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futureatwalker
11-15-2020, 16:10
The nights are drawing in, and it is time to think about next year....

Will the A.T. be fully open? When? The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has weighed in on some considerations for thru-hiking next year:

https://appalachiantrail.org/official-blog/a-message-to-all-a-t-hikers-in-2021/

My own view? There's good news and bad news...

The good news is that the prospects for a widely available vaccine next year are indeed bright. If all goes well, we should be in a much different place by next summer/fall.

Another positive is that the nature of this virus is such that outdoors activities, with small numbers of people, are relatively safe. Sars-Cov-2 is a slightly different beast than norovirus, in terms of it being more spread by bioaerosols (breathing) as opposed to fomites (virus left on surfaces).

The bad news: there is exponential spread of the virus at the moment, and it will take some time to put out this fire. There will be a lot of pain starting next month..

So what do people think will happen next year in terms of hiking?

JNI64
11-15-2020, 16:23
Toss the dice.....

rickb
11-15-2020, 16:45
Toss the dice.....

Summary of state travel restrictions, updated weekly here:


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/travel/state-travel-restrictions.html


Does the ATC have a summary of the additional restrictions (no camping, etc. ) anywhere?

Their opinion matters a great deal, but the actual rules are important too. perhaps even more important.

D2maine
11-15-2020, 17:05
Summary of state travel restrictions, updated weekly here:


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/travel/state-travel-restrictions.html


Does the ATC have a summary of the additional restrictions (no camping, etc. ) anywhere?

Their opinion matters a great deal, but the actual rules are important too. perhaps even more important.

https://appalachiantrail.org/explore/plan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/covid19/a-t-closures/

JNI64
11-15-2020, 19:00
........all hope is gone...........

HankIV
11-15-2020, 19:41
I think that the ATC opening thru hiking registration is a sign that we are getting more acclimated to the virus. Shelters and privies are probably not surface transmission threats. I wouldn’t want to sleep in a crowded shelter, but personally would care if it had been crowded the night before.

Privies not being maintained this year kind of a bummer; I’d sure as heck rather use a privy most of the time than cathole it.

I’m planning on a SOBO; hopefully by late May/ early June things are looking better. Despite what’s happening right at the moment, I’m more hopeful now than I was a month ago. Traditional NOBO season, not so sure.

Astro
11-15-2020, 23:59
I think that the ATC opening thru hiking registration is a sign that we are getting more acclimated to the virus. Shelters and privies are probably not surface transmission threats. I wouldn’t want to sleep in a crowded shelter, but personally would care if it had been crowded the night before.

Privies not being maintained this year kind of a bummer; I’d sure as heck rather use a privy most of the time than cathole it.

I’m planning on a SOBO; hopefully by late May/ early June things are looking better. Despite what’s happening right at the moment, I’m more hopeful now than I was a month ago. Traditional NOBO season, not so sure.
I doubt you can start at Mt Kathadin in late May.

HankIV
11-16-2020, 06:49
My schedule baggage is light; can start at pretty much the drop of a hat. Part of my road to glory is using as much daylight as possible. Two days early June in Maine have as much daylight as three in the Smokies in late Oct. Will start when Hunt Trail opens, usually June, sometimes May.

The sorts of things one dwells on when constrained....

KnightErrant
11-16-2020, 10:59
I've been planning for a 2021 PCT thru since mid-2019, and I'm feeling concerned. The PCTA is supposed to re-evaluate their decision on permits in January, so I'm still waiting to see what's going to happen with that. I'd like a late-April start, and my current work obligation ends in mid-April so if I don't thru-hike, I'm going to need to find another job. I have a summer gig available for June-August that was postponed from last year, but as it's a camp director position, I also wouldn't feel safe doing that if there's still community spread and I haven't been able to get vaccinated yet. I've already taken off from teaching for the 20-21 school year because it felt too high-risk for me as a transplant patient when my district was set on returning in-person, and I'm working on a backcountry trail crew instead, where I can be socially-distanced from all of society except my six-person crew.

If the last 9 months have taught us anything, it's that we can't assume that this will be over in 1/3/6 months' time. All we can do is wait and see. Hopefully the vaccine will turn the tide, but until it's rolled out, it's hard to predict how quickly it will contain the spread.

Dan Roper
11-16-2020, 12:49
There were a lot of thru-hikers, LASHers and section hikers this year. I haven't heard of a backpacker giving or getting COVID, to this point. Backpacking doesn't guarantee a virus-free life, but I'd rather be on the trail than just about anywhere else. I hope to return to the southwestern Virginia section in April or May. SYOT :)

Slo-go'en
11-16-2020, 14:08
Traveling to the trail is the most dangerous part of the trip. I still wouldn't feel comfortable with a long train or bus ride. I always seem to pick up something along the way as it is and it always hits a week into the hike. Ideally you'd have a friend or relative drive you to the trail head, regardless of distance or added expense (you have to pay for their return trip of course).

The ATC should set up a rapid COVID testing site in one of the gaps about a week in. That would weed out anyone who might have been infected along the way.

Once on the trail it should be reasonably safe. I'd tent just on General Principles, but if your in a bubble with known, safe companions, taking over a shelter or hostel would be safe. At least until strangers wanting to share the space start to show up in numbers.

In town, wear your mask even if the locals give you dirty looks. Don't do sit down meals in restaurants, which you shouldn't be doing right now anyway. Outside is safe, inside is not.

I still think the biggest question to answer is what hostels will still be open and who will be shuttling?

Dan Roper
11-16-2020, 16:09
Since hostels were open this year, and shuttles running, I'd expect the same thing or better next year. Time is on our side - time for medical advances, immunizations, and possibly an increase in herd immunity. So 2021 will probably be better than 2020, with respect to COVID.

futureatwalker
11-17-2020, 08:43
Traveling to the trail is the most dangerous part of the trip....
Once on the trail it should be reasonably safe. I'd tent just on General Principles, but if your in a bubble with known, safe companions, taking over a shelter or hostel would be safe.


I agree with this. Relatively speaking, being on-trail should be safe.

On a different note, I hope there are some good youtubers on trail this year, because I need some new folks to follow...

colorado_rob
11-17-2020, 09:22
Traveling to the trail is the most dangerous part of the trip. I still wouldn't feel comfortable with a long train or bus ride. I always seem to pick up something along the way as it is and it always hits a week into the hike. Ideally you'd have a friend or relative drive you to the trail head, regardless of distance or added expense (you have to pay for their return trip of course).

The ATC should set up a rapid COVID testing site in one of the gaps about a week in. That would weed out anyone who might have been infected along the way.

Once on the trail it should be reasonably safe. I'd tent just on General Principles, but if your in a bubble with known, safe companions, taking over a shelter or hostel would be safe. At least until strangers wanting to share the space start to show up in numbers.

In town, wear your mask even if the locals give you dirty looks. Don't do sit down meals in restaurants, which you shouldn't be doing right now anyway. Outside is safe, inside is not.

I still think the biggest question to answer is what hostels will still be open and who will be shuttling? 100% agree with all of this, but I doubt if the ATC will set up any testing sites. Great idea though.

I'm cautiously optimistic given latest vaccine news, and as you said, once on the trail all is good, given that you take basic precautions. My wife still has a huge gap from Hot Springs to Waynesboro, and we plan on hitting that next spring. We will definitely avoid shelters though, but we've always done that on the AT. We'll be flying in, relatively short direct flight, wearing N95 masks, renting a car, no way we'd use long bus or train rides.

LittleRock
11-17-2020, 10:28
Traveling to the trail is the most dangerous part of the trip. I still wouldn't feel comfortable with a long train or bus ride. I always seem to pick up something along the way as it is and it always hits a week into the hike. Ideally you'd have a friend or relative drive you to the trail head, regardless of distance or added expense (you have to pay for their return trip of course).
Once on the trail it should be reasonably safe. I'd tent just on General Principles, but if your in a bubble with known, safe companions, taking over a shelter or hostel would be safe. At least until strangers wanting to share the space start to show up in numbers.
In town, wear your mask even if the locals give you dirty looks. Don't do sit down meals in restaurants, which you shouldn't be doing right now anyway. Outside is safe, inside is not.
I still think the biggest question to answer is what hostels will still be open and who will be shuttling?

This is excellent advice. In my experience the trail was really only shut down for a few months in spring 2020 while people figured out how the virus worked. Then people adapted and things got mostly back to normal except for the parts where you get back into civilization.
As far as shelters the only real danger is sharing the sleeping space with others. But nearly all of the shelters have plenty of tenting space so it is really a non-issue. Some of the trail clubs even put hand sanitizer in the privies.

The only other advice I'd add is for section hikers to avoid popular areas of the trail on weekends if possible. One of the biggest changes I noticed this year was a HUGE increase in the number of day hikers out on weekends. For example, I saw about 300 day hikers in 3 miles coming down into Delaware Water Gap on a Saturday afternoon.

kolokolo
11-17-2020, 13:10
I think the potential for contracting / spreading coronavirus is greatest during the journey to the trail and during town stops for resupply. This is what the ATC emphasized in their communications. If you can get to the trail with minimal contact with other people, and you can resupply without close contact then risk is minimal. Section hikers can probably structure their transport and resupplies this way more easily than thruhikers.

I am optimistically planning for a NY-CT-MA section in the Spring, which had been planned for 2020.

Slo-go'en
11-17-2020, 14:34
The only other advice I'd add is for section hikers to avoid popular areas of the trail on weekends if possible. One of the biggest changes I noticed this year was a HUGE increase in the number of day hikers out on weekends. For example, I saw about 300 day hikers in 3 miles coming down into Delaware Water Gap on a Saturday afternoon.

Yep, the number of day hikers was insane in the Whites this summer and fall. On a Saturday and often on a Sunday, every trailhead for a 4,000 footer had cars spilled out of the parking lots for up to a 1/2 mile along the road! From what I saw locally, I bet over a thousand people climbed Mt Madison this summer. Glad I was able to do all my hikes on a Monday, but even then popular trails had full parking lots.

Wonder if these record crowds will continue next year? Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

BillyGr
11-17-2020, 16:28
Traveling to the trail is the most dangerous part of the trip. I still wouldn't feel comfortable with a long train or bus ride.


We'll be flying in, relatively short direct flight, wearing N95 masks, renting a car, no way we'd use long bus or train rides.

