Personal Stories

Corona Virus Diaries: August 23, 2020

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We are right now sitting at 99 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our county. I was going to write when it hit 100, but that will probably be tomorrow. Since the end of June, we’ve been seeing about one confirmed new case per day. Not terrible, especially for what I was expecting once the crowds built in.

Summer has been insane up here. Everything is so crowded. As a local, it’s not worth it to try to go anywhere. All of the trailheads are mobbed. People are deficating on or near trails without covering it (you’re supposed to dig a 6-inch deep hole and cover it) and leaving their garbage strewn behind rather than packing it out and taking it with them. The weather has been insanely nice. We’re facing a bit of a drought. We need a few days of steady rain. People are starting to have problems with their wells. Our well supposedly draws on the same supply as our entire village, so I’m not too worried about it for us.

That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been going out much. I just don’t want to deal with people and cleaning up their garbage. My geocaching numbers have been stagnant and I’m in pretty terrible shape physically. I think I’m becoming more agoraphobic as I’m getting older. Whether it’s the virus or my own anxiety triggering it, I feel like I’m looking for excuses not to go out when I could.

School starts in a few weeks. My daughter is a para-professional in the district and goes back to work on Wednesday. They are beginning with in-person learning although parents do have options to keep their children at home and remote learn. I’m glad I no longer have kids in school. It would be a hard decision to make, even with our low numbers. My grand-daughter starts kindergarten as well, but not until after Labor Day. She goes to a charter school. She will only have 8 children in her class with 2 teachers. They also built some outside classrooms for the kids to learn in when the weather is good. Even in light rain, these will work nicely.

My son is also planning to go back to work once Labor Day passes. He is on the autism spectrum and had been working at McDonald’s until the end of March. He’s also immunosuppressed due to the treatment of Crohns Disease. His gastroenterologist told him to stay home. In June we started talking about it with his primary care physician, and we talked about finding the balance. With our numbers so low and him working with a mask on and washing or sanitizing his hands frequently, he should be as safe as he can be. I know he’s bored just sitting home watching television and playing video games. I haven’t been doing a very good job keeping him entertained since I’m dealing with my own issues.

In January I’ll turn 55. Since I turned 16, my birthdays really haven’t been a big deal. I gave up hoping for anyone to plan anything really big a long time ago. I started planning a special month on my own. We were starting with New Year’s Eve in St. Augustine, FL followed by two weeks in Disney, then onto New Orleans for a few days before we took a cruise from there that went to the Western Caribbean. Realistically, I know at this point the cruise isn’t going to happen and I’m not sure how wise it will be at that time to take my son to Disney. The cruise was completely paid for from the credit I had for the cruise to Bermuda that was canceled in April. I talked to my travel agent, and we ended up rolling it all over to a Panama Canal cruise from Miami-Los Angeles in February 2022. Hopefully things will be better by then. As for the rest of it, we’re playing wait and see now.

Getting back to geocaching, one of the blogs I read about it has put me on a new tactic. One way geocaching resembles baseball (which is probably why I like the two) is the amount of statistics people compile about their finds. This particular geocacher has only been caching since June 2018 and has found geocaches in 10% of the counties in the country! The only state I’ve found caches in all of the counties is the one I live in. I’m going to start paying more attention to that. I’ve found caches in 148 of 3142 counties in the United States and next year I’ll be geocaching 10 years!

On Tuesday I’m going to drive across northern Vermont that will let me pick up 3 of the 5 counties in Vermont that I haven’t found a cache in. Next week I’m going to take an overnight to get way up into Northern Maine and get 3 counties I am missing there. The last county I need to find a cache in I can get at the end of September when we go camping with other geocachers.

After that, believe it or not the closest trip will be going across northern Vermont to New York State and finding caches in the northern Adirondacks. I need 3 more counties in Massachusetts, but two are the islands, and the other is in the Western Berkshires. Rhode Island I need 3 counties, which should be sort of easy to do. Maybe I’ll do an overnight on a weekend there at some point this fall to get those. In Connecticut I need 2 counties which shouldn’t be too hard.

To get to 10% of the counties in the United States (or more)? I’ll have to do some traveling. Maybe that’s what I can do in January if I can’t celebrate my birthday the way I want. I can drive across the U.S. where there’s no snow and grab caches in each county as I go. Last year my spouse was laid off from January-April due to the weather (drives a cement truck) so someone else would be home to drive my son to work and mind the store.

I feel the need to get out. When I stay home it becomes easy to keep staying here and get depressed. I don’t feel like getting out of bed and tend to stay there until 10 or 11 AM. I’ve been diamond painting again. It was kind of hard when it was really hot and after a few minutes of working I’d be dripping sweat onto my picture. I think I’ll finish it over the winter, at the very least. It’s been hard sitting here feeling like I can’t and don’t want to do anything.

4 replies »

  1. I’m focusing on counties now in Colorado. I picked up 5 new ones this summer and hopefully I’ll pick up one more this weekend, bringing me to 30 out of 64. I’m only at 57 counties nationwide but I’ll pick up a few in Tennessee in a month. Fortunately their counties are smaller!

    • I can get most of New England done in the next few months. The problem is, after that, everything is at least an overnight stay. I’ve gotten a lot on my travels but I never really thought about it until I started following this fellow geocacher’s blog. Of course, he’s in Texas that has a gazillion counties to begin with lol

  2. Hi Patti! I’m working on filling all the squares on my geocaching calendar – I’ve got all the squares filled in from April – August. I’ll need about 18 day s in September. So I’ve got a mission. Sounds like you are in a north eastern state. We’ve cached in all the continental/contiguous states but still need Alaska and Hawaii. Of course they were on the list to get this year but it isn’t happening! In fact we were scheduled to go to GeoWoodstock in Canada with a cruise to Alaska following (this week and next) but as you know everything was cancelled! I hope you can make progress with your counties. I live in Indiana and we have 92 counties. We’ve managed all but 15…

    • What’s your geocaching name? I am PattiNH (not too creative). I managed to get all of the days filled in thanks to a couple of warm winters. That’s what always works against me. I could never do consecutive days because as soon as it snows, I spend my days checking the snow cover maps for how far I’d have to drive. I’ve gotten 20 states so far – all of the usual on our drives to Florida from here and a few out west. I was supposed to be on a Baltic cruise next month which would have added a bunch of European countries, but that won’t be happening either. I was looking at those drives where you hit the 48 states over like a week and thought about that, but in the northern part of the country it probably wouldn’t make sense to do that in January.

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