Monday, April 12, 2021

Hiking in the time of corona

A little over a year ago, I stopped trusting some of my friends, and they probably stopped trusting me.  Being a first responder, I didn't have the luxury of working from home.  I tried my best to avoid the dreaded covid, but I had to interact with other firefighters, pilots and the public every day. People at work were getting the virus all around me (I'm proud that my fire crew stayed covid-free). 

As for my hiking buddies, I knew some of them were embracing a hermit-like lifestyle, but others weren't quite so careful. As the pandemic wore on and restaurants and bars were opening, they started going out. They posted pictures on Facebook of themselves hiking in large groups. They frequented unmasked places, like church. 

As hard as it was, I had to avoid them. People in the next tier, the mostly cautious, I would meet at trailheads instead of driving together. This once resulted in four cars, each with one person, traversing a long, snowy road, which was pretty silly, but virus-free. A few people stayed in the inner circle; I  sometimes drove with them, but often met them at the trail too.

Now that I'm nearing my vaccineversary (I made that up), I'm ready to let go of this stress. I'm aware that no vaccine works 100% of the time, but the people I hike with are also now vaccinated or planning to get it soon. Some things won't change ( I'm still not a fan of big groups) but it's definitely a relief. The bears are coming out too, so it's time to hit the trail with friends.

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