A longer train ride is probably not worse than a shorter flight, IF the train (and I'd suspect most of the longer ones do) offers private spaces you can rent for the trip (like a compartment with bed etc.). Would be more costly to do that, but then you are able to stay away from others travelling even more than you would on a plane (the waiting to board is similar, possibly less and the travel you could confine most of the time).

Tennessee Viking
11-17-2020, 16:36
The trail will definitely be overcrowded by thrus in 2021 of those who missed their 2020 start. Services will be about the same as those who operated during 2020. Newbie interest has jumped so probably a lot of weekenders and sectioners as well.

TNhiker
11-17-2020, 17:38
Wonder if these record crowds will continue next year? Guess we'll just have to wait and see.



as long as there is not other entertainment for mass crowds-----sport games, movies, concert, etc etc etc------expect the trails to
be crowded......

the crowding is happening all over the country for outdoor activities because it's one of not many things
that people can do to entertain themselves during Rona....

HankIV
11-18-2020, 00:20
If vaccines are generally available day hikers will skeedaddle back to the ball park and bars. But there will probably be more thrus.

futureatwalker
11-18-2020, 04:57
Yep, the number of day hikers was insane in the Whites this summer and fall. On a Saturday and often on a Sunday, every trailhead for a 4,000 footer had cars spilled out of the parking lots for up to a 1/2 mile along the road!


We had the same thing here in Scotland. Our mountains are 3,000 footers (called Munros, after Sir Henry Munro, the first person to climb all 200+ of them), and people collect them. Parking lots were jammed. Even smaller, local hills were and remain unusually busy.

I suspect this uptick in interest is a combination of hiking being relatively safe (Covid-19-wise), and other opportunities for travel being limited.

One challenge is how to handle these crowds. Parking is a big issue, as is instances of people not knowing about or following leave no trace behavior.

At the moment, we are about to enter another phase of lockdown, so I'll have to be creative about finding hiking and camping opportunities closer to home.

colorado_rob
11-18-2020, 10:04
We had the same thing here in Scotland. Our mountains are 3,000 footers (called Munros, after Sir Henry Munro, the first person to climb all 200+ of them), and people collect them. Parking lots were jammed. Even smaller, local hills were and remain unusually busy.

I suspect this uptick in interest is a combination of hiking being relatively safe (Covid-19-wise), and other opportunities for travel being limited.

One challenge is how to handle these crowds. Parking is a big issue, as is instances of people not knowing about or following leave no trace behavior.

At the moment, we are about to enter another phase of lockdown, so I'll have to be creative about finding hiking and camping opportunities closer to home.Funny, you're across The Pond and everything you're saying is absolutely identical here in Colorado; parking issues at super-busy trailheads, littering, etc. Our local trails have at least 2X hiker traffic vs. pre-Covid, probably more. But I suppose this is pretty much true everywhere.

One potential silver lining is maybe, just maybe some folks having "discovered" a new hobby (hiking) might stick with it and as a society we'll be just a bit more fit. Of course to a lot of us, more hikers is a bad thing, but we've managed to avoid the crowds with more obscure trails; most of our recent hiking has been in near total solitude.

BTW, I'm intrigued by those Munros, having a good pal who's working on them (he has a sister in Scotland). I've climbed precisely one of them, albeit the Highest. Our Colorado 14ers (59 of them) have been nutso this last summer, crazier then usual, but thankfully my wife and I completed that much smaller list 15 years ago.

ScareBear
11-18-2020, 10:13
Yeah, I avoided CO hiking this summer after my friends out there declared it a clusterfook. I wonder how the newbies did trying to bag Long's Peak....or the Four Pass Loop in the Bells.

How ya doing Colorado Rob? Last I heard you were having some knee issues on a thru hike of the AT?

SB


Funny, you're across The Pond and everything you're saying is absolutely identical here in Colorado; parking issues at super-busy trailheads, littering, etc. Our local trails have at least 2X hiker traffic vs. pre-Covid, probably more. But I suppose this is pretty much true everywhere.

One potential silver lining is maybe, just maybe some folks having "discovered" a new hobby (hiking) might stick with it and as a society we'll be just a bit more fit. Of course to a lot of us, more hikers is a bad thing, but we've managed to avoid the crowds with more obscure trails; most of our recent hiking has been in near total solitude.

BTW, I'm intrigued by those Munros, having a good pal who's working on them (he has a sister in Scotland). I've climbed precisely one of them, albeit the Highest. Our Colorado 14ers (59 of them) have been nutso this last summer, crazier then usual, but thankfully my wife and I completed that much smaller list 15 years ago.

colorado_rob
11-18-2020, 10:24
Yeah, I avoided CO hiking this summer after my friends out there declared it a clusterfook. I wonder how the newbies did trying to bag Long's Peak....or the Four Pass Loop in the Bells.

How ya doing Colorado Rob? Last I heard you were having some knee issues on a thru hike of the AT?

SB Sorry for the drift.... Just curious, did we meet on the AT? Knees are doing OK, but O.L.D. is inevitable. BTW, a big group of us did the 4-pass this last summer on a weekday, not too bad, trailhead access was extremely limited due to limited quotas on the shuttle bus. But yeah, Longs? Fugedaboudid. But we hiked ALL OVER CO this summer, completely avoiding crowds. Big state.

futureatwalker
11-18-2020, 16:22
BTW, I'm intrigued by those Munros, having a good pal who's working on them (he has a sister in Scotland). I've climbed precisely one of them, albeit the Highest.

Nice photo of Ben Nevis! It's a touch rainy here in general, so you don't get many days like that shown in your photo!

BillyGr
11-18-2020, 17:00
One potential silver lining is maybe, just maybe some folks having "discovered" a new hobby (hiking) might stick with it and as a society we'll be just a bit more fit. Of course to a lot of us, more hikers is a bad thing, but we've managed to avoid the crowds with more obscure trails; most of our recent hiking has been in near total solitude.


We can only hope that some of those who discovered hiking also have funds that they weren't using for those other things they'd normally be doing and help out some of the groups that could use it. That might help to offset the extra hikers.

Astro
11-19-2020, 14:35
Yep, the number of day hikers was insane in the Whites this summer and fall. On a Saturday and often on a Sunday, every trailhead for a 4,000 footer had cars spilled out of the parking lots for up to a 1/2 mile along the road! From what I saw locally, I bet over a thousand people climbed Mt Madison this summer. Glad I was able to do all my hikes on a Monday, but even then popular trails had full parking lots.
Wonder if these record crowds will continue next year? Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully the local busineses benefited from all of the trail traffic.

smithjv
11-19-2020, 15:18
I am mostly concerned with the parks (SMNP and SNP) and the shelters being open. Especially Shenandoah, with the camping restrictions already limiting where you can sleep over. If they close the shelters, they might as well close the park for hiking.

Five Tango
11-19-2020, 22:53
Personally,I don't think this crisis is ever going to be over.

TNhiker
11-19-2020, 23:07
Personally,I don't think this crisis is ever going to be over.


once the vaccines are proved effective-----and people actually get one-----then it will no
longer be a crisis.....

but, it won't be a short process...

it will be like diseases like chicken pox------always around, but (in theory) if you have vaccine, you
won't get sick.....

i heard a statistic on NPR yesterday saying one in every 378 americans have covid.....

and over the next couple of weeks, i'm sure that number will narrow (as in, something like one in every hundred)..

so it's not a matter of it one is getting it----it's a matter of when a person will get it....

JNI64
11-20-2020, 00:29
I just seen 60% of people would take the vaccine if it came out tomorrow.
This and herd immunity.
Hoping and praying this time next year it'll be under control.

Leo L.
11-20-2020, 04:16
We here in Austria are in the middle of the second lockdown, infection rate seems to stabilize at a very high level.
Due to typical late-autumn bad weather, hiking (and all the overuse-troubles you described here) is no big issue at the moment.

Fo the near futue, we are afraid of a looming third lockdown in Jan-Feb 2021.
Typically, during Christmas/Newyear holydays there are lots of private parties and family feasts, which are perfect superspreader events.
Then, we have skiing, which is about the biggest business in the Alps, again a proofed&trusted superspeaer thing.

All outdoor people who do not join this big ski business will most likey head out for snowshoing and backcountry skiing, which will provoke the same, if not bigger issues you are describig here:
Jammed access roads, overflowing parking lots, overused summits, too many rescue events
Personally, I'm rather scared, not looking forward to this.

JoshMcR
11-20-2020, 13:51
I think the increase in the popularity of hiking from Covid will probably be permanent. The parks in my area were really crowded back in April and May. I thought it would eventually dive down as a fad among most of the new hikers. It's increased. I did a 12 mile loop at a state forest 2 hours from me a couple weeks ago. Before 2020 I almost never saw more than 5 people on this trail. I saw at least 50. On a societal level it's a good thing more people are getting out into the woods, but man. I'm getting increasingly inspired to move to Alaska.

LazyLightning
11-20-2020, 17:48
I think the popularity will die off to some degree once everything is open again and there's more to do. Likely hiking will stay more popular then before covid though. On the other side I think winter and bad weather hiking will still not gain much in popularity, and around here it's mainly the popular spots and the shortest trails to them where you see the most people.

TNhiker
11-20-2020, 21:44
I think the popularity will die off to some degree once everything is open again and there's more to do. Likely hiking will stay more popular then before covid though



this is my thought process as well......

there will be a slight increase but not keeping with numbers of late.....

the movie "Deliverance" and canoeing went through this same sorta effect....

TexasBob
11-21-2020, 12:27
.....................so it's not a matter of it one is getting it----it's a matter of when a person will get it....

I know a lot of people say this but if you wear a mask, social distance etc., etc. I think the odds are in your favor that you can avoid getting it until a vaccine is available. Anyway that is my goal. Of course there are always things you can't control and just plain bad luck that can work against you.

I think a sizable number of folks who have taking up hiking recently will revert to their previous activities when the Covid crisis is over. Not all of them I am sure but most I would bet. Probably be some good deals on used RVs in the next year or two also.

HankIV
11-21-2020, 13:09
Probably be some good deals on used RVs in the next year or two

And unfortunately more dogs and cats back in shelters.

