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  1. #21
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    Because you are 'traveling'. As a traveler, you are being exposed and possibly infected in one area and then traveling to another area where you are exposing and possibly infecting others. You are unnecessarily risking transmitting the virus between communities and unnecessarily increasing exposure to the workers of the grocery store who otherwise would not have had that exposure from a traveler.

    To keep to the topic; I would question any hike right now as most places are still at the start of the curve. The more we adhere to Stay-at-Home, the quicker we get a handle on this thing.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FromNH View Post
    Droplets from a sneeze or cough can travel well over 20 feet and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes. Give a very wide berth if you really need to go out. But you might still walk into a cloud of snot if some you just passed sneezed a couple minutes earlier on the trail. As someone said in regards to a different post, you’d be using up valuable resources if you get hurt out there.
    Scientists are only beginning to understand this complex, extremely fast spreading virus, don’t be fooled by the relative low death rates for now.
    You keep repeating this thing about 20 feet/ten minutes, and as I pointed out in the other thread in which you said it there seems to be no credible source for it. No authority I've been able to find says anything near this extreme. Maybe you can point me to something I missed, I'm perfectly willing to be corrected. The closest thing is an anecdotal report from a Chinese bus where one person was said to have infected a couple of dozen people because their "spray" traveled about 4.5 meters over a fairly protracted period of time. Even if accurate, this hardly equates to trail conditions.

  3. #23

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    On a trail, unless someone sneezes or coughs in your general direction - at the exact moment your passing them, I don't see a problem.

    Being in a confined environment with still air is the most likely way to catch it. Especially if your there for a while and with a whole lot of other people. Like at church or in a restaurant or on a bus or at a party.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #24

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    It's not fully understood how the COVID 19 virus spreads, but enough is known to make several assertions. There is an aerosol transmission mechanism beyond droplets expelled by coughing or sneezes by infected people. Droplets tend to fall quickly out of the air when expelled in a cough or sneeze, which is where the 6-foot separation parameter comes from. Aerosol transmissions however have different delivery mechanisms, this virus is small enough to ride microscopic vapor particles in breath as it is exhaled.

    Bacteria can be seen with the aid of most microscopes, the COVID 19 virus requires an electron microscope to see and support the fact viruses are anywhere from 10 to 100 times smaller than bacteria. Their size making them extremely difficult to stop unless specialized protective masks like the N95 type, specifically designed to trap and prevent these incredibly small particles from reaching the mouth and nose. This type of aerosol transmission, as we saw with other highly infective disease like measles, can linger for quite a while.

    Think of a sunbeam in a room lighting up tiny particles of dust suspended in air. These dust particles drift about but don't settle unless they contact a surface like a table top or chair. Watching these particles you can clearly see them responding to thermal differences as they pass through the sunbeam itself, or when someone passes nearby. Virus particles cannot be seen in the sunbeam with the human eye, but they exist where there is an infected person and the phenomenon is similar. Adding the pathology element to this, it's either unknown or there is no consensus yet of how long the virus can remain infective in this aerosol form, which complicates things. This is where the 20-foot separation concept originates.

    The 20-foot concept is really more for inside consideration. Outside the variables can be very complex, wind velocity, wind direction, proximity of the person to the downwind vector, rain/snow impacts on virus particles, convection or descent of air mass via pressure systems or sun exposure, ambient temperature, etc.. Some people feel safer wearing a simple dust or DYI mask in public, though the virus is so small wearing these types of masks is akin to using a window screen to prevent pollen from getting into the house. But sometimes peace of mind trumps medical value, like eating whole wheat toast to counteract bacon at breakfast or a Diet Coke with large fries and Whopper.

    The bottom line remains, as used in 1918 (probably centuries prior as well) shelter in place and avoiding as much contact with others as possible is the only real defense one has.

  5. #25
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    Well-said, Travelers!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    One person can do it as well. Pickup with a motor bike would work. The year I started my first section of the PCT there was a guy doing this.
    That's how I have section hiked the AT. 49cc Honda Scooter gets chained to a tree and draped w/ a camo cover near my endpoint. Drive to the trailhead and hike however many days along the AT to the scooter. Chain the pack to the tree and ride back to my 4Runner, and then go pick up the pack. It's a fair amount of driving back & forth but it works for a solo hiker on his own schedule.
    Be Prepared

  7. #27
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    To the OP's point, 3 weeks ago I drove from MD to TN, stopping only once for fuel and bathroom. Hiked 3 days and drove back home, stopping only for fuel and the McDonald's drive through. Encountered about 20 folks on the trail total. Most everyone walked right past me; a few stepped away from the trail. A few day hikers wore masks. Stayed in my tent, as always.

