I recently found myself pondering the question: Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19?
Here’s why: A few weeks ago, my wife had a persistent cough which she attributed to her asthma. Not wanting her longtime hairdresser to be concerned when she went to have her hair done, my wife took an at-home COVID-19 test so she could tell her hairdresser, “It wasn’t COVID”. Turns out the test showed she was positive for COVID-19. Thinking it was a false positive, she took another, producing the same results.
Needing to know my status, I also took a test. It showed I, too, was positive for the virus. Well, at least it meant I wouldn’t have to go out in my driveway and isolate in the RV! But it did mean we would be missing our grandson’s birthday party on Saturday and Church on Sunday.
Being vaccinated and boosted, neither of us felt sick. With a sunny, warm weekend forecasted, after weeks of rain and cold temperatures, I thought why not take advantage of a now-free weekend? After all, the truck was full of fuel, our travel trailer was already prepped for spring travels, and we had plenty of groceries in the house to load in the trailer. We could go boondock on my favorite fishing lake. We could spend the whole weekend without interacting with anyone. What a perfect weekend! The only potential risk to others would be to uninvited visitors that came into our camp.
In the back of my mind, I began to wonder, is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19? Searching online for answers, I found our local department of health advised, “Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.” We wouldn’t be violating any of those restrictions unless you consider boondocking far from others on public land being in a “public area.” By definition, boondocking (dispersed camping) equates to social distancing.
Further research revealed stories of those who have “camped” in their apartment after testing positive for COVID-19. Finally, there are many online posts from full-time RVers that found themselves isolating in their RVs after testing positive for COVID-19. My wife and I camping wouldn’t be any different. Then came the doubting thoughts of what if our symptoms become worse and we couldn’t make it home, we must summon help or we end up in a Podunk hospital?
We stayed home
Ultimately, we didn’t go camping, we stayed home. I got a lot of projects done around the house as my symptoms were mild to non-existent. However, since COVID is here to stay, the question “Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19?” is still a valid one. I suspect I will be pondering it again sometime in the future. Many of you reading this are likely to find yourself asking the same question at some point in your future, too.
Is it ethical to go camping after testing positive for COVID-19? What is the correct answer? Is there one?
Please share your comments (politely).