TNhiker
11-21-2020, 13:59
I know a lot of people say this but if you wear a mask, social distance etc., etc. I think the odds are in your favor that you can avoid getting it until a vaccine is available. Anyway that is my goal. Of course there are always things you can't control and just plain bad luck that can work against you.




that's my plan as well.......


but i need to travel between MD and TN every few weeks and the south is not as, hmmmmmmm, not sure what exact word
fits in here, diligent about wearing a mask and keeping their distance as what i have seen in MD...

walmart last night in knoxville------easily 30 people over the age of 5 without a mask..........had to get my car
repaired----only the guy at the counter was wearing a mask......all other employees, and minus one customer, did
not have a mask on....

and for knoxville----this past week has the highest number of cases since this thing has started....


at the end of the day----i can do what i can do but since society has to rely on other people's actions,
they are putting everyone at risk.....

i've gotten tested twice since this thing has started----once in july, once in october and while i have come
up negative----i'm fully expecting that to change.....

TNhiker
11-21-2020, 14:00
Probably be some good deals on used RVs in the next year or two



and on gear as well....

happens every time something "new" comes around-----people are into it for a little while and then
something leads one to scale back...........and then sell........

HankIV
11-21-2020, 20:41
Back to the OP question

A few more thrus, probably tilted a little older. The ďlife is shortĒ crowd. Folk like me who know a successful thru becomes less likely (health/injury-wise) with each passing year. Perhaps a few less of the younger folk for financial reasons.

The folk who hiked this year for lack of other things to do will go back to those other things they clearly prefer.

HankIV
11-21-2020, 20:48
Original ATC reason for “closing” the trail was mostly to protect the less medically resourced communities the trail goes through. (I think). Those medical resources should be protected via vaccine by spring.

So I think trail opens.

I hope shelters and privys open too; doesn’t seem like surfaces are really the concern for transmission.

Slugg
11-21-2020, 21:58
For me, hiking in 2021 will look much the same as 2020. Hiking and backpacking trails close enough I can reach in a dayís drive, only stopping for gas or drive-through food. Not staying in hostels.

Crowds are definitely noticeably higher than normal, but I find if you know where to go you can still find solitude in my area at least. I went on a ~14 mile hike today on a Saturday in beautiful, PERFECT weather, and only saw 5 other groups, and that was all one the stretch I did on one specific ďpopularĒ trail. As others have essentially stated, the crowds are a gift and a curse..On one hand, I donít want to see anybody when Iím on the trail. But on the other hand, I want enough people using them that the FS is motivated enough to maintain them. Double-edged sword..

I do genuinely feel for those who planned their life around a thru-hike and and are having to change plans. That sucks.

EDIT: The ďcityĒ trails are absurdly slammed lately, worse now than in the spring. So packed Iíve driven to the parking lots, sighed, and turned around a few times and have given up until the weather really turns and drives people away (January and February).

futureatwalker
11-22-2020, 11:30
Original ATC reason for ďclosingĒ the trail was mostly to protect the less medically resourced communities the trail goes through. (I think). Those medical resources should be protected via vaccine by spring.

So I think trail opens.

I hope shelters and privys open too; doesnít seem like surfaces are really the concern for transmission.


I agree with this. I think the calculation will be different at the beginning of this upcoming thru season (say, March and April) than they were earlier this year. There are at least two vaccines, and a back-of-the envelope estimate is that ~ 10% of the population will be vaccinated each month, possibly starting as soon as January. One presumes that medical staff and older folks will be prioritised. Also, indirectly, the added risk of thru-hikers carrying the virus to small communities may be less of a concern when the virus is already wide-spread (and we know now more spread through shared indoor spaces).

I agree on the shelters and privys. I'm not sure that I'd sleep in a crowded shelter quite yet, but stopping at one would not appear to be a risk.

Traffic Jam
11-22-2020, 20:18
Very few people in the rural southeast are wearing masks, what makes us think they will get vaccinated? I worry there will be a surge of COVID in rural communities and how the ATC responds is anyone’s guess. But does it even matter? Not many hikers are following the ATC recommendations...camping and hiking in large groups and continuing to use privys, etc.

I recently hiked Standing Indian Loop and stopped at McDonalds in Franklin to use the bathroom. The staff were mostly half masked, one was maskless, and two other patrons were maskless, After the hike, I stopped at a gas station and bought a drink and no one in the store wore a mask except the clerk but again, she was only half masked. After the hike, I found out that I’ve had a direct exposure. Go figure.

The AT will be crowded in 2021 and will continue to be more crowded every year. Many hikers have been inspired to start backpacking due to Covid and we all know what happens when you get the bug.

Slo-go'en
11-22-2020, 20:28
After the hike, I found out that I’ve had a direct exposure. Go figure.

You just proved it's best to just stay home for now.

PennyPincher
11-22-2020, 20:59
I think the increase in the popularity of hiking from Covid will probably be permanent. The parks in my area were really crowded back in April and May. I thought it would eventually dive down as a fad among most of the new hikers. It's increased. I did a 12 mile loop at a state forest 2 hours from me a couple weeks ago. Before 2020 I almost never saw more than 5 people on this trail. I saw at least 50. On a societal level it's a good thing more people are getting out into the woods, but man. I'm getting increasingly inspired to move to Alaska.
I wouldn't be so sure of that. I heard an RV report that while sales and rentals were through the roof this year that the vast majority of those who were first timers or hadn't been out in years planned on NOT going RVing again. And that's a whole lot easier than hiking in many respects.

Traffic Jam
11-22-2020, 21:05
You just proved it's best to just stay home for now.
Yep...I’m usually the example of what not to do!

I only admit to it as an illustration of how easy it is to unknowingly expose others and that it’s not necessarily thru hikers who are an issue but the hordes of day and section hikers. (Thus your suggestion to test all thru hikers is superfluous). From what I witnessed recently, I can make a good case that 75% of hikers on any given day have never heard of the ATC and/or know nothing about LNT (or just don’t care).

Traffic Jam
11-22-2020, 21:11
On a happy note, I think we will see more diversity on the AT in 2021. Recently, I saw more diversity in one day than in years of hiking. :)

BlackCloud
11-23-2020, 12:59
Fads, like fashion, come and go. 2021 will be busy, as again most people will be unable and/or unwilling to travel overseas. By 2023 it'll be back to normal.

BillyGr
11-23-2020, 14:13
Very few people in the rural southeast are wearing masks, what makes us think they will get vaccinated? I worry there will be a surge of COVID in rural communities and how the ATC responds is anyone’s guess. But does it even matter? Not many hikers are following the ATC recommendations...camping and hiking in large groups and continuing to use privys, etc.


I'd think the idea is that, once the vaccines are available to everyone easily (similar to how it would be to get a flu vaccine today), it becomes less of an issue. After all, it would be difficult for someone to complain that someone hiking through their area somehow made them sick when they hadn't taken advantage of protecting themselves.

Traffic Jam
11-23-2020, 15:28
I'd think the idea is that, once the vaccines are available to everyone easily (similar to how it would be to get a flu vaccine today), it becomes less of an issue. After all, it would be difficult for someone to complain that someone hiking through their area somehow made them sick when they hadn't taken advantage of protecting themselves.

..........

Traffic Jam
11-23-2020, 15:31
Fads, like fashion, come and go. 2021 will be busy, as again most people will be unable and/or unwilling to travel overseas. By 2023 it'll be back to normal.
What is normal? The number of AT hikers have increased every year. There were problems even before Covid.

I’d be interested in seeing a poll on how many people were inspired by AWITW and Wild and continue to regularly hike.

TexasBob
11-23-2020, 17:22
Very few people in the rural southeast are wearing masks, what makes us think they will get vaccinated? I worry there will be a surge of COVID in rural communities and how the ATC responds is anyoneís guess. .............

I went car camping and fishing in Arkansas and southern Missouri (Beaver, Table Rock, Bull Shoals lakes and Buffalo River) last month. Not too many folks wearing masks in the small towns even though these lakes and associated campgrounds are magnets for folks from all over the mid-west including big cities. I share your concern that these rural communities will get hit hard by the virus. I don't think that by March and April when the through hikers start that a significant number of the population that hikes the trail (generally young and healthy) will have been vaccinated because they will be lower on the list to be vaccinated than medical people, first responders, essential workers, old folks etc. So I doubt the ATC is going remove all the restrictions for the trail this spring.

Kittyslayer
11-23-2020, 20:05
The trail will definitely be overcrowded by thrus in 2021 of those who missed their 2020 start. Services will be about the same as those who operated during 2020. Newbie interest has jumped so probably a lot of weekenders and sectioners as well.

I wonder about that. In my mind there were a ton of small businesses that have simply been destroyed by the multiple shut downs of state economies. For a seasonal business having your peak revenue destroyed in the summer of 2020 will hard pressed to survive until 2021, particularly with its current uncertainty.

HankIV
11-24-2020, 07:17
I agree with KittySlayer on services. Empty restaurant spaces in cities and ‘burbs will get refinanced and reopened by same or new operators pretty quickly. Hiking services are businesses of passion more than profit. Many probably self financed—there aren’t tons of people just standing by to restart a closed hostel. It’ll happen, but slowly.

Five Tango
11-24-2020, 20:40
I'm hearing that vaccines will be released by mid December.I am hoping that by June all this will be in the rear view mirror....unless and of course,something else happens..............

TNhiker
11-24-2020, 22:12
Then the question becomes whether yet another follows.




don't worry-----it will come.....


the way that this country is lackadaisical about it all, this thing will take longer to get settled
down than necessary.....

Alligator
11-24-2020, 23:07
So same thing I said in the other thread, keep it focused on the trail situation. Still kind of premature to really gauge much, other than some good possibilities for a few vaccines. We've got Thanksgiving and Christmas to get through first. More uncertainty than what's the weather going to be in March or what's the water situation going to be like in June.

Now it being November, if anyone knows of specific trail businesses or critical/unique operations important to hikers that aren't operational that would be informative. Recent ATC policy pronouncements, land manager rule changes, hotspot conditions/closures along the trail, those sorts of things that readily affect AT hikers.

double d
11-25-2020, 07:38
So same thing I said in the other thread, keep it focused on the trail situation. Still kind of premature to really gauge much, other than some good possibilities for a few vaccines. We've got Thanksgiving and Christmas to get through first. More uncertainty than what's the weather going to be in March or what's the water situation going to be like in June.

