PCT & Covid

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Limey
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PCT & Covid

Post by Limey » April 15th, 2020, 6:47 am

Hikers are being asked by the PCTA to postpone or cancel their trips this year to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Just saw this on channel 12 news.

Aimless
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by Aimless » April 15th, 2020, 11:49 am

I think the PCTA are classing a PCT thru-hike as falling under the "limit unnecessary travel" restriction ordered by the governors in CA, OR & WA. Probably rightly so.

The problem with all such rules is that making them simple enough to communicate and understand makes them a very blunt instrument, but refining them to the point where all cases are covered with appropriate exactitude makes them much too complex. You can't issue covid-19 orders that read like the federal tax code.

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Chip Down
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by Chip Down » April 16th, 2020, 4:35 am

For that matter, we shouldn't have a federal tax code that reads like our federal tax code.

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mjirving
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by mjirving » April 16th, 2020, 5:13 am

I think the biggest concern was the small towns that the hikers go through to stay and resupply. Many of the towns had basically said “stay away from us” before the PCTA position was published.

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teachpdx
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by teachpdx » April 16th, 2020, 5:49 am

As awful as it is for the folks planning hikes this year, it really makes sense.

Stay out of small towns.
Reduce your potential use of first responders.
Reduce your likelihood of ending up in hospital.
And the last thing you want to do is battle Covid and be 3 days away from anybody who can help.

Maybe things will open up by July and they can still get the OR and WA sections this year.
instagram: @robo_remy

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drm
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by drm » April 17th, 2020, 7:02 am

Thru hikers depend very much on a small number of well-placed establishments for resupply. There is no way of knowing if such places will even be open. So the logistical challenges become almost impossible unless you are on a fully-supported hike.

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BigBear
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by BigBear » April 20th, 2020, 8:53 am

If the concern is social distancing, this is just another example of the over-reaching by officials concerning the virus. PCT-thru hikers would be so isolated from one another that the 6 foot rule could be exchanged for 6 mile separation on the trail. The bigger concern for PCT hikers would not be their impact on small towns if they were sick, but in actually making it to a small town due to their limited physical capacity if they were sick. I think the search-and-rescue would be the concern, not spreading the virus. Like a tree falling in the woods and no one hearing it, a hiker falling in the wilderness would go unnoticed for quite some time. Social distancing of thru-hikers has been practiced for decades. The limit on our rights to move about has only served to increase the density of people moving about by restricting our options.

Aimless
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by Aimless » April 20th, 2020, 9:58 am

Your observation that this is "overreach" is nothing more than my observation at the start of this thread, but seen from the perspective of an individual, incorporating all the detailed specificity of an individual's knowledge of their own circumstances and desires.

Most of the time, giving individuals complete control over their choices works best for everyone. This is not one of those times. It is entirely predictable that if no restrictions were placed on individual choices regarding when, where and how to mingle with the rest of society, the nature of this disease would ensure that it would spread exponentially and the results would be explosive, chaotic, and debilitating. The only workable options on the part of the authorities are 1) do nothing and allow chaos, 2) issue restrictions so filled with qualifications and complexity that they would be impossible to follow, or 3) issue restrictions that can be understood and followed easily, but apply a one-size solution to all the complexities of a vast interwoven society so that they will be a very poor fit to all those situations, namely, those overly simplistic restrictions "overreach".

I really can't see any better option than 3 and I'm not very sympathetic to the idea that there must be a better option, just because we wish that one existed, or complaints about the innate difficulty of the best possible choice among a range of still worse options.

squidvicious
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by squidvicious » April 20th, 2020, 11:14 am

This conversation with Sandra Marra, president and chief executive of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, is worth looking at
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/opin ... trail.html

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drm
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Re: PCT & Covid

Post by drm » April 22nd, 2020, 8:45 am

That ATC article emphasizes the AT as a community. The people who build and maintain trails emphasize the community a lot because of all the volunteer work that our trail system requires. Most hikers never contribute directly to that but understand it a bit. But there are some who completely reject it and see their activities as purely individualistic.

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