    Most dangerous, reckless thing I did? Drove 80mph the whole way. Some 36-40,000 people die every year in car accidents in the USA. I won't drive 100, but I won't drive 55 either.
    Be Prepared

  8. #28

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    Social distancing on a hike is borderline absurd. You are not going to get COVID-19 on the trail. The average hiker is at basically no risk of contracting the virus. Viruses spread indoors. You get sick at work and school primarily. Of course, you can get sick easily at a restaurant.

    People hiking are largely very healthy and unlikely to suffer much from the virus.

    When it comes to thru-hiking these trails, the risk is probably still very low but obviously a lot of more chance when you start sleeping in shelters and eating at picnic tables. I think there is a good chance it could spread as noro does and then there is a chance it spreads into towns.

  9. #29

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    There are three places a hiker is going to get COVID-19:

    1) At the gas station filling up for the hike
    2) At the restaurant going to or coming back or in the middle of
    3) Using the privy.

    Pretty much everywhere else you are safe.

    We have already had extensive hiking during a pandemic and no known transmissions so far as we are aware.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunburn View Post
    Social distancing on a hike is borderline absurd. You are not going to get COVID-19 on the trail. The average hiker is at basically no risk of contracting the virus. Viruses spread indoors. You get sick at work and school primarily. Of course, you can get sick easily at a restaurant.

    People hiking are largely very healthy and unlikely to suffer much from the virus.

    When it comes to thru-hiking these trails, the risk is probably still very low but obviously a lot of more chance when you start sleeping in shelters and eating at picnic tables. I think there is a good chance it could spread as noro does and then there is a chance it spreads into towns.
    Lots of dangerous presumptions in this. We have learned a lot about this contagion over the past two months, not the least of it includes one can get sick anytime they are exposed anywhere it occurs by breathing expelled air from infected people who may not know they are infecting others regardless if it is indoors our outside. The virus is incredibly fast in replication within the body and tends to spread most quickly via community spread making it a very dangerous contagion.

    Research has found vapor from uncovered talking indoors needs at minimum of 6-feet of distance to avoid, uncovered coughing/sneezing can travel 20-feet indoors, all of these likely travel much further outdoors if there is any kind of breeze. When vapor from talking, sneezing, coughing is expelled, it can also land on surfaces that can easy be touched without thinking, with transmission completed when you touch your face. Things like shrubs or branches used to help balance a climb or descent are a good example of a common vector along with picnic tables, privy doors, other people's gear, etc.

    People hiking generally are healthy overall, but they run a great risk if they have had pneumonia or other serious respiratory disease in the past. Wearing a mask does not protect the wearer from infection, but does help reduce exposure potential to others when wearing one as it captures vapor from breathing and talking along with coughing and sneezing that would otherwise be broadcast into the environment. So the 6-foot distance rule is really a minimum. Recent data shows some concerning trends with respect to those under 60 years old as opposed to what was thought several months ago like strokes in 30 - 40 year olds, so it no longer is a disease "of the old" exclusively.

    Current data indicates a fatality rate of approximately 5% (as opposed to flu fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) which may be high or low and won't know for a long time what that percentage is. Suffice to say, this is a very dangerous contagion worthy of respect and an abundance of caution to avoid and one of the reasons the ATC is asking people to avoid the AT.
    Last edited by Traveler; 05-03-2020 at 12:07.

  11. #31

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    This does not spread through the air like the flu. There is some limited ability for it to. Viruses spread indoors. It is hard for them to spread outdoors because they are exposed to sun and do not collect on repeatedly used surfaces like bathroom door handles. There has been almost no spread in Wyoming.

    Hikers are also extremely concerned about getting viruses so they take great precaution.

    Since I stopped working 12 years ago, I have not been sick once. You cannot get sick when you are not exposed to the public.

    Privies and hostels are definitely dangerous places. Because of the volume of hikers on the AT, it should probably maintain its position that it would prefer that people not hike or it should place a limit on the number of hikers.

    Privies should remain closed. Hostels should remain closed. If you stay out of privies, restaurants and hostels, there is very little chance of getting it. People that are sick also do not start long-distance hikes.

  12. #32
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch! View Post
    So it seems that thru hiking may be out this year. A good way to hike and avoid contact with other people is to drive to your hiking destination, then do a 4-7 day loop, or out and back. This way you can still hike, and literally have no contact with anyone. If you happen across someone on the trail give them a wide berth when passing. If you want to hang out with another hiker simply try and maintain a six food radius. At the very least try not to sneeze and cough on one another. This is a weird virus where plenty of people are infected without experiencing any symptoms. At the same time, some people seem to have a very poor outcome. There is no way to know which one you may be. Don't assume just because you are young and healthy that you are invulnerable. The goal is to slow the spread, and avoid overwhelming our underwhelming medical system.
    Going back to the original post... (being amateur medical experts seems silly), I still hold out, 6 weeks later with what I wrote in post #3, I truly believe we can all get out there and do some fine long distance hiking (even thru hiking, when you include much shorter trails, like the CO trail).

