of public places shut down. Many trips were canceled or postponed.
National parks were all closed temporarily. Then the parks progressively opened different sections, while keeping some sections closed. Mostly park attractions that encourage a large crowd, like visitor centers, beaches, swimming pools and gift shops are not open. Whereas most national park trails, canoe and kayak ramps, cabin rentals, and yes….dump stations have opened up to the public. But now we are in summer, and our restlessness urges us all to head to the woods and camp out.
Is it safe to camp?
An interesting article from NPR asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate summer activities in regards to how likely someone might be to catching the coronavirus while performing the activity. Eating indoors at a restaurant was considered medium to high risk. Attending a religious service indoors, was considered high risk. Going camping was considered low risk. But there are exceptions to everything of course. Camping in the middle of the woods, without anyone else for miles is obviously low risk. Camping in a crowded facility, where a hundred people are sharing a stinky outhouse, would be very risky.
One summer activity, from the NPR article, rated in terms of how risky it is to catch the coronavirus was spending the day at a popular beach or pool. The risk for this activity was rated low. If you are going camping, there is probably a lake or an ocean you might fish or swim in. If the coronavirus was transmitted easily through water, many campers would be somewhat limited in the activities they could safely partake in. When the coronavirus struck, many people were curious as to how the virus can transmit. Initially, the resounding resolution was to stay out of the water. When the experts don’t have all the facts, better safe than sorry.
Dr. Andrew Janowski works at the Washington University in St. Louis as a pediatric infectious diseases expert. He says, “The sheer volume of water will dilute out the virus, making the water a highly unlikely source of infection.”
Of course, not all bodies of water are low risk. The social distancing law is always a good judgment. If the water is teeming with people, keep your distance. But if you could go in the water and stay six feet away from strangers, water activities are low risk.
It is safe to camp, as long as you research the coronavirus risk that the places you are planning to camp at pose. Find out if coronavirus is prevalent in the area. Also find out, how crowded the campsite you are visiting is. In addition, find out which activities are open. Although the park might be open, plenty of its facilities are closed.
Lots of people say that the best camping trip is taken solo. Read this article about how to do that. In terms of the coronavirus, nothing is more safe than to camp out by yourself.