Thank you! Very wise advice, as there still is too much speculation and not enough factual information yet regarding all the issues related to Covid-19 and hiking the AT.

Five Tango
11-25-2020, 07:55
How's this for focus-Vaccines will make life on the trail better for everybody.............

Alligator
11-25-2020, 13:17
How's this for focus-Vaccines will make life on the trail better for everybody.............Let's clarify a little and then leave it at that so we don't have a big Vaxxer anti-Vaxxer debate. Effective and safe vaccines widely accepted will make the trail better for everybody.

PennyPincher
11-25-2020, 16:02
I'm curious if GutHook will have updates on businesses and such or if that will take time to kick in. Is the person/group who works on that doing anything proactively with regards to contacting "existing" businesses and seeing if they will be open next year?

futureatwalker
11-26-2020, 05:34
I can't comment directly on A.T. conditions (I live 3,000 miles away from the trail), but I am hoping to complete The Great Outdoors Challenge (https://www.tgochallenge.co.uk/) in May. This is a backpacking trip across Scotland, going from one of about 10 starting locations on the west coast, and walking to the east coast. Everyone picks their own route, but it does have a thru-hiking vibe. Darwin and others did it a few years back (Youtube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pkJsvOnfs4)).

Last year it was cancelled because of Covid-19. I hope, hope that it goes ahead this year. I'll throw up some pictures if happens.

The vaccine should help, though how long it takes to roll out may be a factor. I'm sure health care workers and the vulnerable will be treated first, so hikers (who in general can be assumed to be in good health) may be further down the list. Even if so, the overall risk should be decreasing, particularly for the most vulnerable.

*

On a different note, I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving! This is the holiday I suspect most ex-pats miss the most...

colorado_rob
11-26-2020, 11:52
Given all the recent vaccine news, I'm fairly optimistic that by mid-spring, the Covid issue will be fading fast.

If this is true, my wife and I will be doing a nice big AT LASH, trying to finish the trail for her (most of VA, then CT/MA/VT) in the late spring/early summer. then, we've got two multi-week European treks planned (UK and Italy).

If Covid is still a huge deal, we'll just wait another year. For us, the social aspects and town visits are a huge part of AT enjoyment, and restrictions of these would be too big of a downer. So in that case we'll just did what we did this year, hike our butts off in Colorado and Wyoming, staying completely away from crowded areas. We're working on the 2nd highest 100 peaks in CO (13,600'-13,800') and knocking 30-40 of those off next summer would be a great consolation prize.

TexasBob
11-27-2020, 18:01
I'm hearing that vaccines will be released by mid December.I am hoping that by June all this will be in the rear view mirror....unless and of course,something else happens..............

I think the pandemic has given some folks a lesson about delayed gratification. I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving.

HankIV
12-07-2020, 09:57
FWIW, the ATC thru hiker registration pages show generally fewer than 2019, and 2020. ( I’d assume 2020 numbers were people registered pre-Covid)

I would guess I’m not that unusual in that this year I really wanted to register—a shout against the virus, homebound boredom, whatever. So more people who would register in any year, will have done so earlier this year. Even with the issue of vaccine timing, I think people would register in hopes the timing works out.

So, the fact that fewer are registered now makes me think it might be a lighter year.

Lots of conjecture there and room for “On the other hand...”

TNhiker
12-07-2020, 13:27
So, the fact that fewer are registered now makes me think it might be a lighter year.



yeah....

but it's not require to register to do a thru hike...

PennyPincher
12-07-2020, 19:24
there may be fewer thru hikers next year due to financial reasons. all the "hopefuls" who had hoped to save up this year for a hike next year and may not have been able to. some of those who had planned to hike this year may also have trouble simply pushing it off to next year. If I were to "guess" I would say there will be less use next year from thru hikers but possibly more weekenders.

Slo-go'en
12-07-2020, 20:48
The AT is no more then a couple hour drive away for a lot of people up and down the east coast. Day/weekend use will likely continue to be high at least through next summer. If travel restrictions are still in place and you want a long outing, section hiking your home state would be the logical thing to do. Plus you keep your money in your home state.

No doubt there will be thru hikers. Maybe 100's instead of 1000's? Not nearly as many seniors as in the recent past?

colorado_rob
12-07-2020, 20:52
yeah....

but it's not require to register to do a thru hike... Of course not. I never registered for my two AT springer-starts. But, I would think that every year roughly the same percentage of AT hikers do register, whatever that percentage is. If this is true (who knows), it would then follow that if registration is down, hiker traffic would be down too.

Fourstep
12-07-2020, 21:24
Of course not. I never registered for my two AT springer-starts. But, I would think that every year roughly the same percentage of AT hikers do register, whatever that percentage is. If this is true (who knows), it would then follow that if registration is down, hiker traffic would be down too.

(Careful about Covid shaming folks.... someone is going to speak up about that soon...)

Iíve seen somewhere where itís estimated half register for their thru and half donít. I was expecting this year to have a slightly larger class than past years. Time will tell I guess.

JNI64
12-07-2020, 21:42
The AT is no more then a couple hour drive away for a lot of people up and down the east coast. Day/weekend use will likely continue to be high at least through next summer. If travel restrictions are still in place and you want a long outing, section hiking your home state would be the logical thing to do. Plus you keep your money in your home state.

No doubt there will be thru hikers. Maybe 100's instead of 1000's? Not nearly as many seniors as in the recent past?

What if your state only has 3 miles of AT :mad: !

TNhiker
12-07-2020, 21:48
What if your state only has 3 miles of AT :mad: !



multiple roundtrip hikes between the state lines to achieve the mileage you want......

Slo-go'en
12-07-2020, 22:51
What if your state only has 3 miles of AT :mad: !

Move to another state :)

JNI64
12-08-2020, 00:04
And just think all them comedians out of work :cool:
(Though there's two answers to my question thanks guys)

futureatwalker
12-08-2020, 05:38
I wouldn't be surprised if the early international numbers are down, given the various restrictions in place...

I've been looking at my Yosemite map, dreaming of a PCT section in the early summer. Realistically, this might be a challenge, and I don't think I'd be comfortable with such a long journey (that is, travel to the U.S.) until I'm vaccinated. The good news is that the vaccine is rolling here today! I'm not first in line*, but I'm not last either, so we'll see how it goes.


* People in nursing homes and front-line medical staff are first, in case you were wondering.

TexasBob
12-08-2020, 10:31
........... The good news is that the vaccine is rolling here today! I'm not first in line*, but I'm not last either, so we'll see how it goes............

Any idea how long it will be before you might get the vaccine? Let us know when you get it and how it was if you don't mind.

colorado_rob
12-08-2020, 15:18
I wouldn't be surprised if the early international numbers are down, given the various restrictions in place...

I've been looking at my Yosemite map, dreaming of a PCT section in the early summer. Realistically, this might be a challenge, and I don't think I'd be comfortable with such a long journey (that is, travel to the U.S.) until I'm vaccinated. The good news is that the vaccine is rolling here today! I'm not first in line*, but I'm not last either, so we'll see how it goes.


* People in nursing homes and front-line medical staff are first, in case you were wondering. Yeah, it's all over the US news about the UK starting vaccinations today, very cool, I think we're only a week behind and we found out my wife will be in the front of the line (works in health care).

Anyway, if things DO calm down by summer, have you considered a nice section of the CDT or even the Colorado trail? Covid aside, there are less pressures from fires, etc, in New Mexico and Colorado right now, who knows though by June/July. Best of all though is no need for any permits, at least for most of the CDT (a few national parks the exception). I was wanting to hop on a nice PCT section myself, but will probably stick to NM, CO and WY this year. I just don't want to mess with permits right now, the CA permit system is too wonky for now.

We're still planning on heading over YOUR way, Ireland and Scotland in May (for trekking), it doesn't hurt or cost anything to plan, we'd of course only come if legal AND safe.

futureatwalker
12-09-2020, 03:48
Any idea how long it will be before you might get the vaccine? Let us know when you get it and how it was if you don't mind.

Yes, this is a little unclear. It's the Pfizer vaccine now, but I suspect the Oxford vaccine (which is easier to transport and store) will come next and be more generally available here. I'm in the sixth (of nine) priority groups.


Anyway, if things DO calm down by summer, have you considered a nice section of the CDT or even the Colorado trail?...
We're still planning on heading over YOUR way, Ireland and Scotland in May (for trekking), it doesn't hurt or cost anything to plan, we'd of course only come if legal AND safe.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've watched Darwin's recent Colorado trail hike, and it looked good.

Do P.M. me if your plans for Scotland trekking mature...

double d
12-09-2020, 15:43
Let's clarify a little and then leave it at that so we don't have a big Vaxxer anti-Vaxxer debate. Effective and safe vaccines widely accepted will make the trail better for everybody.

Agreed-well said!!!!!

Traffic Jam
12-18-2020, 08:54
Any idea how long it will be before you might get the vaccine? Let us know when you get it and how it was if you don't mind.
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didnít hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.

edit...itís not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.

JNI64
12-18-2020, 09:27
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didn’t hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.

edit...it’s not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.

Awesome!

FWIW , Thank for being there Frontline worker :clap!!

TexasBob
12-18-2020, 10:53
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didnít hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.

edit...itís not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.

I appreciate the heads up. I am glad to hear you were able to start the vaccine. It must relieve some of the anxiety and stress health care workers have knowing they will be protected from the virus when treating their patients. You guys are the heroes of this pandemic along with the folks who developed the vaccines and antibody treatments. I hope your arm feels better. Do you think it is an allergic reaction?

PennyPincher
12-18-2020, 13:13
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didn’t hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.

edit...it’s not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.
that doesn't sound "great." I'm wondering how long that lasts and if it causes any damage.

Traffic Jam
12-18-2020, 15:35
that doesn't sound "great." I'm wondering how long that lasts and if it causes any damage.

It’s fairly mild and a perfectly normal side effect for this vaccine. I was already sore from my last workout and mild arthritis in my hand, the vaccine increased that soreness by about 5-10%. I’m not worried.

