Sunday, July 26, 2020

We've All Canceled Plans

     My wife and I were supposed to leave for Wisconsin today, on a two-week trip to visit my daughter and grandchild. Instead, we decided to stay home.

     We'd booked the trip back in May, when Covid cases were going down from an average of 30,000 a day to 20,000 a day. The virus was supposed to take the summer off, with the experts only worried about a second wave that might come in the fall.

     So we booked an airbnb, and I told my daughter: "We've got reservations, and we'll be there ...  you know, unless the Coronavirus makes a big comeback and stops us from traveling."

     We carved out the time on our calendar and looked forward to a Wisconsin vacation -- we'd never been to Wisconsin. We were doubly excited because we'd already had two trips canceled because of Covid. We were going to take a long weekend back home in New York at the end of April, but the event got canceled, and we were wary of traveling anyway, so we didn't go. Airbnb was good to us -- it gave us a full refund.

     Then our summer trip to Cape Cod was canceled. We had signed up for a week in July, but the woman who rents us her house called us and said they'd decided not to rent at all during the summer.

     We found out later, from a friend who lives on the Cape, that a lot of Bostonians and New Yorkers who have summer places on the Cape have moved there for the duration. The Cape is pretty crowded -- not with tourists, but with second homeowners.

     B read that on nearby Martha's Vineyard, where the rich and famous summer, they're experiencing a surge in fall school registrations. A number of second homeowners intend to spend the next year there, working from home and sending their kids to the local school.

     Anyway, we had two trips canceled. But I bet we're not alone. I'd guess a lot of us have had to cancel travel plans because of Covid.

     Still, we were looking forward to the trip to Wisconsin. And we prepared. We checked with our airbnb host to make sure she cleaned and disinfected. We made reservations at a hotel along the way with a "CleanStay" program. We stocked up on disinfectants and masks, and even researched how we could avoid public restrooms on the highway.

Not going to Wisconsin
     But there was no way around it. Instead of going down, the cases of Covid began to rise again. Big time.

     On May 17 new cases were down to 13,000 a day nationwide. There were several other days at the end of May when new cases came in under 20,000. But then they began to go up again -- 21,000, 23,000, 25,000. They crested 30,000 again on June 19. They hit 40,000 on June 25. They climbed to over 50,000 by July 1. And over 60,000 by July 8.

     This was making us nervous. The virus was supposed to go to sleep for the summer; instead, it was raging back. I began to drill down, looking at the cases in Wisconsin -- and in Ohio where we'd have to spend a night in the hotel. In July, Wisconsin went from 500 cases a day to 700 cases a day, to 900 cases a day. On Friday new cases in Wisconsin numbered 1,058. Ohio was worse. The state has suffered over 1,000 cases every day since the beginning of July, hitting 1,560 on Friday.

     The numbers at home have also been going up. But more gently. Pennsylvania currently has about 800 cases a day. So we finally decided it would be foolish to drive into the teeth of the epidemic.  Even if we're careful, we realized, we'd have more contact when we're away and on the road, exposing ourselves to more public touch points.

     So it's back to stay-at-home, self-isolation, talking to people on Zoom. But that's better than contracting Covid, maybe ending up in the hospital, or worse, and possibly giving it to my daughter and her family.

     So this morning I woke up. And my first thought was: What about Thanksgiving? Maybe we could go to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving! And then there's our winter trip ...

25 comments:

Rian said...

I'm sorry about your trips cancellations, Tom. But I think everything you said makes perfect sense. We are basically in the same boat... wanting to visit our daughter and her family in the Hill Country and possibly visiting family in New Orleans at some point. But NOT NOW! Cases are on the rise, so we will stay home and play it safe. It's not like we won't be able to do these things eventually... right?

gigi-hawaii said...

I agree with your decision to cancel your trip to Wisconsin, especially the one about transmitting the disease to your daughter and granddaughter.

ApacheDug said...

