I tend to be a rule follower, but as the weeks have progressed I’ve struggled to find the balance between the intent and applicability of the Stay Home Order, especially regarding non-essential travel. I don’t want to be part of the RDATM (Rules Don’t Apply to Me) crowd but I also don’t want to be a social responsibility martyr. So after witnessing the number of vehicles on the roads and people visiting areas outside their neighborhoods, I decided I needed some thinking time.
I came to the following conclusions.
- Rules that apply to others don’t necessarily apply to me.
- I don’t live in a city or congested area.
- I don’t live in, nor plan to visit, a COVID-19 hotspot.
- There are three reasons for the order.
- Minimize spread of the virus.
- Minimize exposure to the virus.
- Minimize use of medical and emergency resources.
- I’m not spreading the virus as I’m avoiding exposure.
- I don’t socialize unless at least 6+ feet separate, although I had one accidental slip-up with the postman.
- I don’t shop as I’m using delivery service.
- I don’t exercise on high-use trails.
- I don’t go to public places, except to the local gas station where I take necessary precautions.
- I’m willing to take on a little risk of potentially needing life-saving resources, which admittedly means possibly exposing first responders unnecessarily.
- While neighborhood walking has nearly zero risk, there’s always the possibility of a dog bite.
- Bike riding, running, and paddleboarding are all my next choices and they too are fairly low risk of accident or injury but come with higher risk of social distancing issues.
- Hiking within a 10-mile radius includes risk of rattlesnake bites, biker/hiker collisions and poison oak encounters, as well as car accident.
- Hiking and backpacking on maintained trails within my extended backyard is higher risk than neighborhood walking.
- Yes, I could have a car accident or have a mechanical issue
- Yes, I could get injured
- What is my mental, physical and emotional health worth?
- Staying home locked in my tiny house most likely means gaining weight and getting depressed.
- Albeit it a bit selfish, choosing hiking and backpacking means extreme joy, happiness and overall wellness.
These are my choices. I anticipate they will continue to evolve. I respect everyone’s unique perspective. The one thing I won’t be doing is taunting others in situations different than mine by sharing photos and stories. I continue to find myself envious, jealous, judgmental and angry when friends post about their adventures. This is partially the impetus behind my personal tug of war and subsequently this post.
As Andrew Skurka said, “each of us need to independently consider the risk and our risk tolerance.” I’d rather take a few risks and live life selfishly than spend my time as a quarantined martyr. Call me a rebel. I’ll take this bear over COVID-19!