Coffee
12-19-2020, 10:50
2020 was the first year since 2012 when I did not go on a single backpacking trip - and I miss it. I cancelled a JMT hike in August due to concern about flying out to California and, in retrospect, those fears were not warranted. I recently moved and am again within 70 miles of the AT, 90 minutes by train from Harper's Ferry, so I will be doing some sections this winter and spring as well. I have a new Altaplex on order as well. 2020 has been a terrible year. 2021 is going to be much better, not only for backpacking but in general.

futureatwalker
12-22-2020, 03:42
O.K., my tentative plans to travel to the U.S. from the U.K. for a backpacking trip this summer have taken a slight hit this week...

TexasBob
12-23-2020, 14:59
Texas has decided to alter the CDC vaccine guidelines and vaccinate all folks 65 and older in the next group (1b) after they finish health care workers, nursing homes etc in this first group (1a) to receive vaccination. They estimate group 1b to start receiving doses in mid- January. If I am lucky enough to get vaccinated then, I will let you know what it is like.

map man
12-25-2020, 16:24
I won't hike on any popular trail until I'm vaccinated. I would not want to unknowingly spread the virus to someone else if I had it but was asymptomatic. My tentative plan is to hike two sections of the AT in 2021: in Virginia in May and somewhere in New England in early September. But if I haven't been vaccinated by the May hike I will cancel that one. In a rational world I ought to be near the end of the line when it comes to getting vaccinated. I'm not old enough (I'm 61) to have age be much of a risk factor and I'm fit enough that I have no other high risk factors. I'm also retired so not only am I not an "essential worker," I'm no worker at all! That's what makes me think I may not be vaccinated by May.

TwoSpirits
12-25-2020, 19:31
I had been looking forward to going down to Amicalola in mid or late February and getting a pre-bubble section in, but I'm calling that off. Disappointed for sure, but I'll just start looking forward to another section in the late summer or fall. COVID is going to be with us for a while, but it *should* be under control by then. I sure hope so anyway.

kolokolo
12-25-2020, 22:12
I won't hike on any popular trail until I'm vaccinated. I would not want to unknowingly spread the virus to someone else if I had it but was asymptomatic. My tentative plan is to hike two sections of the AT in 2021: in Virginia in May and somewhere in New England in early September. But if I haven't been vaccinated by the May hike I will cancel that one. In a rational world I ought to be near the end of the line when it comes to getting vaccinated. I'm not old enough (I'm 61) to have age be much of a risk factor and I'm fit enough that I have no other high risk factors. I'm also retired so not only am I not an "essential worker," I'm no worker at all! That's what makes me think I may not be vaccinated by May.

I am the same age as you, Map Man, and am also likely to be one of the last to be vaccinated. I am planning to backpack for a week in May 2021 on the Buckeye Trail (no shuttle or resupply needed since I live nearby in Ohio), and keep my options open for a week on the AT in NY/CT in late Summer/Fall 2021 when I hope to be vaccinated.

I skipped a planned 120 mile AT hike this year due to concern over Covid, but did manage to hike over 300 miles of the Buckeye Trail. I am ok with postponing completion of the AT in order to reduce risk to.myself and others.

HankIV
12-26-2020, 20:45
I too will be late to the vaccine party. However, if frontline workers and most vulnerable folk have gotten it, I’ll be willing to take a thru, I think. I don’t see much risk on trail itself, and feel reasonable in town if using common sense with masks etc. Is it a risk? Sure. If primarily to me, then I have to balance risk of time and life passing by. But fully understand this individual choice, or hope it is.

FWIW, ATC thru hike registrations about half to two thirds of past two years right now. Perhaps in past, more registered in Jan and Feb, so comparison not perfect.

jersey joe
12-27-2020, 08:23
The only other advice I'd add is for section hikers to avoid popular areas of the trail on weekends if possible. One of the biggest changes I noticed this year was a HUGE increase in the number of day hikers out on weekends. For example, I saw about 300 day hikers in 3 miles coming down into Delaware Water Gap on a Saturday afternoon.
The 4 mile stretch from the Delaware Water Gap to Sunfish Pond in NJ is one of the most, if not THE most, heavily traveled sections of the entire AT. This is true in any year, but especially true in a COVID year.

colorado_rob
12-27-2020, 10:23
We REALLY want to do an AT LASH this 2021 spring as my wife needs a 500 mile section from Hot Springs to mid-northern VA and we still plan on hitting this in May but basically we only will if we are both vaccinated* or the eastern US infection rate is way, way down.

It's not that we're THAT paranoid about all of this, we're probably middle of the road, but we figure there are soooooo many things still to do out here (CO, UT) locally where we can hike for days with only seeing a couple/few people, we'll just shift our AT section to the late summer/early fall time frame.

I realize that most folks don't have the time luxury we have, and my heart goes out to those that might have their plans disrupted yet again in 2021. Hang tough, better times ahead!


*(she is vaccinated already, a health care worker, I turn 65 in May meaning I might get it by May. BTW, she had almost zero side effects from 1st Pfizer shot, only very minor arm soreness, just like a flu shot)

PennyPincher
12-27-2020, 19:40
we are going completely mobile next year. Hopefully end of June. Our lease will be up and HOPEFULLY we will have our skoolie done. So long as it is "done enough" for the remainder of the summer we will be taking a trip up the east coast and scouting parking (along and near the trail) for an AT thru in 2022 for me. I will aso be able to get quite a few days of hiking in next year as we bounce up the trail as we won't be moving every day next year. My husband will support from the skoolie while I hike during the week and he hikes. :) We can always "finish up" the skoolie in the winter months from a nice warm location hanging out with other skoolie people. So our plans have not changed for next year.

Patrickjd9
12-27-2020, 20:54
Hoping to hike High Point, NJ through Southern Vermont this year, minus a couple of pieces I've finished. Like a lot of section hikers, I hiked no new miles in 2020, though I did redo part of Pennsylvania with a friend.

I may set up in campgrounds as early as I can deal with the wet spring and finish New Jersey/New York in out-and-back day hikes. Connecticut and Southern Massachusetts should be late spring/early summer. If cases are well controlled by mid-summer, I may go to Southern Maine and Pinkham Notch to Gorham, NH.

justhike
12-30-2020, 11:34
Hoping to hike High Point, NJ through Southern Vermont this year, minus a couple of pieces I've finished. Like a lot of section hikers, I hiked no new miles in 2020, though I did redo part of Pennsylvania with a friend.

I may set up in campgrounds as early as I can deal with the wet spring and finish New Jersey/New York in out-and-back day hikes. Connecticut and Southern Massachusetts should be late spring/early summer. If cases are well controlled by mid-summer, I may go to Southern Maine and Pinkham Notch to Gorham, NH.

Happy to help with rides (May and later) to/from trailheads ~Canopus Lake, NY through CT (I live 1.5 mi from trail at NY-CT border) so you can avoid some out-n-backs. I did a lot of trail magic, short- and long-distance shuttles, and slackpacking in 2020. Windows open, masks on, most riders in back seat - had no problem with virus, but I know conditions are a bit different at the moment....and we each have our comfort level. Send me a pm and i can get back to you with my cell# if you'd like.

I did my first LASH in 2020. Had to put-off a March 28 planned start, but decided to go down to Springer at the end of September and did a 5-week section to ~Erwin TN (352 miles). There were a few busy shelter areas the first 100 miles, and the Smokies were pretty busy with lots of day and section hikers, but otherwise the trail was relatively quiet.

Right now I am planning to start up again in late March 2021 where I left off, and hike the next 378 miles to Daleville VA. Expecting to have a bit more company from late-Feb/early-March thru-hikers, but think I should be ahead of most of the 'bubble'. I find it easy to distance from folks on trail. I stayed in three shelters (one by myself, one with just my hiking buddy, one with several others), but usually camped in my tent, and often at stealth sites with no other campers. I stayed at a couple of motels and a couple of hostels (in private rooms), some requiring shuttles, which I am likely to do again. I did eat (breakfast) twice indoors, at diners, and I might avoid that in the spring (as well as the shelters).

shelb
12-30-2020, 17:50
Our 2020 hike was disrupted; however, we hope to hike in 2021. As a teacher, it sounds like I will get vaccinated in about a month. My hubby hopes to be vaccinated by May. Even with this, we plan to tent only (usually stayed in shelters and hostels). We will also be careful to wear masks if unable to social distance if it is not clear we can't still be carriers of the virus to others. (I have heard that one of the vaccines might allow this to happen even though the vaccinated person will not become affected.) Ugh! I can't wait to get back to a more normal time!

Traveler
12-31-2020, 11:05
Not to cast a pall on AT trekking in 2021, it's going to take a while for vaccinations to reach a lot of people, given priority lists that can be different by State and overall availability. It's likely camping areas may be closed along with shelters as many are now along the trail for the first half of 2021 so don't be surprised. Also State regulations regarding who can come into the State from other places will probably remain in effect for a while in an attempt to protect populations. This may be a good year to think about a SOBO trek to provide a little time for all this to settle out a bit more.

futureatwalker
01-12-2021, 08:53
It's slowly dawning on me that overseas travel may not be on the cards for 2021...

It's been difficult to predict the course of the pandemic beyond a month or two out, so hopefully I am wrong and Summer travel will still be possible. But right now we are locked down, and my number hasn't come up yet for vaccination.

Haggis the Hiker
01-12-2021, 09:12
Sorry! You have my sympathy!

(I did the West Highland Way in 2019 and the Borders Abbeys Way in 2018. I was planning on doing the Dales Way in 2020 -- the lack of international travel stinks!)

Leo L.
01-12-2021, 10:56
Suffering with you all...
When looking at things going on here in EU and especially in GB (mutations), there is not much hope for a release of international travel bans for 2021.
Even if the vac will cover a reasonable percentage of the population (which I highly doubt if it will happen in 21), it is still not sure if this will release the ban. To many unkown factors in the equation.

Personally I have a big hike in my beloved Middle East desert in the pipeline for Nov/Dec 21, but make myself ready to just forget this idea.

Dan Roper
01-12-2021, 11:17
The IHME (University of Washington) models show infection and mortality peaking this month or early February and then sharply declining through early April (that's as far out as the projections go). The models take into consideration mandates, vaccine availability, etc. If the model is accurate, things will be significantly better by early spring. Here's hoping, as I'd like to be on the trail in southwest Virginia in April or May.

Model link: COVID-19 (healthdata.org) (https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america?view=daily-deaths&tab=trend)

BlackCloud
01-12-2021, 12:04
Models.