Very sorry to read of your canceled plans Tom, but of course you're doing the right thing. On the 4th I spent a few days in the hospital and noted with dismay that while the staff on my floor were wearing masks, none of the patients did. A week after my release, I got VERY sick for about 10 days—like the flu, times 10. I don’t know if it was covid-19, I need to get tested, but I do know I would NOT want to go thru that again.

Sue said...

Dear Tom and Friends, friends of mine had to cancel their upcoming trip - not because they wanted to, but because the state in which they were to visit, doesn't want them. So, several thousand dollars is on hold until next year. They should have been refunded, since they weren't the ones who backed out. Oh well, that's worldlings for ya, they want yer money. That's what they do.

WD-40 said...

Sorry about your cancelled plans, Tom.

Fortunately, I have no such anguish because, last February, I bet against good behavior by people in America by letting our family know that I'd be goin' nowhere and doin' nuthin' until there is a successful vaccine. That early decision has kept me from dithering about.

Elle said...

I hear you. I had 3 trips this spring and 3 music concerts. All cancelled thanks to 'rona. So much for celebrating my first year of retirement. I am grateful however, to be healthy and safe at home.

DUTA said...

Covid case numbers don't go down; it's the number of performed tests that goes down, and so the result of the daily infected people is misleading. Ask your authorities to show transparency with the numbers.

It seems the virus isn't going anywhere, and not sure a vaccine will solbve problems. So, people have to find ways to cope with the situation and not cancel important things.

DJan said...

I am not traveling any farther than local trailheads. And I'm really pleased to see that most people I see on the trail are also wearing masks or, like me, pulling it up when seeing we will pass someone. I'm really glad there is so much to bingewatch on the internet! Currently watching The Good Fight. :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

It's the unknown factor, Tom. And our trust in others that they are doing the right thing and protecting us as we protect them. All very hazy and uncertain. This virus is swift and a killer and does not discriminate by age or sex.

Stay in place is the catch phrase here and it's a good one. After no cases here for over 50 days we now have 3. All travel related.

XO
WWW

Juhli said...

I know how.hard it is to not be able to see family especially grandchildren but I also think you made the right decision. We recently drove 7 hours to visit ours for the first time since this started but I wouldn’t stay in a hotel. We packed lunch and only got out at freeway rest stops. Still some people not wearing masks buy almost all were. Physical distancing was easy and we were at each stop very briefly. Used a disposable glove on one hand for doors etc. disposable masks and hand sanitary too

Arkansas Patti said...

So sorry you have had to cancel your plans but it only makes sense today. Somethings are not worth the risk and it is not only a risk to you but your family members. It will make the trip when you can finally make it all the sweeter.

priscilla said...

Sounds like you definitely made the right decision...
We're SO itchy to take a trip, but not yet. We just need to practice good safety habits with one another. Hopefully, sooner than later, this will be resolved enough so that some kind of normal life can resume.
Be safe.

Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged said...

Although you know it is the right decision, it's still difficult. As much as we all wanted the virus to take the summer off, it obviously was magical thinking. One of these days, this will be behind us and our travel plans can resume. I just hope that when this happens again - and there WILL be a next time - we will be better prepared.

Olga said...

I had planned a Florida trip last summer for my grandkids but that got put off because their dad had a stroke and then died. I had plane tickets reserved at the end of this past January for this summer. That was a no go due to pandemic. My grandson said it was okay -- I could save my money and take him to Europe in two years. Let's hope U.S. citizens will be able to travel to Europe in two years!

Red said...

As hard as it was , you made the right choice. I would think that a year from now covid is still rampant.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hey Tom! Bummer! I think we've all had to "readjust" our travel plans this year but that sure doesn't make it any easier does it. I don't know about you but I do know we are scouring the internet daily for promising news of a vaccine. I know it will take a while but I still like to believe some happy news will pop up instead of all the REST of what continues to dominate the news. So yes, maybe Thanksgiving! And hopefully we have MUCH MORE to be thankful for this year!!! ~Kathy

Tom said...

Well, I prefer to believe Kathy rather than Red, but who knows? That's the dastardly thing about the 'rona (Elle, I like your abbreviation, somehow it seems apt) -- there's just no telling about it at this point, no how, no way.

