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  1. #121

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    What is the source of information that primitive DIY masks does "quite a lot" to reduce exposure of infection, or washing hands is not a "critical measure" against the virus? Nothing I have seen or heard suggests those things. I am not sure who would be saying this, however these comments are contrary to what's being said by medical professionals here in the US. Though what we do in our own domiciles is our own business, what we do in public in the hiking trail environment is our collective business and responsibility.

    ...
    You are perfectly right, Traveller.
    And sorry that I didn't put my words in the right context.

    In a perfect world, having this Corona pandemy, nobody would go outdoors, no hiking, nothing.
    In our real world, people have to go out every now and then, otherwise more and more would start to go nuts and run havoc.
    Plus, the world needs to get people infected, survive and get immune at a somewhat controlled pace.
    A mask (any mask) would slow down the infection rate significatly, thus allowing the people more freedom to move while still keeping the infection rate at a moderate level so that the med&care system can keep pace.

    So its not about keeping the virus away from you 100% (unless you are a doctor or a nurse or are in close contact with infected people).
    Its about slowing down the infection rate.
    And its about you (being potentially infected without knowing) protecting others, by wearing a simple mask.

    About ways of infection:
    The German Robert Koch Institute states (as of Friday last week), that infection mainy happens by respiratory seretion and aerosole transmittion, infection by indirect contact "should be considered".
    You can and will still wash/sanitize our hands for any number of reasons you may see.
    Thats the most actual and relieable information we can get in Europe.

  3. #123

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    OK, another dimension to the ethical issue...

    What if people stay on trail and, inadvertently, spread the virus to trail towns? (And I suspect this might be more germane to the PCT, where small towns in the Eastern Sierra's have asked for people to stay away, but the same debate is raging).

    There's the immediate effect, of course. But my question is about the long-term damage done by abusing the good-will of trail towns. Is this poisoning the well for later hikers?

  4. #124

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    Yes, that is certainly a plausible outcome.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by futureatwalker View Post
    OK, another dimension to the ethical issue...

    What if people stay on trail and, inadvertently, spread the virus to trail towns? (And I suspect this might be more germane to the PCT, where small towns in the Eastern Sierra's have asked for people to stay away, but the same debate is raging).

    There's the immediate effect, of course. But my question is about the long-term damage done by abusing the good-will of trail towns. Is this poisoning the well for later hikers?
    Possible, but it's very likely that even in small towns on the AT local residents have already been exposed. It's not like the local residents don't travel to nearby towns or businesses, etc. This virus is very contagious, people are often asymptomatic for over a week, and the reports we are getting as to where it is are delayed as well. Without discounting the negative direct effect of the virus, the largest long-term damage to trail towns will most likely be economic from a non-existent 2020 thru-hiker season. I think they will welcome back hikers with open arms once this is over.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    VERNON — According to the Park Service, ”(the) trail’s boardwalk and bridge are too narrow for visitors to maintain the required six feet of social distancing.”...
    Makes sense - thinking of a similar section outside of Pawling (NY) heading towards CT where you go through a locally owned nature preserve. They also have boardwalks that go on for dozens of sections in a row, and since these are generally put there due to wet conditions (and this being a generally wetter season of the year) it is probably tougher to step off if someone is going the opposite direction to give the needed spacing.

  7. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    A Dr. on ABC, this morning spoke of things in a different light. It's not necessarily how many ventilators you have, you could have a million, it's how many trained people (IE respiratory therapists) you have to operate them. This pandemic definitely has the ability to overrun any healthcare system.
    I also imagine that machines with rubber and plastic cannot be stored without running/maintenance for very many years?

  8. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    https://www.njherald.com/news/202003...19-cases-climb

    VERNON — Authorities have closed a portion of the Appalachian Trail ... because the Appalachian Trail is under the authority of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Burrell said he did not have the authority as mayor, acting on his own, to close the Appalachian Trail or prevent people from accessing any portion of it.That has since changed following the New Jersey State Park Service’s announcement late Friday, in conjunction with the conservancy, that the Appalachian Trail boardwalk has been closed and will remain closed until further notice. According to the Park Service, ”(the) trail’s boardwalk and bridge are too narrow for visitors to maintain the required six feet of social distancing.”...

    So, NJ State Parks, in coordination with ATC, closed this section. On a larger scale, I believe NPS has legal authority to close (power to regulate) any or all parts of the AT under 54 USC.
    Yes and NJ State Parks closed privies and shelters within its parks, as did the ATC within its jurisdiction. Luckily we have plenty of hiking options within the state parks and DWGNRA to get outside and avoid crowds.

