Thursday, August 6, 2020

CoVid Campers

A lot of people are buying campers and tents and going camping.   That's fine, but what they are doing while camping, isn't.

We are at a campground on Lake Ontario and the place is packed.  Many of the campers are first-timers with brand-new rigs.  They seem to be handling them OK, but it is interesting how people are handling themselves.

Apparently just as vacation calories don't count, camping virus exposure doesn't count either.  We are seeing an utter lack of social distancing and people gathering for large parties.   This will not end well.  Last night, we walked around the campground and came upon a party of at least 40 people, young and old, families with children, all congregating around a group of campers and in the road, all being merely feet from one another and nary a mask in sight.  In fact, not many masks in sight in the entire campground.

This is kind of odd, because other campgrounds we've been to have been just the opposite, with very strict restrictions as to how many people can be in the pool at a given time and so on and so forth.  Those campgrounds were already feeling the heat from local health inspectors, as in one incident, as I reported, a former employee called the health department to make allegations about too many people in the pool and people congregating, etc., merely as an act of revenge.

It sort of illustrates how these regulations are enforced unevenly and how the entire thing depends on people acting with some common sense.  Oh, wait, that's a bad plan - no one has an common sense anymore.    But I guess also that at a beautiful campground on the beach, watching the sun set, you get lost in the moment and forget about masks and such - it happens.   For a brief instant, you forget about viruses and recessions and elections and other nonsense, and you want to pretend life has gone back to the way it was before - before the Russians convinced us, via Facebook, to go at each others' throats.

Some hear reports like this and want an even more heavy-handed approach.   A fellow camper tells me a hairdresser was fined $10,000 and her cosmetology license revoked permanently for cutting hair during the pandemic.  Sounds rather drastic, and I suspect she'll be moving away from New York pretty soon.   Maybe set up shop in Alabama - if she can learn to cut big hair and beehive hairdos and such.

It will be interesting to see what happens a year from now with all these new CoVid campers.  I suspect quite a few will be disenchanted with the RV lifestyle - paying $50 a night to be parked chock-a-block next to some yahoos who play "Freebird" all night long.   It can be like that, or - once in a great while - it can be camped at a pristine mountain lake, with your kayak dipped in the water.

Either way, though, I suspect you will see a lot of lightly used campers for sale in the spring of 2021.  It isn't for everyone.  On the other hand, I think the cruise industry should be alarmed.  People who used to go on cruises might decide they like RVing better - and never go back.

It will be interesting to watch.  I suspect more than one cruise line will declare bankruptcy, which is one reason we are not taking advantage of the alarmingly low prices they are offering for 2021 cruises.  In bankruptcy court, you are just another one of a long line of creditors.   Ditto for your frequent cruiser points or whatever.  I suspect that maybe one of the weaker cruise lines may merge with one of the larger ones, or dissolve completely and the ships sold to other lines or scrapped.

We'll see.  Hard to survive for long with zero revenue.