Extreme Social Distancing
April 2, 2020
Dennis and I began practicing social distancing around March 1, before there was even a name for it. At the time it was considered an extreme over-reaction to a threat no more serious than the seasonal flu. But as of April 1, physical distancing is now the law in Arizona, although there is a host of exceptions for essential services. Hiking is specifically exempt from the requirement to stay home, so long as one practices physical distancing. But when the schools and many business closed their doors on March 20, popular trails quickly became extremely crowded, and in our experience, NOONE — not one person — observed social distancing. We felt like lumatics, diving into the cactus to avoid pelotons of hikers 3-4 abreast on the trail. Gradually, the National Forest and state parks closed campgrounds and restrooms, and the Grand Canyon closed altogether on April 1. So now the challenge is finding but the trick is to find a hiking destination so remote you don't have to worry about all the "covidiots" who refuse to practice social distancing. Fortunately in Arizona, that's pretty easy to do!