Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Shrink: Dealing with coronavirus issues as an RVer

[Editor: The following information was accurate when written, but may be out of date when published – everything is changing so fast.]

Dear RV Shrink:
We just arrived in New Mexico after two weeks in Big Bend National Park. We had every intention of spending a month or so exploring this beautiful state. Can you believe it, they closed all their state parks because of the coronavirus? They left all their museums and day use areas open, just closed down camping sites. Does that make any sense? Seems to me, camping sites would come under social distancing.

This has forced us to continue west to Arizona. They didn’t get their bolo ties in a twist and close everything down (yet). The problem was trying to get into their parks without reservations. I know this is just a hiccup compared to what a lot of people have to deal with, but it sure seems over the top to me. What say you? —Rock Hounded out of New Mexico

Dear Rocky:
I agree. I find it a bit odd. They say it is due to the state’s ban on mass public gatherings in response to COVID-19. We have a friend hosting in a NM State Park, and as you say they continue to allow day use, and even museums are staying open. These are areas where you would think there would be closer visitor encounters. 

I don’t want to jump the gun and say this isn’t necessary. Although I am not from the “Show Me” state, I’m suspect of all this craziness. So far the math just doesn’t work for me. I’m 70 and I don’t ever remember this kind of response from a possible pandemic. So what are they not telling me?

I have followed this mess from the very beginning. It used to be that if China sneezed the U.S. would get a cold. So the fire bells started ringing at my school of thought when they shut the whole Chinese economy down and our stock market was still going up like a rocket leaving the Cape. I sold every stick of stock I had, holding my nest eggs. Then the scat hit the fan, the market dropped like a rock, people started hoarding toilet paper and, yes, state parks started shutting down. 

Being 2,500 miles from home I started asking myself “what if” kinds of questions. Oil is dropping like a rock, so fuel shouldn’t be a problem, RIGHT? What if there is a lockdown – will I be stuck somewhere I don’t want to be? All my Canadian friends are making a beeline for home. The Canadian government told them their medical coverage in the U.S. would not cover COVID-19. Now who am I going to drink with?

When they ran out of hand sanitizer in the stores, my wife and I made our own. We bought aloe vera gel and vodka. Then we found out mixing vodka and aloe vera gel doesn’t work. So we threw the aloe vera gel away. 

As I write this, I have been assured by the Arizona State Park ranger that I will not be tossed out of my site, but he says he cannot guarantee that things won’t change. If they do, I live on wheels. I know dozens of boondocking areas that are beautiful, and the really good news is, I have a motorhome full of vodka and toilet paper.

—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.





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Dennis (@guest_70021)
3 years ago

COVID-19: Approximately 286,932 cases worldwide; 19,624 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 21, 2020.*

Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

COVID-19: Approximately 11,906 deaths reported worldwide; 260 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 21, 2020.*

Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.
source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

I realize that many in this age group are susceptible to this, but lets not panic, because most of us have seen things like this but the panic is more media driven than ever before. We have to live life and use common sense… and not quote propaganda as fact.

WEB (@guest_70237)
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

From the CDC:
– The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza is 7.1%, below the epidemic threshold of 7.3%.
– CDC estimates that so far this season (2019 – 2020) there have been at least 38 million flu illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths from flu.

Darrel (@guest_69988)
3 years ago

91 to 99 percent rubbing alcohol works fine with aloe. Everclear is also high enough alcohol content.

You threw the aloe away? Someone else would have loved to have it. It is disappearing off store shelves.

Loneoutdoorsman (@guest_72368)
3 years ago
Reply to  Darrel

Get a clue Darrel. It was a joke.

Michael Starks (@guest_69877)
3 years ago

Everything about RVing changed in the last 10 days. It won’t be the same again. Empty campsites don’t matter. What matters is how many hospital beds, ventilators, and ICUs there are within a 50-mile radius of your RV. Google “flatten the curve” and stay home if you can.

Mark B (@guest_69862)
3 years ago

Dr RV Shrink,

You must have fallen asleep in some of the math classes. Yesterday, 627 people died in Italy IN ONE DAY from this craziness.

We are about 3-4 weeks behind Italy in the spread, except we have multiple hot zones with larger populations that will be overrun trying to keep people alive.

If I am wrong, in 3 weeks you can diagnose me as crazy. In the meantime, I suggest you change the TV channel or read from a different news source that is trying to tell you.


You play with the slider bars in this article and even your most conservative number will SHOW YOU what we are in for cause we didn’t heed the patterns. We ignored the WHO recommendations while we could have slowed this to a crawl. We still haven’t called in the military to immediately set up field hospitals to handle what will become pure chaos. We should be using the front lawns of VA Hospitals, military bases and Air National Guard bases and hangars to handle isolation.


RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark B

Hi, Mark. Did you read the caveat at the top of the post? [Editor: The following information was accurate when written, but may be out of date when published – everything is changing so fast.] Everything is changing by the minute. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and those, too, are changing by the minute. —Diane at RVtravel.com

Tommy Molnar (@guest_69861)
3 years ago

As we were headed south the past two days (headed for Quartzsite, AZ), we met a couple headed back north. They were coming up from Yuma, AZ. They told us there was no use going south because everything was closed. No Restaurants, no bars, nothing. Therefore, they were headed home because there “was nothing to do”. We don’t eat in restaurants. We bring it with us. And we have our own “bar”. I guess we all RV differently. We’re here now and we’re all set up. We can’t wait to get out and start doing the things WE come here to do.

Donald N Wright (@guest_69750)
3 years ago

So, if you have a lease on a site, can you still be required to move?

Gray (@guest_69671)
3 years ago

Grab a gunny sack or two of potatoes. Worse comes to worst, you can eat the spuds. Or, when all else fails, you can brew up the spuds for a new batch of vodka.

Brian S. Holmes (@guest_70229)
3 years ago
Reply to  Gray

now there`s an idea.

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