Wishful thinking that the Dread Pirate COVID-19 would fade into the sunshine and fresh breezes. After a cautious Spring with camping facilities closed, the State Parks are taking the pandemic more serious than the people utilizing the park and lake today. Most campers and those using the lake for recreational purposes are not heeding warnings an may be spreading the disease, like in places outside parks.
We observed new rules in campgrounds over the past few weeks:
- Camp sites are every other occupation, marking empty spots with the Reserve sign
- Only reservations to control population. No drive-thrus on Friday nights anymore
- Signage about social distancing for campers
- Camp store personnel wearing masks
- Marina store personnel wearing masks
- Additional soaps for washing hands in restrooms
What we observed while camping:
- 5% mask wearing at public spaces
- People ignoring the 6 foot rule in camp and marina stores
- Bar and Restaurant parking lots crowded with cars
- “Party Cove” activities (parking in the middle of the lake and tying boats together to drink all day with strangers).
- Lack of social distancing in public restrooms
Whether the campgrounds stay open remains to be seen. Camping is one of the few activities where people could actually practice social distancing while enjoying time away from the close quarters of home where we’ve been sequestered over the last few months.
The altruistic view, like most places I observe in the city, is non-existent. “Your mask protects me, my mask protects you,” doesn’t register with the outdoor as well as the city folk. Covid-19 fatigue has placated us into denial as we long to return to normalcy
I hope the State Parks can stay open. Summer is here. The sun shines. The wind blows. It would be a shame if it all fades away.
Be careful out there,