  9. #129
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    Makes sense - thinking of a similar section outside of Pawling (NY) heading towards CT where you go through a locally owned nature preserve. They also have boardwalks that go on for dozens of sections in a row, and since these are generally put there due to wet conditions (and this being a generally wetter season of the year) it is probably tougher to step off if someone is going the opposite direction to give the needed spacing.
    As a rough guideline, and where it would be reasonable, most trail clubs clear/trim the trail to a minimum roughly 4 ft wide x 8 ft high - imagine that a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood could pass down the trail. It's kind of a rough visible guideline. Obviously this can't happen in all places like the Lemon Squeezer or Mahoosuc Notch or any planked/boarded walks just as more extreme examples. Truly maintaining 6 ft while passing other hikers is not possible in many if not most places without leaving the actual worn footpath. In high use areas, trail threading - multiple alternate paths established by wear - can create erosion and other problems. This happens a lot around shelters, water sources, trailheads etc. In most areas one or two hikers stepping off the trail momentarily isn't a big problem, but it can be a hiker safety issue in some areas (swamps, steep falloffs) and an ecological issue in fragile vegetation areas like the Whites and others for example.

    Now, that all said:

    Realistically, the 6 ft distance is also more of a guideline just like the 4 x 8 trail dimension. People aren't walking around with tape measures extended (well, most of us aren't). And in Europe and most of the world, the standard is 2 meters = 6' 6 47/64" . Are Europeans 9% safer based upon linear distance? We can go nuts with this social distancing stuff - applying circumferential measurements, inverse square laws, upwind/downwind, etc. Or we can just apply the reasonable person standard.

    My opinion, and yes, that's all it is - I think the average person is 100, or maybe even 1000, times more likely to contract the coronavirus buying groceries, meds, gas, at work, or whatever, than they are passing someone momentarily on a hiking trail. Everything you see in a store has been touched and breathed on by other people. Everything you bring into your home, even if delivered, has been touched and breathed on by other people. So has every door handle, gas pump, etc. I think some of the current outdoor space closures go beyond the reasonable person standard based upon people's inability to absolutely and at every moment maintain those same distancing standards in the unavoidable environments in their "stay at home" lives (stores, workplaces, etc). I think in some cases we've crossed the line between exercising reasonable caution and have dipped our toes into fear driven overreaction. This crisis is going to take a long time to overcome, and most of us are going to get exposed over the next couple of months regardless of our location or any precautions we may take. If I don't contract it on the AT from the few other hikers I encounter or the every 4th day resupply, I'll contract it from the people I'll pass in the grocery store aisle in a grocery when I shop every 4th day at home. Typically, I've passed more people within 6 ft or less in grocery aisles and been in the same (indoor - yuck) airspace in a 15 minute shopping trip than I would hiking. I'm seeing pictures of cars parked at trailheads as evidence of some big social distancing problem - yet those same cars and people might as well otherwise be at a store or some other parking lot with different (and even more?) cars and people. As long as they're not congregating and forming unrelated groups and lingering there, I don't see the issue. I understand closing down public assemblies and gatherings like movie theaters and concerts and church services and Trail Days and such, closing trail shelters, banning hiker feeds, etc. I understand the need to flatten the contagion curve. But I honestly can't agree with the ban on dispersed overnight camping - as if people are safer and less contagious breathing the air in their adjoining suburban houses and yards or apartments or taking neighborhood walks than they are in their tent. I just don't get it. Is airborne contagion somehow more likely in the forest than it is in suburbia? I just don't see hikers passing each other on trails, nor dispersed camping, as the huge public health problem it is being made out to be. People are still going to go outdoors and take walks and such. It seems to be more an exercise in some of these cases of shifting any possible social interaction somewhere else, but honestly not actually reducing it to any great degree. My fear is that some of these actions are driven at least to some degree by virtue signalling rather than critical thinking.

    I do agree that in some high traffic areas, closures might be reasonable. But some of what I'm seeing/reading seems to be more over-reaction to just "do something" rather than a decision based upon reason.
    Feel free to disagree. At 63, and with some underlying health issues, I have no great desire to contract this disease, nor to pass it to anyone else. I just want our response to it to be more than simply "stay inside your house" and "all outdoor activities near other people are bad." Because realistically, that isn't happening and never will.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 03-31-2020 at 13:15.

