COVID-19 Phase 2: Sorry, Your Weekend Trips Are Still Cancelled

Sorry, we don’t mean to be harsh. It’s just…we love you, and we want you to stay safe.

words :: Ben Osborne

Across the world, we’re beginning to see lockdown orders lifted and economies are opening back. In British Columbia, the government has declared we are moving into ‘Phase 2’ of our recovery plan as more services are allowed to open and some restaurants have been given the green light.

Of note to the outdoor community, Provincial Parks are opening back up and officials are encouraging residents to get outside and breathe some fresh air. Naturally, the re-opening of the parks has been both a point of excitement and a hot topic of discussion in the outdoor community.

Whether you are in British Columbia or not, the opening of outdoor spaces and easing of restrictions will eventually be a question you have to grapple with as you begin to plan your next adventures. For now, that’s not a question you have to deal with. Government officials have a simple directive: stay in your hometown—it still isn’t time to be ticking off those bucket list trips.

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For the adventure-minded, this might be difficult to hear. We’ve seen the curve flatten in many places, and there’s little doubt in the scientific community that it is at least in part owed to the fact that as a global community we’ve taken on physical distancing guidelines seriously. Now, it’s time to take on what I’ll call “community distancing”—where we can venture out a bit further into communities, but venturing outside your community and going to small mountain towns and coastal communities that are not prepared to fight this virus is still irresponsible.

It’s not quite time for roadtripping—but we’re closer than we were, and that’s what counts.

To do so would be a regression from all the hard work we’ve done. The effects on small communities (like many mountain and coastal towns are) has been well documented—take Sun Valley, for example. With 192 cases in a county of just 22,000 people, the small ski town in Idaho quickly became a poster child for what an outbreak looks like in a small town. The reason for the outbreak? Tourists. That’s right, those coming from out of town, and bringing germs from other communities.

If nothing else, the outbreak in Sun Valley is a lesson for all of us. Those tourists who were in Sun Valley are no different from me and you, who yearn for new places to slide on snow, ride bikes or go for a hike. There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist, and obviously those people had no malicious intent. But everyone carries germs, and whether you like it or not, getting from point A to B means you are exposing yourself, and others to a variety of germs that could easily be avoided. by simply staying within your community.

So drop the bucket list trips, cancel your weekend escapade, and push deeper into your hometown. There are probably a few trails you haven’t ridden, a hike you haven’t done, a coffee shop you haven’t visited, or a house project that you somehow still haven’t gotten to. Set goals surrounding play in your backyard—ride every trail in your network, summit every peak you can see from your house (in a safe manner, of course), and set fitness goals to stay entertained. Need inspiration? You’ll find it in Justin Lamoreux’s ‘Backyard Project’ series:

It will be hard to hold back—I’ll be the first to admit it. When the new regulations in B.C. were announced, my first thought was a trip to Tofino. But if I took a step back, I knew this wasn’t the right choice—yet. There will be a time and place for weekend getaways, epic adventures, and dream trips—but we aren’t quite there yet.  Governments across the world are betting on us to be self-policing—let’s not disappoint them. —ML

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