They're like polls.

double d
01-12-2021, 13:52
As others have mentioned, keep in mind that the AT is still under federal policy control (with state and local input as well). And of course the AT is a major economic engine in some parts of rural areas of each state, so that is a factor as well in terms of hiking accommodations (hotels, restaurants, shuttles, etc.). My hope is that some these models come true regarding vaccinations and declining covid-19 infection rates-as none of us has even a day to waste in our living our lives.

Dan Roper
01-12-2021, 20:46
Last year, even without vaccine and possible gains in herd immunity, the virus numbers went way down during the late spring, summer and early autumn. I expect the same this warm season (or better, given vaccines and the continued progress towards herd immunity). I'll be on the trail (unless the wheels really come off).

TexasBob
01-12-2021, 21:35
Last year, even without vaccine and possible gains in herd immunity, the virus numbers went way down during the late spring, summer and early autumn. ........

Up until December, the worse time for the virus in Texas was mid-July last summer. We had a very big surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths at that time. I hope this spring and summer are much better.

shelb
01-12-2021, 23:48
[QUOTE=futureatwalker;2279087]It's slowly dawning on me that overseas travel may not be on the cards for 2021...
/QUOTE]
So sorry! Our exchange students went home early in 2020. Our 2020-21 students were not allowed to come, and now it is questionable if the 2021-22 kids get to come. So frustrating for all!

Prov
01-16-2021, 17:41
There are lots of long distance trails besides the AT (or the big 3). This may be the perfect year to explore them. I’m a bartender who has been out of work since March so I used the summer and fall to do lots of social distanced hiking. The big problem ended up being some of the trail towns. Getting the newsletters from so many of the trail organizations I paid attention when they said stay away, and when they said come back and put some money in these towns, but be careful and respectful not to get people sick, I was all about it. What I found out is that so many towns wanted my money but didn’t care about my safety. I walked in and out of mom & pop businesses where none of the cooks or waitstaff were wearing masks. I bought nothing that I didn’t have to, and left towns on the GAP/C&O when I could just ride to the next town. It was so frustrating in Pine, AZ when I hadn’t showered, done laundry, or had a good meal in a week and not a single person in town was masked. I left. If someone is giving me the middle finger I’m not handing them my cash. I’m about to hop on the Florida Trail for a LASH and I’m expecting the worst. I’m planning on sending bigger and more frequent mail drops than the norm. I’ll be walking into towns, grabbing my package, and walking out.

Coffee
01-16-2021, 18:52
Due to COVID and other reasons, I didnít hike at all in 2020 and I miss it and will be heading out shortly. The trail towns and shelters seem like the most significant risks. Iím planning to do circuits involving the AT and other trails in Shenandoah National Park for the rest of the winter and plan to hike the AT thru the park in April with no resupply (although I wonít be able to resist the waysides...). Iím planning a modified JMT in July with resupplies not involving towns. Iíve flown many times last year and with an N95 mask Iíve been ok so far.

I want to be responsible but also live my life. Iíll be 48 this year. How many good years do I have left? We all have seen people die too young. Backpacking is part of my life and was hard to give up last year. Lots to see and do still. Risks are everywhere. Pick your risks wisely.

Slo-go'en
01-16-2021, 21:03
I turned 68 a few days ago. How many good years do I have left? I hope at least a couple. My plan is to make it to 75, then start to drink and smoke heavily :) In the mean time, I don't think I should take too many chances.

Apparently, one of the common long haul side effects of surviving COVID is decreased lung capacity due to tissue damage. That could bring your hiking to an end.

Coffee
01-16-2021, 21:41
Yeah, the name of the game right now is to take extra precautions until the vaccine is available - probably a couple of months for me although Virginia just opened up to under 65 with pre-existing conditions and I have a few (who doesn't), so keeping my fingers crossed.

rickb
01-16-2021, 22:00
Yeah, the name of the game right now is to take extra precautions until the vaccine is available - probably a couple of months for me although Virginia just opened up to under 65 with pre-existing conditions and I have a few (who doesn't), so keeping my fingers crossed.

As strange as it may seem, folks who have recovered or received the vaccine (or both in the case of an elderly relative of mine) are being cautioned that they should not deviate from prior social distancing protocols even after the second dose ó both for their own benefit and for the benefit of those around them.

I find this directive problematic on a personal level, even if the protection/immunity is everything we hope it to be.

Patrickjd9
01-16-2021, 23:58
Happy to help with rides (May and later) to/from trailheads ~Canopus Lake, NY through CT (I live 1.5 mi from trail at NY-CT border) so you can avoid some out-n-backs. I did a lot of trail magic, short- and long-distance shuttles, and slackpacking in 2020. Windows open, masks on, most riders in back seat - had no problem with virus, but I know conditions are a bit different at the moment....and we each have our comfort level. Send me a pm and i can get back to you with my cell# if you'd like.

Thanks! Sorry I missed your reply earlier. I have family and friends in NY, so am pretty well supported there. Might need some help in Connecticut.

Alligator
01-17-2021, 01:55
As strange as it may seem, folks who have recovered or received the vaccine (or both in the case of an elderly relative of mine) are being cautioned that they should not deviate from prior social distancing protocols even after the second dose — both for their own benefit and for the benefit of those around them.

I find this directive problematic on a personal level, even if the protection/immunity is everything we hope it to be.The vaccines are rated by efficacy (which is different than effectiveness). Even at 95% efficacy, that leaves 5%. (1 in 20, no work for you) Given the current widespread prevalence of the virus and that the people getting vaccinated are at high risk for poor outcomes, the continued recommendations make sense. (Frontline workers are a different risk group.) Getting the vaccine does not mean you can't get it nor does it mean you can't be asymptomatic. So while many are looking to just get vaccinated, things won't get back to normal until the number of infections actually drops significantly due to widespread vaccinations. Which it should given the initial vaccine results, but it will take weeks to months after "herd immunity" is reached. There will be a lag. That's the longer term horizon. We did not have the collective will to stop the virus without a vaccine. We are getting pummeled right now breaking 4000 deaths a DAY. You may still have people ignoring that reality but you really ought to expect that rules and regulations will continue until seeing evidence of herd immunity. Even with knowing vaccine production numbers, the states are all over the place with implementation as well. Like the other thread though, best to just stick to the actual on trail conditions.

petedelisio
01-17-2021, 03:35
Several I know are and have been picking up access to walking along the Appalachiaís from different and even more difficult trail heads. You can walk the mtns and still be considered a purist. Well more pure than the Noro campers anyhows.

RockDoc
01-17-2021, 23:56
Vaccines are a temporary fix. You will need another one in a few months because the effects wear off. Just like flu vaccines that people have to take every single year...

Leo L.
01-18-2021, 06:39
Israel being the most advanced vac shooter, seems to notice some effect already by infections going down (comparing groups with vac, and groups without).
Lets hope for the best!

JNI64
01-18-2021, 07:18
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didnít hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.

edit...itís not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.

I just received my first dose Friday night. The actual shot i barely felt but yes me too shortly after my shoulder started hurting. Saturday it felt like a mule had kicked me i couldn't even lift my arm above my head and felt sick. Saturday night I ended up taking nyquil. Today back to normal I think although I crave BRAINS !! Just kidding :eek: !!

TexasBob
01-18-2021, 11:56
Vaccines are a temporary fix. You will need another one in a few months because the effects wear off. Just like flu vaccines that people have to take every single year...

Partly true, partly not. Influenza viruses mutate rapidly so the virus that causes this years flu is different enough from last years influenza virus that immunity to last years influenza virus won't protect you from this years influenza virus. That is one reason you need to a flu shot every year. So far at least the mutations to the COVID-19 virus have not produced changes to the virus that would make current vaccines ineffective. How long the immunity to Covid-19 from the vaccine will last has not determined because it is so new however Moderna expects their vaccine to provide immunity for at least 1 year. Time will tell if that is the case or not.

4eyedbuzzard
01-18-2021, 12:07
I just got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It didnít hurt but my arm started getting sore within 15 minutes. I expect fatigue and muscle soreness for the next few days.edit...itís not a localized (at the injection site) soreness. The soreness goes up to my shoulder and down into my hand.
that doesn't sound "great." I'm wondering how long that lasts and if it causes any damage.
I just received my first dose Friday night. The actual shot i barely felt but yes me too shortly after my shoulder started hurting. Saturday it felt like a mule had kicked me i couldn't even lift my arm above my head and felt sick. Saturday night I ended up taking nyquil. Today back to normal I think although I crave BRAINS !! Just kidding !!My wife and I got our first dose (Moderna) Jan 13. For reference, we are 59 and 64 years old respectively and have some underlying medical issues. We both work for Government agencies that bring us into contact with large numbers of other people/public. I had moderate, decreasing to mild, soreness in the general deltoid/shoulder area starting about an hour after the injection and lasting about two days total. Very similar to the reaction I had to a flu shot one year. Sometimes I get sore from these, sometimes I don't. My wife had mild nausea for about 6 hours total after the shot. She has allergies to bee/wasp/scorpion stings, so the EMT's monitored her for about 1/2 an hour at the facility, but the symptoms didn't increase and they gradually declined as the day went on.

In a perfect world we would have had more extensive clinical trials and such regarding these vaccines. But this is what we got for now to fight this. I have a 50 year old coworker in otherwise good health who is currently in the hospital on a BiPAP and getting Remdesivir treatment. He went from mild fever to shortness of breath and low SPO2 readings in less than 24 hours. He seems to be "on the mend" - for now. We've had to shut down our entire facility ten times since March due to confirmed COVID cases, quarantined countless employees due to exposure, had people hospitalized, and sadly had one person die.

Is there some risk in getting this vaccine? As with any injection/vaccine, yes. Noting is without some risk. But that risk is very low from what we are seeing. There's almost undoubtedly a bigger risk, both individually and in the public health context, from not getting vaccinated. I'll deal with the sore shoulder if it provides protection.

BTW, JNI64, did you have any leftovers? You know, BRAINS? I have this odd craving... :eek: :D

JNI64
01-18-2021, 13:13
I'll be 57 next month with no underlying medical conditions . I've never had a flu shot, my theory has always been don't fix it if it ain't broke. But the serious consequences of this and I felt a certain responsibility to do it.

I work in a major school system as emergency essential personnel. I work nights so that puts me out of alot people Traffic. The guy I work with at night cares for his elderly dementia mother and I would feel awful if I was to give it to him somehow.

