From the editor
As I noted in my essay in today’s newsletter, I know two people with the COVID-19. One has died, the other is fighting for his life. For me, the pandemic is real.
Huge changes are underway. Not to appear too negative, but it’s a difficult time for most of us.
Every RV show, every RV club rally, most every other public event that I am aware of, has been cancelled for months ahead. Half our country’s state parks have closed their campgrounds. Many national parks and national forest campgrounds have closed, too.
Millions of people have lost their jobs, and more will every day. It makes me sick to think of what these people are about to endure without money to pay their bills. I sometimes feel guilty that I still have a job. At RVtravel.com we are hanging in there, and will probably get through this if we work hard and smart. We have lost more than half our advertising, but thankfully many readers have voluntarily subscribed, which will help carry us through until better times return.
The disease is not going away until a vaccine is developed. Americans will not be packing into churches on Easter. It will take longer.
The RV industry is shutting down. Already Winnebago and Thor have closed their factories. Smaller companies have, too. I will be surprised if any other major RV manufacturer will be building RVs in two weeks. Small companies will go broke, as happened in 2008. I don’t envision the RV industry returning to any sense of normalcy for at least a year, most likely longer.
I am not smart enough to know where all this is going, but I strongly believe crisis mode will be with us for at least a few months. I am not in the mood to hear another person tell me the pandemic is not real, a hoax, fake news, or was propagated by the Chinese or a particular political party for some sort of evil agenda.
Watch your friend die, or your child, your spouse or next door neighbor … you will never again question that this is real.
Gail and I are holed up in our motorhome in Kingman, Arizona. But we’re losing our site in a few weeks. We’re not sure where we’ll go. Many snowbird parks, which would normally have vacancies now, are still filled and have waiting lists: Residents do not want to move, just stay safe, away from big cities. They can still socialize – but six feet apart.
Our daily updates about the coronavirus in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter have sent our circulation soaring. We are adding 1,700 new subscribers a week (sign up here). We welcome each of you, and ask that you tell an RVer friend of yours about us if you like what you see.
I count my blessings that I have a comfortable RV to live in during this unprecedented crisis. I sometimes can’t believe what’s happening. It’s like a bad dream that I will awaken from soon.
For now, Gail and I will spend a lot of time at our computers, doing what we do best when stuck in a small space with nowhere to go – informing RVers about how they can navigate through this awful time. Our staff is also hard at work, all in their homes, including my daughter Emily, who lives smack dab in the epicenter of the COVID-19 death zone in Washington. Lucky for her, she has always worked from home and can continue to do so.
Some good will come of this, as I have said before. If nothing else, maybe people will learn that no matter what our political beliefs we need to join together to battle a fierce enemy. I am already seeing this happen and it’s the one bright spot in all this.
While you are sitting at home, maybe it’s a good time to catch up on some reading or watch a different cable news channel for another perspective. And every day that you remain healthy, count your blessings. And, please, help others whenever you can. We are in this together. We are living in what will be one of the most historic times in America, and, in fact, world history.
Be strong, be safe! We will come through this . . .