RV Life in a Coronavirus World: “The goal is to survive”

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

“In some ways, being retired and having no children is a lot like sheltering in place. The difference between before COVID-19 and now is that all our out-of-the-house activities such as concerts, plays, meetings, church, or any place where people congregate, are cancelled. At this point we make lists of items we need: food, medications, fuel, hardware, and plan on a single outing. The idea is to minimize the opportunities for exposure.

Over the last several years, we had established an annual schedule of using our motorhome to visit friends and relatives as well as places that we have found interesting. From New Orleans to North Hero in Lake Champlain. I named these trips our “Go See ’Em While They’re Still Alive Tours” because as we become more chronologically gifted (AKA old geezers) talking with our friends, while we still can, is more and more important. It turns out that the title is ironic because I am the oldest of the siblings and cousins.

Planning these trips created a mixture of concern and fear. I don’t want my wife or me to contract this life-threatening illness and I don’t want to unknowingly pass it on to anyone we meet.

Then there is the fear of the unknown. Is the tickle in my throat from the abundance of pollen blanketing everything right now or is it COVID-19? We don’t really know how many people in our community have (or unknowingly have) this virus and have no obvious symptoms. The strategy we use now is fewer is better. In our county yesterday, 4/3/20, there were 43 reported and confirmed cases and 1 death, which is probably not the actual number of those infected, so limiting our outings to local stores is a better survival strategy than shopping in the stores in Decatur, GA (500 cases). Running out of crunchy snacks from Patel Brothers Indian grocery in Decatur in DeKalb County won’t make me ill, whereas a visit to that grocery would increase the likelihood of coming into contact with the virus.

Mimi, the cat.

From the perspective of early April 2020, the rest of the year looks iffy at best. The goal is to survive until we can get a vaccination against COVID-19. That vaccine is probably a year or more away. Earlier in the year, the Democratic presidential race was the lead story across the news media. The primary race has been supplanted by a different horse race: the graph of the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths associated with the disease.

A significant complication is that across the U.S. the loci of infection form a patchwork – we are not all experiencing the epidemic at the same time and the same degree and the same exposure rate. A work-around to the absent vaccine is to have a blood test that would reveal if antibodies are found in the plasms and to what degree our body has produced them. Knowing this information would tell of individual immunity, but this would be helpful only if everyone knows their likelihood to contract COVID-19. The actual solution is a vaccine.

We are not living in the dark ages, hunkering behind locked gates and stone walls while rats and fleas spread the infection. We are isolating ourselves as much as possible because we do understand how the virus spreads. This knowledge is cold comfort; however, only time will tell.”

Julius J. Hayden


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.

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Drew
5 months ago

Everyone should have a bottle of Zinc tablets at home. Take one at the moment you suspect that you have cold/flu symptoms. It doesn’t help after your symptoms have set in.

Gman
5 months ago

Julius story is of compassion, understanding but most of all-wisdom. Not knowing the uncertainty is to sacrifice what we take for granted. I agree with Ray, excellent job my friend.

Ray Leissner
5 months ago

Julius J Hayden very effectively summarizes our story and our observations without missing a beat. I wish I had written that. Kudos!

Donald N Wright
5 months ago

“go see my family before they are extinct” sounds like a winner of an idea.