By Russ and Tiña De Maris
We reported last week how the “Big Tent” Quartzsite RV show is still “a go” for its mid-January blast. The real blast was in terms of feedback from readers. A groundswell of opinion read much like this comment from poster Kathryn Wallace. She wrote:
“I wouldn’t go anywhere near an event such as this during the covid pandemic! It would be irresponsible and reckless. This could well surpass what we know as a super-spreader event! My doctor feels I had covid in Jan before they were even testing for it. I thought I was dying!! I don’t feel like I would survive it a second time as I’m still having trouble with my lungs ten months later! I’m extremely disappointed in the shortsightedness of the event organizers.”
Not interesting enough to risk your neck
Many other readers chimed in with similar sentiments. A few raised the “freedom and rights” argument, suggesting that they’ll personally attend, or would do so if they were in the neighborhood. We’ll be particularly interested to see just what the turnout is like, but we can assure you, we’ll be doing our checking from outside the venue. Both of us are in that group who fears COVID-19 for good reasons. The Quartzsite RV show is always interesting, but not interesting enough to risk our necks over.
Interestingly, we’ve been watching the town and surrounding desert areas to try and get a feel for what the winter might hold. There are folks coming to the area, but the numbers are decidedly down, even for early November. We’ll have a much better handle on it with the traditional “rush” marked at the end of the Turkey Day holiday. Meantime, we’ve been doing some spotting of those who are on hand.
Strictly non-scientific observations
While we can’t provide scientific results, it seems like many of the snowbird arrivals are acting in a health-conscious manner. It wasn’t too difficult for us to differentiate locals from snowbirds, and not just by eyeballing license plates. During the hot, non-visitor months, it was typical to see most everyone at the post office – other than Reuben behind the counter – were maskless. In July, one of us took a bit of a drubbing from a clerk at the local Dollar General Store when a probably badly-timed question was asked about mask wearing. A recent visit to that same store revealed nearly everyone in the store wearing masks – with the exception of store employees. The majority of them were bare-faced.
The story wasn’t the same at the “other” dollar-squeezing outlet, Family Dollar. Everyone – and we mean everyone – was masked up, and a sign on the door indicated you couldn’t come in if you didn’t have one. Whereas in July the competing Dollar General had a similar sign – not so anymore. All’s fair in love and merchandising for them. The older pump jockey at Patty’s RV Park happily fueled our LP cylinders, making dark comments about his fellow employees who refuse to mask up. The older fellow, now 78 years young, told us he wasn’t taking any chances.
So if the Quartzsite RV Show must go on, maybe, just maybe, the majority of those who do run the risk of rolling through with the [potential] crowds will at least not be “spreaders” by virtue of their mask-wearing habits. We hope so. Living at ground-zero of a potential super-spreader event may not keep us awake at night stewing, but it’s far from a comfortable thought.
Photo, tent: Quartzsite Sports, Vacation, and RV Show