    Sure, PCT's and AT's, etc, have gone t!ts up, so what, plenty of BIG loop hikes all over the place. I just returned from a little 40 mile 3-day loop (Dominguez Canyon loop in western CO), managed to drive to/from the trailhead non-stop both ways, never had to stop for anything (I have a huge gas tank), did a super-cool loop seeing a half dozen other hikers, we all kept respectfully apart, I believe that's safe enough for both myself and others.

    I plan a month-long CO hike starting in late June, basically the non CO trail part of the CDT in Colorado, assuming the counties I enter will not have restrictions at the time. If they do, I'll adjust. It's not a loop, but I have my wife to shuttle me and she's 100% supportive.

    My stay safe checklist: No public transportation, including no hitching and no shuttles
    All resupply via my wife or US mail, and I'll mask up in PO's, or for any occasional store visits, including hand cleaning/sanitizing after
    No hostel stays, but I will occasionally use a decent chain-type Hotel, basically when my wife joins me a few times along the way.

    It's a numbers game and all a calculated risk, and (knock on wood) I'll accept that risk for myself, and be as responsible as possible with others.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch! View Post
    So it seems that thru hiking may be out this year. A good way to hike and avoid contact with other people is to drive to your hiking destination, then do a 4-7 day loop, or out and back. This way you can still hike, and literally have no contact with anyone. If you happen across someone on the trail give them a wide berth when passing. If you want to hang out with another hiker simply try and maintain a six food radius. At the very least try not to sneeze and cough on one another. This is a weird virus where plenty of people are infected without experiencing any symptoms. At the same time, some people seem to have a very poor outcome. There is no way to know which one you may be. Don't assume just because you are young and healthy that you are invulnerable. The goal is to slow the spread, and avoid overwhelming our underwhelming medical system.
    What do you mean "our underwhelming medical system"?
    Be Prepared

  14. #34

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    I think one needs to make the health of others their priority until further notice.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    What do you mean "our underwhelming medical system"?
    What -he- meant was unambiguous. He feels our system is underwhelming and its capacity could be exceeded.

    Yours was rhetorical. Try explaining your own position directly. Do you feel our system is fully capable of handling any volume of cases?

  16. #36

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    This thread was left open for tips on improving social distance (beyond not going at all). Discussions about not going at all belong in the ethics thread.
    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...-Pandemic-quot

    Thank you for your cooperation.
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  17. #37
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    Hopefully this is a valid question for this thread.

    Some of the privies are closed on the AT, not sure about other trails or if all privies are closed. Does anyone know of the reason for this? And now months later are those concerns still valid? Is it an issues with no maintenance of the privy or a social distance concern. If social distance, does that mean all public restrooms are unsafe

  18. #38

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    Many privies require periodic maintenance, so that could be a valid reason. I suspect it was more to help discourage use of the associated shelter area. I can't imagine a privy would be much of an infection risk. A privy has other risks, like Norovirus, something else you don't want to catch!

    As for public restrooms, high traffic ones are all touch free these days, so that helps. That came about due to the last near pandemic we had. The only risk is if it's a busy restroom like at a highway rest stop, a lot of people are coming and going into a relatively confined space. I'd wear a mask, preferably of N95 grade.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  19. #39

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    A privy could be a risk just as a regular bathroom is (and hardly all touchless, there's often a door of course and something is usually not touchless). Anyway, not everyone on the AT was even using hand sanitizer, let alone using a sink with running water or even washing their hands that frequently. You have to wonder if some folks are even carrying soap with the boasts about not washing out a pot. Privies can be high traffic, particularly in the morning. So don't forget the hand sanitizer and soap.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Hopefully this is a valid question for this thread.

    Some of the privies are closed on the AT, not sure about other trails or if all privies are closed. Does anyone know of the reason for this? And now months later are those concerns still valid? Is it an issues with no maintenance of the privy or a social distance concern. If social distance, does that mean all public restrooms are unsafe

    From the CDC website:
    "The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19. There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person. Scientists also do not know how much risk there is that the virus could be spread from the feces of an infected person to another person. However, they think this risk is low based on data from previous outbreaks of diseases caused by related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)."

    I read that public health departments are monitoring sewage for the virus as a way to determine virus levels in the population.


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