Well, I've almost recuperated from my month-long solo outing. Refeeding, relaxing, SLEEPING, etc. So, I'm already planning ANOTHER extended outing, and this time, it IS in anticipation of another shutdown!! (here in California).
Predicting the last shutdown (within two days) was an educated guess, but this time there are statistics and trends, so for the past few days, I've been telling some friends and acquainteces to expect it. I hope to be back on the trail before that happens.
When I was on the trail, I didn't see that many more people wearing face coverings, some saw I was wearing one and made an effort to do the same. But generally, I STILL see far too many medical N-95 and surgical masks. Frontline health care workers are STILL having shortage problems, so DON'T wear them!! Use other face coverings!!!
People in frontcountry locations and trails (most of them day hikers, most of them young) seem to think they are safe from C-19 in the open. Or that the only two possible outcomes of infection are death and recovery... WRONG! What you don't hear about are the LONG-TERM effects of infection from respiratory to neurological effects and more. So, please, with sugar on top, if you do hit the trail, beit day hiking, distance hiking or wilderness hiking, while you're out there:
-Wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
-Wear a face covering when around others, however briefly
-Maintain social distance, even in a group
-If you're in a group, use separate EVERYTHING (tents, mess kits, etc.), don't share ANYTHING.
As I've said, C-19 WILL be around for at least another year, scientists and researchers are working hard (about 200 vaccine teams, about 20 in trials), but there is some concern of a C-19 AND influenza combined wave.
This begs the question, "Should I get a flu shot?" This is a nuanced answer, so ask your doctor, but the general consensus seems to be yes, that way if you do become ill, you will know it's more likely to be C-19 and not just the flu. I got a flu shot a few months ago when I had some fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung.
But DO get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Backpacking might be the best medicine of all! You can self-isolate, get away from the craziness AND get some good vitamin "D".
Again, research on this point is pretty solid, some medical/scientific journals just have to publish findings specifically on "D" and C-19. But all indications are that while "D" won't protect you from C-19, it very well may minimize the pneumonia-like condition C-19 can produce.
You can get "D" by getting a little sun about mid-day when the sun is warmest. This is another nuanced answer, darker skinned folk produce "D" at a lower rate, lighter skinned at a higher rate. The more you're covered up, the slower you produce "D", fortunately, sunscreen doesn't seem to have an effect. Just don't burn! (I also take a "D" supplement).
UPDATE: I wrote the above a few days ago, and in preparing to post this, I learned our Governor (Newsome) is rolling back our reopening... shocking? No.
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