Celia said...

I've made the same choices, cancelled trips to and cancelled company coming. Our small touristy wine town stayed under 100 cases for a long time and then opened up somewhat and suddenly we are around 300 cases. My eldest son caught it at work, he seems to be recovering. Who knows for how long but the numbers are going the wrong way for now. Stay home and stay safe all you all.

Anonymous said...

I have reservations for January 2021. I'm waiting till December 2020 before I cancel or make any changes. I have a strange, sneaking suspicion that after the election, covid-19 is going to mysteriously disappear.

CMI

Meryl Baer said...

I have given up planning any trips. Cancelled trips planned for April, June, July. We were thinking of driving to visit family in Florida this fall, but who knows now when we will feel safe to go south. Thanksgiving...Christmas...2020...2021...

Rebecca Olkowski said...

I keep wanting to escape and at least go up the coast but I keep thinking about public restrooms and I have 2 dogs that would have to come with me so I can't take them inside. It's so frustrating.

Linda Myers said...

We had planned a bike-and-barge trip from Amsterdam to Bruges in May. It's now been moved to June of next year. And we have a timeshare week in Whistler, BC for late September, but we can't get across the border to use it! I've placed an ad that hopefully a Canadian will see.

I did travel from Tucson to Seattle for a week in May to get a home remodel project started. My husband stayed for a month, came back for two weeks, and returned for another week. He was doing the electrical work and since we agree on quality of life vs length of life, I didn't object too strenuously. He's now on day 12 since his return and feeling fine.

I wish I could get more exercise, but we're in an Arizona summer and once I've done my early morning bike ride, it's too hot to do much else outside. And the fitness center is closed. So... but I believe this too shall pass, and we'll have indelible memories to show for it.

Nancy Coiner said...

Hi, Tom --

One of my rules for life is that everybody gets to whine a little! I've hated canceling trips, too. It's partly the let-down when you have to cancel. It's partly that daily life is getting a little monotonous -- nice enough day to day, but unchanging. My husband and I DID do a few days in Maine -- which required a Covid test but was worth it for a few cooler days.

The heat will break eventually! But here in a college town, we're about to have a Plague of College Students descend upon us -- so our Covid numbers will be skyrocketing sometime in the next month. Sigh.....

Anonymous said...

Plenty of tourists on the Oregon coast, I've seen plates from AZ, TX, CA, WA, ID. Some of those people have summer homes on the coast. Can't say I'm happy to see plates from the states w/spikes in cases (AZ, TX, CA, ID) but OR won't even try to do what Cuomo has tried to do in NY. I have concerns re: some of the people from those states (in addition to some Oregonians) refusing to wear masks or doing the idiotic half mask: mouth covered, nose isn't. I very much doubt if most of the store employees here, whether it's a Walmart or other chain or store that's announced the masks will be required are enforcing that requirement. They don't feel they paid enough to take the risk of saying, no mask, you'll have to leave and I'm not surprised.
RV sales have gone up, I'm seeing more RVs or RV equivalents (vans remodeled inside for overnight stays, etc) then usual. More small trailers and leased RVs. That's how some people have "solved" the distancing & touch problems or issues, by bringing their "home" w/them. They'll still be using supermarkets, but most RVs and some trailers will have their own toilets & showers. Not the RV equivalents usually but they're alot less expensive--surfers have tended to be the biggest users of the RV equivalents or van remodels, some of the newer vans are tall, tall enough for someone of moderate height to stand up in.
The county I live in had workplace outbreaks, it's still in Phase 1, so most restaurants, if they're open are serving people outside, doing pickup and/or delivery which has decreased revenues. Beaches are still there, some coast state parks are open, w/open campsites--often only every other site can be occupied, as a way of maintaining physical distances. Single use plastic bags were banned in my town last year and people adapted well (always some complainers, include some tourists but some of the checkers at a local supermarket did a great job of saying kindly but firmly, well, we think it's a good thing and hope you'll get used to it soon. People can still get paper grocery bags). Unfortunately, discarded disposable masks seem to be on track to replace the plastic trash bags.

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