On Traveling During the Pandemic

Whether it’s obvious or not, I’ve been traveling a lot lately, a questionable decision during the pandemic, so I’d like to lay out some of what I’ve been doing to keep myself and others safe during this time. I’m writing this because I fear that people will only see the travel and not the fairly heavy precautions I’ve taken to underpin that with safety and accountability.

  1. Camping – It’s fairly difficult to get the virus when you camp far from any other human contact. I don’t camp like many people may be used to, in developed campgrounds with shared facilities. Rather, I prefer to do what is known as ‘Dispersed Camping’ or ‘Boondocking’ on public lands. Feel free to look those terms up if you’d like more info, but it is a quite solitary form of camping, and I had no contact with others while I did it. Just me, my tent, and some trees. While hiking, I also wear a mask and rarely see more than a few people on the trail.
  2. Minimal Time in Public – I try to spend as little time as humanly possible in gas stations, grocery stores and… that’s it. Those are the only places I go. I wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and generally act as if everyone around me probably has the plague.
  3. Honesty – I’ve also been keeping tabs on everything that I do, and before going anywhere or interacting with (a very small number of) people I share with them all of the precautions I’ve taken, as well as ask them for what their precautions have looked like. If anyone on either side of the interaction doesn’t feel comfortable, it’s off, or we find a solution (quarantining, etc) that mitigates any risk.
  4. Two Weeks – I’ve made a conscious effort to do things and see people in 2 week blocks. Once I’m in a block, I do everything I can to not go out and not have any infection risk. That way, if I were to be infected and be asymptomatic, it would almost certainly be front-loaded and I would wait out a sufficient quarantine period before going anywhere else. Most recently, I spent 2 weeks camping and hiking, alone.
  5. Covid Testing – I’ve also taken a Covid Test (Negative) to provide a data point too, though it’s efficacy is only for the moment of the test, and obviously doesn’t reflect possible infection afterwards. Still.
  6. Mask & Hand Sanitizer – Wear a freaking mask, people. I’ve hiked mountains in one, it’s not that bad. I also make use of hand sanitizer whenever I need to touch things others could possibly have touched.

Of course, no precaution scheme is perfect, and I will admit that staying in complete stationary quarantine this whole time would have been a lower risk profile in an absolute sense. Still, I feel good about the risk mitigation I’ve done thus far, and will continue to implement it.

I’ve done the best I can to stay safe, help friends, and make use of this strange time in ways that are meaningful without being risky.

Be safe, and I look forward to hopefully sharing some cool art soon. 🙂

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