In northern New Hampshire, we’re not feeling the impact as gravely as other parts of the country are. The confirmed cases in our county stands at 17. Coos County, just north of us, reported their first confirmed case yesterday. Part of the problem is lack of testing and lack of insurance among many of the people in the area. I suspect the numbers are higher and people are just “toughing it out.”
We have a stay-at-home order, but Governor Sununu has admitted they can’t stop people from leaving their homes. We’ve been innundated with out-of-state license plates at many popular outdoor spots, such as trailheads and backcountry ski areas. Tuckerman’s Ravine, one of the most popular backcountry ski spots, had to close down and block off access and parking due to the fact that so many people flocked there last weekend.
I understand the need to be outdoors; it’s some of what keeps me sane. I’ll get out tomorrow after we’ve had time to dry out from a couple of days of rain. I plan to go geocaching and hiking in an area that’s not a popular spot for people to visit.
Irony abounds in this new world we are entering in. I watch my Facebook feed as people are expected to fall in lock-step with what people think. There have been several people who chide others for breaking these “new rules” yet if you read through their posts (or have been paying attention) these past few weeks you’ll see that they are “breaking the rules” as well. It’s become everyone needs to follow the rules, but I’m doing this because it’s what I want to do and I feel it’s best for my family. It’s fine to feel that way, but to be selective about what rules are “okay” to break and what rules everyone needs to follow depending on what’s convenient for you is quite hypocritical.
The other debate I’ve entered into several times is the practicality of “shutting down the whole country for two weeks.” First of all, the majority of people who suggest this course of action seem to believe that is the magic spell that will end the spread of the virus. It won’t. The minute people start congregating in places again, it will start spreading. Scientists have already talked about the possibility of surges later in the summer and next fall/winter, and that’s without the virus mutating. Corona virus is here for a while.
Second, it’s not a practical scenario. Many people who live in cities, especially, live in small apartments or even rooms that don’t have the space to store two weeks worth of groceries and supplies if the grocery stores were to shut down. Many do not have proper cooking facilities either and live with a dorm-size refrigerator, hot plate, microwave, and various small appliances. I knew many people in New York City who shopped for food every day that they cooked and only kept a few non-perishables stocked on a regular basis. Trying to distribute food the way it was done in other countries would be a disaster. Leaving supplies in the middle of the street and expecting people to take only what they needed? I don’t have that much faith in my fellow Americans. I think we’d quickly descend into major rioting.
What would be considered “necessary?” When you look at this question, it seems to be easy – just police, emergency services, and medical services. What about the people who have to distribute the above-mentioned supplies? What happens if the power goes out? What happens if a water pipe breaks in your home? What happens if your roof starts leaking? What happens if your furnace stops working? What happens if your microwave chooses to die that you now depend on for food in your tiny apartment?
Everything sounds easy, but it isn’t. That plumber you’re going to “allow” out to fix the water pipe that burst in your basement has to get gas somewhere. Okay, allow the gas stations to remain open. He has to get supplies and parts somewhere. Sometimes they have to be ordered, so the delivery trucks need to be on the road. We’re getting into planting season. Farmers have to be out working their farms, getting them ready or actually planting. What happens if their equipment breaks down? What about the seeds and other supplies they need to make sure we have a food supply? People want the world to shut down for two weeks but they’ll also be the first ones screaming next fall when they can’t find the food they want.
Sometimes I think I should just stay away from social media, but there are plenty of good people making me smile right now. Stay well.