To vacation or not to vacation, that is the question.
Some say “go,” and some say “stay.” People are divided — and not just by 6 feet, which is the current social distancing guideline.
Many are making travel decisions based on distance. How far can we go without stopping to use a public restroom? Some can make a five-hour car trip to see family without stopping, and some can’t. Who knew bladder control would one day be a key factor in summer travel plans?
One summer we drove 750 miles to a seaside rental with our son-in-law at the wheel. He is a great son-in-law, a wonderful husband to our daughter and fabulous father to our grandchildren — but he also considers stopping on a long-distance drive a sign of weakness.
I sat in the far backseat with a GPS app open on my cell phone whispering to it, “Find a restroom near me.”
Fortunately, one of the kids asked to stop before I had to. That third bottle of water I gave her did the trick.
With many vacation rentals iffy and vacation hot spots telling tourists to stay home, some are choosing to extend their three-month staycation and utilize nearby resources.
A neighborhood pool sent an email to homeowners announcing the pool would open, but people must wear masks. Then they sent out a second email clarifying that people should not wear masks while swimming.
At least one public park has sprayed white circles on its grounds to enforce distancing. It looks like aliens have used giant cookie cutters on the lawns. Other parks require groups be limited to 10. What happens when a family of five meets up with a family of six?
The rules are constantly changing and sometimes confusing.
The X spot feature is utilized everywhere — groceries, post office, hardware stores. An X on the ground or floor shows where you should stand. It seems to work well, but I’m not sure that would work at popular tourist spots. Mark Xs on the beach, and the tide washes them away. You could carve Xs for distancing on mountain trails and in national parks, but bears and buffalos have never been big on following the rules.
Some families are adding special features to their backyards to make them more attractive for at-home vacations. Sales of above-ground pools are making a huge splash. Some families are adding outdoor projectors. If the kids don’t get enough time inside sitting watching screens, they can now go outside and be sedentary. Something is so wrong.
Experts say if you do travel and stay in a rental or a hotel, you should clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, remote controls, toilets and sink faucets.
That’s what I’ve been doing at home for the past three months. It hardly sounds like a vacation.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.