[Editor: The following information was accurate when written, but may be out of date when published – everything is changing so fast.]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