Yes, we are currently in a global pandemic. The Challenge slipped in right before declarations started flying. Yes, we (except in some of the smaller, sparser counties) are sheltering in place. That has obviously put a crimp on geocaching all over. Events are right out. In Austin, we’re under an order to stay home. However, among the permitted reasons to leave the house (at least here) is to “engage in outdoor activity, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements.” This sounds like it has room for our secret passion as a subset of walking, and how often do we come into contact with other people? Social distancing can easily be observed.
In fact, I’ve picked up a number of FTFs in the last couple of weeks despite the specter of COVID-19. In that regard, it has been very helpful. And don’t worry, I haven’t really gone out just for this. But there’s no reason I couldn’t. However, this has created a different issue.
As you know, I am planning a trip to Oklahoma in a couple of weeks. However, “all travel, including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, is prohibited” except in certain cases. I’m a little on the fence about this. I very much understand the need to restrict travel. On the other hand, having driven all over Texas, I know what these trips are like. Social distancing is not an issue. In fact, I have, on several trips, gone a day or more without speaking to anyone. I spend most of my time in a car driving, contained in a little bubble. And, with a liberal application of the rules of the order, I can justify what I want to do. That said, I don’t even know if the place I rent cars from is going to be open (though I think they would be since transportation businesses are considered essential, and let’s assume no business is going to close if they don’t have to). I’m still mulling it all over. And I basically have two weeks to decide my course of action because the plan has been scheduled for two weeks from now for quite some time now. Big decisions coming!