We Can Crowd The Grocery Stores But We Can’t Go Camping?
We stand virtually shoulder to shoulder with people at the local supermarket trying to figure out if there's any toiler paper or pasta left, but it is forbidden to set up camp with your family on an isolated wooded campsite. Welcome to Maine.
Maybe I'm just out of touch, maybe I'm just a moron, or maybe I'm actually onto something here. I just don't understand how one thing is completely okay, but the other (that is much safer given the circumstances) isn't.
As it stands at this exact moment, the Governor's order on campgrounds to stay closed says they must remain closed until 'at least April 30th'. Okay... Fine, we weren't going to camp until May anyway. Though it's not just about me. There are lots of people in Maine who enjoy early-season camping, and now they can't.
In addition to all of this, campgrounds (most that I know of) are not taking reservations for the season yet either because they don't know what the future holds. You know what that means, right? When this campground ban is lifted, there will be a million people trying to call and make reservations all at once.
What about seasonal sites? People that have already paid a year in advance, sometimes thousands of dollars, to have access to a season-long site rental beginning in April. Will these people get refunds? Will local and/or federal government pay for these refunds? Probably not.
I've also heard the rumor mill spit some things out about when the campgrounds DO eventually open, they may have to open at half-capacity to aide in 'social distancing'. Do you have any idea how hard it will be to actually get a reservation if these places are at half capacity and everyone calls at once?
I wish Maine would take a page from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu's playbook and green-light campgrounds to open on schedule. That's what he announces at a Friday press conference.
I DO understand the need for distancing, believe me. I get that there are certain things we need to do things a little differently right now to maintain the health of our communities. But continuing to limit and take away activities that inherintely are already done while socially distancing (like camping, walking through State Parks etc) just seems crazy to me.
People should be allowed to make their own decisions on whether they wish to visit a campground or a State Park, ya know, because of freedom and stuff. Maybe we'll just sell the camper and buy a bubble to live in.
Oh- and before I go, the majority of Maine's beautiful campgrounds are locally owned by people who pour their blood sweat and tears into these places.. but I'm sure there's a big stimulus planned for them, right?
Continue to go pile into the grocery stores so you can get your daily supplies, but please do NOT go to a remote campsite while distancing yourself from other families. That's just bad news!