I went and bought some home gym equipment because they can't seem to make half the people walking around the gym wear a mask. So I really don't have much risk ,shoot i was social distancing before social distancing was cool .....

4eyedbuzzard sorry no I need all the BRAINS i have I can't spare none I really need the little I have!

JNI64
01-18-2021, 14:57
Even though the vaccinated are supposedly 95% " safe" .
For how long ?? We still have to wear mask ,keep distance, can we still be asymptomatic and pass it on ? Still alot of unknowns, but it's a start i reckon.

Out of the 10 it was made available to Friday night 2 refused .
That's 80% ,now if we can get 80% of everybody else.....

So really the thread topic " how well covid-19 effect the 2021 hiking season " i don't think anyone knows yet. I mean if done legally as far as quarantining in certain states.

Right now the county i work in is at 17% no where near ready to open schools. As a country we're at 4,000 dying every day, not good,not good at all!!

So I really don't know if I'll get to do last year's hiking this year or a plan b for me is starting to hike the SNP trails this year. Staying close to home doing loops no rides , no towns, no shelters.
It's all good in the woods! Getting out is getting out!

soilman
01-18-2021, 16:22
I got my first dose last week and had no side effects. I now feel I can responsibly resume the hike I postponed last spring.

soilman
01-18-2021, 16:33
I read an article in The NY Times that says the vaccine is being undersold. Even with 95% efficacy it is one of the best vaccines. There is still a lot to be learned about the virus and vaccine. Doctors say if you are one of the 5% that become infected after immunization chances are the symptoms will be mild. The vaccine can be a life saver.

Coffee
01-18-2021, 16:36
I read an article in The NY Times that says the vaccine is being undersold. Even with 95% efficacy it is one of the best vaccines. There is still a lot to be learned about the virus and vaccine. Doctors say if you are one of the 5% that become infected after immunization chances are the symptoms will be mild. The vaccine can be a life saver.
It is far better than the seasonal flu vaccines and I have also read that even for the 5% who get symptoms of COVID, symptoms are much less severe. The issue with the vaccine is that it does not necessarily prevent someone from acting as a carrier of the virus and passing it on to unvaccinated people. So that's why wearing masks even after vaccination is something that public health authorities are recommending until enough of the population is immunized to achieve so-called "herd immunity", at which point we should be able to go back to something resembling normalcy.

Prov
01-18-2021, 22:32
Pardon if this has been mentioned, but one of the biggest differences that I saw in the age of covid (which may also apply to 2021) is that non-USPS places that normally hold mail drops have decided to no longer offer that service. It is ALWAYS advisable to call ahead and confirm that a business will hold a package, no matter what the internet or previous guides say.

justhike
01-18-2021, 23:23
one of the biggest differences that I saw in the age of covid (which may also apply to 2021) is that non-USPS places that normally hold mail drops have decided to no longer offer that service. It is ALWAYS advisable to call ahead and confirm that a business will hold a package, no matter what the internet or previous guides say.

I had no trouble at all in the south (GA-NC-TN) this past fall (2020). I absolutely agree about calling ahead, which I did, and every place I contacted was open and willing to hold a mailed box. That included 2 motels, 3 hostels, and 3 outfitters.

Dan Roper
01-19-2021, 11:47
Predicting the state of Covid and government regulation and how they'll affect the AT this year is challenging, but there are promising trends, apart even from the vaccine.

Transmission rates suddenly began dropping in most states about a few weeks ago. See: Rt: Effective Reproduction Number (https://rt.live/). As of today, 37 states are below the critical 1.0 threshhold, which is up from about 5 a few weeks ago. The numbers are the most encouraging I've seen since last summer. The key IHME model (COVID-19 (healthdata.org) (https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america?view=daily-deaths&tab=trend) shows the rate of infection peaking in the US right now and just at the threshold of a rather steep decline. Mortality, which lags by a few weeks, is tapering off and projected to begin a sharp decline by the end of the month.

It is possible the vaccine will only add to this good news; it is also possible that new strains or other new factors will affect the trends, positively or negatively, so that there are no certainties.

Finally, it remains to be seen how the new administration perceives everything - whether there's a move for enhanced lockdowns or whether an improving environment (assuming models and trends are accurate) allows easing at some not-too-distant point in the future.

Overall, the trends look promising for a much less worrisome situation by March or April. I'm pretty optimistic about my planned section hike in late April.

PennyPincher
01-19-2021, 12:38
https://kmph.com/news/local/batch-of-moderna-vaccines-on-hold

Moderna vaccines on hold due to allergic reactions found in Tulare, Kings & Kern counties

Alligator
01-19-2021, 13:32
Predicting the state of Covid and government regulation and how they'll affect the AT this year is challenging, but there are promising trends, apart even from the vaccine.

Transmission rates suddenly began dropping in most states about a few weeks ago. See: Rt: Effective Reproduction Number (https://rt.live/). As of today, 37 states are below the critical 1.0 threshhold, which is up from about 5 a few weeks ago. The numbers are the most encouraging I've seen since last summer. The key IHME model (COVID-19 (healthdata.org) (https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america?view=daily-deaths&tab=trend) shows the rate of infection peaking in the US right now and just at the threshold of a rather steep decline. Mortality, which lags by a few weeks, is tapering off and projected to begin a sharp decline by the end of the month.

It is possible the vaccine will only add to this good news; it is also possible that new strains or other new factors will affect the trends, positively or negatively, so that there are no certainties.

Finally, it remains to be seen how the new administration perceives everything - whether there's a move for enhanced lockdowns or whether an improving environment (assuming models and trends are accurate) allows easing at some not-too-distant point in the future.

Overall, the trends look promising for a much less worrisome situation by March or April. I'm pretty optimistic about my planned section hike in late April.We're not going to get any of the politics that have been involved with the pandemic other than to note that there's absolutely no way the new administration is going to be any more lenient than the last one. That's plainly stated. No discussion of that statement is necessary and frankly anything further on politics will be removed. If you are reporting actual conditions on the ground regarding state regulations or short term planning statements from official sources ok. Trail businesses with Covid restrictions or specific closures also fine.

I have to say, using projections of case numbers going down are a significant reason for the numbers not actually going down. Case numbers flatlined mostly but never went down. So if people could just wait until daily case numbers are ACTUALLY DOWN, returned to low numbers of daily cases, we'd be saving the lives of ~2% of the difference in numbers (flat level of cases - low case numbers)*2%. Please stop taking your foot off the breaks too soon. They are too many people dying who don't have to.

But we're not going to discuss the prediction stuff any further. Far too much non-hiking material involved with that. Real time trail conditions folks.

4eyedbuzzard
01-19-2021, 18:07
https://kmph.com/news/local/batch-of-moderna-vaccines-on-hold

Moderna vaccines on hold due to allergic reactions found in Tulare, Kings & Kern counties

To be more specific, one batch of Moderna vaccine (LOT# 041L20A) is on hold in that local area of California due to some people (less than 10) experiencing more severe allergic reactions that occurred at ONE vaccination site. The fact that these reactions seemed to only have occurred at the one vaccination site raises the possibility/suspicion in my mind that something may have occurred at that specific site in the vaccination handling, storage, or clinical process, rather than necessarily being indicative of the whole lot/batch of vaccine being somehow at fault. As this seems to be a local phenomena, there is also the possibility of those affected sharing a common genetic background that might make them more susceptible to a severe allergic reaction. Or they could all have some unique underlying medical condition(s) making them more susceptible. There just isn't enough info yet to determine why the allergic reaction rate at this location was higher than anticipated. I would hesitate to jump to any conclusions either way, and wait for Moderna and CDC investigation results.

Just FWIW, I checked my card and both my wife and I received our shots from that same exact batch (we are in Fort Worth, TX). We had some mild symptoms/reactions, I had soreness in the arm and she had a bit of nausea as I stated in my prior post (#122 in this thread). These are both commonly reported side-effects/symptoms. We were monitored for approx 1/2 hour after receiving the shot with roughly 30 other people who were considered higher risk for allergic reaction and asked to stay for monitoring. We didn't see anyone who required any medical intervention during that time, nor have we heard of any in our local area.

For more details, here's Moderna's statement: https://investors.modernatx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/statement-california-department-public-health-cdph-report

and the CA Dept. of Public Health statement: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR21-021.aspx

RockDoc
01-21-2021, 21:34
The vaccine, sadly, will not end our problems. You can still transmit the virus to others and will need to wear a mask and social distance, because the virus lives within your nasal passage. Fauci has said this. It is discussed thoroughly in the new Joe Rogan interview with Tulsi Gabbard (COVID discussion starts at about 125 mins).

So don't fool yourself. You won't be able to go visit Grandma just because you got vaccinated. Hiking will still be problematic.

[I don't mean to be a downer, but I am a research scientist and I seek out info]

CalebJ
01-21-2021, 22:02
The vaccines reduce the number of symptomatic cases by 95%. Even if they have no effect whatsoever on asymptomatic numbers (we don't know yet), that's still a tremendous reduction in the rate the disease spreads.

JNI64
01-22-2021, 02:21
Vaccines are only going to work if we get enough of a percentage of the population that choose to do so. And alot of we don't know yet, like when will we have to be vaccinated again?

JNI64
01-22-2021, 02:46
The vaccine, sadly, will not end our problems. You can still transmit the virus to others and will need to wear a mask and social distance, because the virus lives within your nasal passage. Fauci has said this. It is discussed thoroughly in the new Joe Rogan interview with Tulsi Gabbard (COVID discussion starts at about 125 mins).

So don't fool yourself. You won't be able to go visit Grandma just because you got vaccinated. Hiking will still be problematic.

[I don't mean to be a downer, but I am a research scientist and I seek out info]

I have a question from what I understand this covid vaccine is not like the flu vaccine, Meaning this doesn't introduce the virus itself into your system but more a antibody to fight off ?

So if this is the case then why do so many people get sick after taking the shot ? Present company included. From what I understand the second shot the "booster " has even stronger side effects.( I watched some of that interview I'll have to catch the rest of it).

Leo L.
01-22-2021, 06:29
As far as I understand it:
When the vac is sharpening up your immune system against the Corona virus, this is hard work for the body to control a possible overshooting of the immune system.
More so as the second shot meets an already somewhat hot immune system, giving you an even harder immune reaction.

