Want to go camping? Follow these Covid-19 safety tips
(loadedtunzblogspot)— “Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” —Scottish-American natural John Muir
Camping — one of the earthiest of endeavors — can inspire the most heavenly of thoughts. But in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, it inspires a sobering question as well: Is it safe?John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist, campaigned for preservation of US wilderness including Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park. He’s the founder of The Sierra Club.
The good news is that relatively speaking, camping is among the safer forms of recreation you can enjoy right now.
Even so, it’s not without risk. But if you know what you’re getting into and follow some practical camping safety tips, you can enjoy that soul-cleansing getaway without much worry.
What’s the camping risk?
Great news if you love camping at spots such as Claytor Lake in Virginia: This is a relatively low-risk activity.
Courtesy Debi Weeks Gouge
In June, the news site MLive consulted with four public health specialists in Michigan who collectively rated 36 activities by their professionally estimated level of risk. They each made their own assessments and averaged out the results.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest risk level, camping came in at a relatively low 3. That was on par with playing golf and or getting groceries at a store following safety protocols.
For comparison, they rated playing tennis at just a 1 and going to gyms and amusement parks at an 8.
Bioreports Travel talked with one of those four experts — Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Beaumont Health in Michigan — about what factors make camping a lower-risk activity and got his tips on what campers should do (and not do) to make it even safer.
The ‘great’ outdoors
Sims, who enjoyed camping back in his undergrad and medical school days, said one of the biggest things in camping’s favor is you’re mostly outdoors.
Sims contrasted camping with going to bars, high-risk areas that are typically cramped, crowded and indoors. That’s a great environment for a virus such as Covid-19 to spread, and the quartet rated it a 9 on their risk scale.
“An enclosed area tends to fill with the virus over time.” Outdoors, on the other hand, the virus can disperse much more easily, Sims said.
“Let’s say someone coughs. You’re not going to fill an outdoor space with the virus.”
If you share a house, you can share a tent.
Solo trips and outings with people you live with are the best ways to go.
“Going in bigger groups — that’s going to make your risk a little higher,” Sims said. “It’s not going to be as safe as going with your own family or staying at home. Interaction with other people outside the people you’re living with raises your risk.”
Family who share a home shouldn’t have any additional worries sharing space while camping.
“The people who share a tent in general are already in contact with each other. If a family goes camping, they’re already exposed to each other.”
He said as long as the family members aren’t exposed to other people, staying in a house together vs. sharing a tent or an RV shouldn’t make a difference.
“Staying in smaller groups is safer. Stay away from people you don’t know,” Sims said. “If you encounter a new group, say on a hike, keep your distance from them. Staying to yourself is a safer thing. It’s great to be friendly, but don’t go up and share pictures.”
Things to avoid
Careful! Did someone else touch that juicy burger before you?
Sims pointed out some other things that could raise the risk of catching Covid-19:
— Singing around a campfire.“That aerosolizes more virus. If you’re going to sing around a campfire, that’s a potential risk.” So, if you’re having a moment and just need to burst into song, spread out.
— Smoke from campfire. That can make you cough and help spread the virus. If you have a fire, don’t crowd around it. In summer, maybe you can just do without one.
— Shared food. This can be a problem when you’re camping, especially if you go with a larger group.
“If you make a big pot of stew and everyone goes and takes from the same pot and uses the same utensils and ladle, that’s a risk,” Sims said.
Avoid buffet-style situations, especially in groups outside the family. People may share a “big plate of burgers, hot dogs or ribs. People can pick up food and then put it back.”
We’re still learning about how Covid-19 spreads, but be mindful that cold, dry air can carry other types of viruses farther, Sims said.
So, if you’re thinking about a camping trip, why not do it now when it’s peak summer in the Northern Hemisphere?
Warning!! Pls stay safe, isolate yourself covid19 is real