Friday, December 1, 2023


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “What magnets taught me about social distancing”

CAVEAT: Comments, posts and/or tips in our newsletters are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or its staff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Linda’s story:

“Our Pleasure Way Class B is a 2003 model and for the most part, we have not changed the interior since we purchased it in 2016. We probably only use it about 30 nights a year, so it’s really not enough to create much wear. But, the past couple of years, I have thought it needed an update and a brightening up. We are retired and home a lot of the time anyway, but in this time of mandatory confinement, I got a little crazy one day and within five minutes completely removed (more like ripped off) the back window coverings on our beloved PW.

“I never liked those ‘drapes’ anyway. For one thing, at night, they do not totally black out the light. When we are boondocking, I don’t want even shadows to show through our window coverings. Since we are confined, I went to Bed Bath & Beyond’s online store and purchased a nice double fabric blackout drape, cut it up and there were my two coverings to exactly fit the windows. I am pleased with how it all turned out. And for sure no one will be able to see into our van.

“These are flat, removable coverings and the question became how to keep these window coverings in place. This is where magnets came into play.

“Who knew there were so many types of magnets? I found a website that sells magnets and studied the amount of pull or hold or whatever it is called. I discovered when I am pairing two magnets, they should hold the same pounds. Since the magnet on the curtain would be sewn into several layers of fabric, I wanted some that were fairly strong – I finally settled on 3 pounds. That’s actually light; they sell some that hold 50 pounds! That’s dangerous.

“The package with the magnets finally arrived although it took longer than expected. We envisioned them stuck to a piece of metal somewhere in transit.

“Excited to see how my idea would work, we headed out to the PW. My plan was to screw in the black, sort of decorative magnets down the sides of the windows that attract the magnets I sew into the curtains. It was my job to screw the magnets where I wanted them as my husband handed them to me.

“I don’t think anyone will fully appreciate how hard it is to handle a stack of magnets that hold three pounds unless you’ve worked with them. Dan would struggle to get one off and the little spacer would drop and then the magnet would fly right back on the stack. Then without the shipping spacer, it was nearly impossible to get them apart. He got one off and laid it down for me, but when the next one in line was too close, faster than the eye could see, they flew together. At one point, they flew together so hard, it actually broke one of them.

“We decided those magnets needed social distancing. And it worked. We simply lay them far enough apart that they didn’t sense each other.

“Is there a day that goes by that we don’t talk about social distancing? Just like the magnets, I think it is hard to be close to other people but stay apart – now they are saying ten feet. Isn’t being close enough to shake hands or hug part of our human behavior? I don’t even think it’s learned. People – even animals – want to be close. I saw a picture on social media today of a family we know poised on their front steps. Apparently, there is a photographer in their area driving around taking pictures of families from the road to chronicle this totally unusual and scary time.

“It does seem like we need to stay quarantined. Because, just like our crazy magnets, if we get too close, we will be drawn in even though we know we shouldn’t. People have said that this virus will change our behavior after it’s over. I hope we will still be magnets.”

— Linda Hanney

Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 365+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sue (@guest_72966)
3 years ago

Great analogy. Thank you, Linda!

Susan (@guest_72960)
3 years ago

Nice story Linda. Social distancing of magnets! Funny! When I taught school I would do a unit on magnets. The kids loved it. It’s amazing how strong some of them can be and they really will fly toward each other. I hope too, that when this is all over, we can be magnets again 🙂

Alvin (@guest_72956)
3 years ago

Thanks for a great story Linda.

I have beat the battle of the social thing many years ago, being way way closer to nature than to my fellow man. Nature rarely disappoints, if you respect it, and is exceedingly predictable and reliable (if you are connected), all three traits humans are increasingly out of balance with.

I have a theory that the current fascination with Pets, is a prime reason folks are gravitating to them- see reasons listed above.

The C-19 predicament earthlings currently find ourselves in may well prove to be the reset button changing human behaviours. Hopefully, BUT I’m not sitting on my hands waiting.

Now down to the Oldman River running through Lethbridge to see if I can find a gaggle of geese to spend the rest of the day watching over. Total bliss!

Irv (@guest_72952)
3 years ago

I wish voting showed both a plus and a minus number.

mdstudey (@guest_72939)
3 years ago

Thanks for the story. I have had issues with magnet also. I hope you all were laughing.

Jayne (@guest_72947)
3 years ago
Reply to  mdstudey

I can just imagine! So funny

kim vanschoonhoven (@guest_72933)
3 years ago

I agree Linda. I hope we will be once again, just like your magnets.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.