4eyedbuzzard
01-22-2021, 06:58
I have a question from what I understand this covid vaccine is not like the flu vaccine, Meaning this doesn't introduce the virus itself into your system but more a antibody to fight off ?

So if this is the case then why do so many people get sick after taking the shot ? Present company included. From what I understand the second shot the "booster " has even stronger side effects.( I watched some of that interview I'll have to catch the rest of it).My layman's understanding is that the mRNA vaccines like those from Moderna and Pfizer duplicate/mimic? the protein spike portion of the Coronavirus, the part that the virus uses to infiltrate your cells and then allow the virus entry to cause your cells to start replicating the virus. This is different than many traditional vaccines that use whole dead virus and other techniques, the mRNA only presents the part of the virus that initially invades the cell wall. So, after receiving the vaccine, your body's immune system starts to produce antibodies to fight off this intrusive spike - basically antibodies and other specialized cells and such that bind to this spike to prevent it from infiltrating your cells. Your reaction - feeling ill, soreness, etc. is your immune system at work. It has detected an invader. So you get the (hopefully controlled/limited) feeling bad part of the immune system response - but without actually having your cells replicating the virus. The response is limited because only X amount of what the body detects as a threat has been injected as there is no actual virus, just the mRNA protein spike, and it's not replicating so the feeling bad part is limited as well. This is also why there are two doses required. The first to "prime" your immune system to initially recognize the threat and start the process, the second to produce even more antibodies and other defensive cells, etc. This pretty much primes your immune system to both recognize and have a defense already in place if and when you are exposed to the real virus. You don't want too strong an immune response all at once during the immunization process as this creates problems such as cytokine storm in where the reaction causes severe cell inflammation and other problems due to too big an immune response all at once (the body starts attacking itself). If I got some of this wrong, please correct me. This is pretty new ground for most of us.

Leo L.
01-22-2021, 07:17
You put it way better, 4eyedbuzzard.
May I add just one tiny detail:

The mRNA-vac like the one from Moderna/Pfitzer, does in fact introduce a tiny mRNA-protein (that has nothing to do with the virus itself) into the cell that causes the cell to produce a chunk of the virus' protein, especially the spike protein that is typical for this Corona virus, and this self-produced protein is the teaching material that educates the immune system for what to watch out and remove.

The vector vaccines like the Astra Zeneca one, uses (part of) a dead virus of some other kind that is harmless for humans, these virus will be added with chunks of the Corona-Virus, and that combination will be injected by the vac.
The harmless virus' body is needed to allow the whole soup to get into human's cells.

soilman
01-22-2021, 07:52
The executive order that was signed by the president mandates mask wearing on federal property including national parks.

JNI64
01-22-2021, 10:55
Thanks Leo L, and 4eyedbuzzard.

Those spikey things on the Corona cell is what makes it so dangerous attaching to lungs and attacking our white cells.
So we are building a defense system that allows our cell to break off those spikey things and make it a fair fight, yes ?

My second shot lines up with a hike i have planned next month, that will be interesting.

Alligator
01-22-2021, 10:57
The executive order that was signed by the president mandates mask wearing on federal property including national parks.I hadn't thought about that one all the way through as there were a number of EO's. What is the full extent? Are there mitigating conditions?

Alligator
01-22-2021, 10:59
Here's the EO link. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-the-federal-workforce-and-requiring-mask-wearing/)

TexasBob
01-22-2021, 11:39
Vaccines are only going to work if we get enough of a percentage of the population that choose to do so. ........

Vaccines protect us in two ways - at the individual level and the societal level. An individual who gets vaccinated (you for instance :)) will be protected against the virus and be safe from getting ill right away. On a societal level, herd immunity will prevent epidemics and help protect those folks who can't be vaccinated and those who fail to adequately respond to the vaccine. The vaccine is already working on the individual level and hopefully also on the societal level by the fall.

TexasBob
01-22-2021, 11:47
The vaccine, sadly, will not end our problems. You can still transmit the virus to others and will need to wear a mask and social distance, because the virus lives within your nasal passage. Fauci has said this. It is discussed thoroughly in the new Joe Rogan interview with Tulsi Gabbard (COVID discussion starts at about 125 mins)
So don't fool yourself. You won't be able to go visit Grandma just because you got vaccinated. Hiking will still be problematic.[I don't mean to be a downer, but I am a research scientist and I seek out info]

Nobody knows yet whether vaccinated folks will be asymptomatic carriers or not. That is what Dr. Fauci has said. Tulsi Gabbard is not exactly an expert in the field, she has a degree in business not medicine or biology.

JNI64
01-22-2021, 11:55
Vaccines protect us in two ways - at the individual level and the societal level. An individual who gets vaccinated (you for instance :)) will be protected against the virus and be safe from getting ill right away. On a societal level, herd immunity will prevent epidemics and help protect those folks who can't be vaccinated and those who fail to adequately respond to the vaccine. The vaccine is already working on the individual level and hopefully also on the societal level by the fall.

I was told I would be 95% immune to, 3 weeks after my "booster" shot the second shot. Apparently it takes a little awhile to build up these defenses.

BlackCloud
01-22-2021, 13:22
The EO does not exactly mandate mask wearing.

From Section 1: "individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks".

From Section 2: "to require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures..."

The CDC does not mandate masks, it encourages it. I don't even know if the CDC has the statutory authority to mandate anything.

Please read the order, and not news articles about it.

BlackCloud
01-22-2021, 13:39
I just watched the WH press sec. and she called it a mask mandate. Whatever.

daddytwosticks
01-22-2021, 15:34
So, I'm miles from a trail head and there are no other hikers anywhere near me while I'm charging along on the AT. I'm on National Forest land (federal land) and don't have my mask on. So I'm in violation?

Alligator
01-22-2021, 16:22
So, I'm miles from a trail head and there are no other hikers anywhere near me while I'm charging along on the AT. I'm on National Forest land (federal land) and don't have my mask on. So I'm in violation?I'll start by saying I recognize that trails are pretty far off from people at times. However your scenario assumes something you can't assume. That nobody will be around your space shortly. But I expect someone will come up with something more tightly defined. So I am going to jump ahead. We are not going to sit here and argue about whether people agree with it. We'll get it figured out but it has to trickle down through the executive departments first.


Sec. 2. Immediate Action Regarding Federal Employees, Contractors, Buildings, and Lands. (a) The heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall immediately take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands.

So it says "...as appropriate and consistent with applicable law". Later there is room for case-by-case exceptions. The EO applies in its entirety. It's not always sufficient to pull out bits and pieces though, so read it through.

4eyedbuzzard
01-22-2021, 18:29
So, I'm miles from a trail head and there are no other hikers anywhere near me while I'm charging along on the AT. I'm on National Forest land (federal land) and don't have my mask on. So I'm in violation?My interpretation of the EO is that where adequate social physical distancing is maintained, then the mask wouldn't be required, such as when hiking away from others. Masks probably would be required in a crowded parking area, when passing others on a trail, etc. even though outside. I wouldn't read in a literal draconian interpretation. The agency I work for has, beginning last March, required all federal employees, contractors, and ANYONE in the facility to wear masks except when maintaining social distancing when eating etc. They are not required when outside and at suitable distance from other people. So this EO really isn't anything new beyond what we were already doing. The EO also calls on "Independent Agencies" to participate. The largest of these "Independent Agencies" is the Post Office. My wife reports that they have had numerous problems with customers who refuse to wear masks, but have been unable to enforce their existing mask policy, which has also been in place since early last year. There are signs on the doors, etc. requiring masks, but some people feel such restrictions don't apply to them for a variety of reasons. Hopefully this EO will put some teeth into already existing policies. Her P.O. has Postal Inspectors offices directly above the P.O. I'm hoping they call them down now to confront these people and escort them out until they comply.

CDC themselves doesn't have the power to mandate masks, however, legislation and regulations can cite CDC guidelines and/or recommendations thus making them enforceable. This citation process is similar to how building and electrical codes, etc. written by non-legislative and even non-government entities become enforceable regulations.

In the end, all this is no different to me than signs at stores that say "No shirt, no shoes - no service". It's a matter of both public health and also of common courtesy. It's a shame we have to go to these lengths to get people to do the right thing.

colorado_rob
01-23-2021, 13:11
I'm not being argumentative on wearing masks, I wear one in public and I don't even notice it anymore.

What I am curious about, however, is how much of the AT is actually on Federal lands.

Sure, it's part of the NPS and protected by the federal government, but I thought quite a bit of the actual land was owned by lots of various entities, like states (counties, municipalities, even private land with easements). Sure, lots of the trail miles are in National forests and national parks (GSMNP, SNP). I wonder if there are any trail-mile ownership stats out there (I looked, could not find very quickly).

4eyedbuzzard
01-23-2021, 13:18
I'm not being argumentative on wearing masks, I wear one in public and I don't even notice it anymore.

What I am curious about, however, is how much of the AT is actually on Federal lands.

Sure, it's part of the NPS and protected by the federal government, but I thought quite a bit of the actual land was owned by lots of various entities, like states (counties, municipalities, even private land with easements). Sure, lots of the trail miles are in National forests and national parks (GSMNP, SNP). I wonder if there are any trail-mile ownership stats out there (I looked, could not find very quickly).Approximately half of the trail is on NPS or USFS land. "The trail follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, passing through 14 states and six national parks, eight national forests (which contain 1,015 miles, or 47 percent of the trail), two national wildlife refuges, 67 state-owned land areas (e.g., game lands, forests, or parks), and more than a dozen local municipal watershed properties." Source: https://www.nps.gov/appa/learn/management/upload/AT-report-web.pdf

colorado_rob
01-23-2021, 13:21
Approximately half of the trail is on NPS or USFS land... Thanks! Good info.

futureatwalker
01-24-2021, 07:05
It's a beautiful, clear winter's day here in Scotland - a perfect day for a hike up a mountain in the Highlands.

But we're under lockdown.* So it will just be a run in the woods for me.

In the meantime, I'm catching up with vloggers on the AT at the moment. I've found 2flantuan, Quicksand, and Will in the Wilderness. It looks cold but wonderful out there!

* B.1.1.7. - the 'UK variant'. Catchy and potentially slightly more lethal - be prepared!