  10. #130
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    Most recent scientific (here Europe) research indicate, that aerosols and respiratory secretion is by far the most common way of infection, and indirect contact is not that dangerous.
    Given that you don't practice french kisses, the plume of breath that every person exhales/sneezes/coughs is the issue to avoid (a) by keeping distance, (b) by wearing a simple mask or (c) by not meeting people at all.

  11. #131

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    It's been a long while since I've made a post in here, and here's my 2cents.

    I've considered going back on the AT if my job get's furloughed. My career is 100% travel and well...that's shot. So I'm working their IT help desk taking tickets until they run out of stuff to do. I'm good for now, but it may go sour eventually.

    We as humans are so domesticated that most don't have the survive or die instinct or knowledge in them, most of those city folk are screwed once the groceries store dry up. If one knows how to thrive off grid there's a chance for survival if one heads for the forests. If Covid-19 really tanks this country and SHTF scenario, I'm grabbing my B.O.B and heading for the mountains. The problem seems to be that the domesticated folks who require shelters and privies because they don't know how to backwoods camp or dig a hole are piling into the woods to escape for the day. If you can survive without needing to be social or use communal objects, I say go for it, But if you require to be constantly connected to the real world, then ya..stay away.
    Hammock Hanger
    Section Hiker
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  12. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    ..... I just want our response to it to be more than simply "stay inside your house" and "all outdoor activities near other people are bad." Because realistically, that isn't happening and never will.
    Much of the trail is still open to anyone that wants to hike it. They are just discouraging people not to hike and requesting that they don't. The biggest issue is that a hiker is not particularly independent out there and they do not want responsibility for it being spread or for putting people in danger. Good interview done by Backpacker Radio which is hosted by two AT thru-hikers with president and CEO of the trail Conservancy.

  13. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Most recent scientific (here Europe) research indicate, that aerosols and respiratory secretion is by far the most common way of infection, and indirect contact is not that dangerous.
    Given that you don't practice french kisses, the plume of breath that every person exhales/sneezes/coughs is the issue to avoid (a) by keeping distance, (b) by wearing a simple mask or (c) by not meeting people at all.
    As Said the Greek philosopher Aristotle, we are political (social) animals. Not having contact with fellow humans is against our own DNA. Confinement meant only to slow the pace of the epidemic, not to stop it. Eventually, most of us will be contaminated, no matter where we live.
    Last edited by stephanD; 03-31-2020 at 22:05.

  14. #134
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    True - and exactly the reason why not to jump into the mud full-face in unison, but take it slowly so that the health system can keep pace.

  15. #135

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    The position of the ATC and 29 out of 31 trail clubs is reported here.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

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  16. #136
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    Close the parking areas and you take more then 90% of the people off the trail. Trying to stop anybody from walking anywhere on the entire trail is not the right thing to do.
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  17. #137

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    Direct link to the letter from the ATC and Trail Clubs to the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, National Park Service, and Forest Service.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  18. #138

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    I maintain a shelter on the AT in Virginia as well as a trail section. The shelters and privies are officially closed and PATC members have been instructed to not engage in maintenance activities until further notice. I still go check the areas to make sure there is no damage, etc. I was surprised to see 3 thru/section hikers in a 2 hour span at the shelter. They stand a chance of getting the virus from each other, from people they hitch rides with and from the towns they visit for resupply. At the same time they have the chance to be a vector of transmission. Getting deathly sick on the trail is not smart. Sharing a potentially deadly virus with others is inexcusable. Please be considerate of yourself and others and pick another year. Stay Healthy!

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakpro View Post
    I was surprised to see 3 thru/section hikers in a 2 hour span at the shelter. They stand a chance of getting the virus from each other, from people they hitch rides with and from the towns they visit for resupply. At the same time they have the chance to be a vector of transmission. Getting deathly sick on the trail is not smart. Sharing a potentially deadly virus with others is inexcusable. Please be considerate of yourself and others and pick another year. Stay Healthy!
    surprised? there's a steady stream of hikers comin' through Damascus daily headin' your way

  20. #140
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    kayak,

    maybe you should have stayed home. maybe you infected those hikers. how do you know you didn't? don't blame the hikers when you are out there yourself.

    also, your message is all about possibilities. what if....what if....the hikers you were talking about neither attracted the virus and didnt have before hiking. what if they were actually virus free?

    as a hiker who grew up in Appalachia.....and lives semi-close.....it is still sad to me ....that the woods are closed.....to anyone near and far. can't be afraid. need to live. choose to live.

    and by the way, if I did catch the virus and I became deathly ill, there is nowhere more I would love to leave my ghost.....than on a hiking trail

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

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