First Indications of ATV Corona Virus imits in NH

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peakbagger

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Gorham NH
The ATV tourist trade is big in Northern NH. The southern border is RT 2 so most hikers working on the 4Ks rarely encounter how big things are except for those heading to Cabot. Its become the "800 pound gorilla" that calls the shots in most of the towns north of RT2. The trails are currently closed for mud season but soon will be open. To date there was little guidance on the impact of CV-19 on how to handle the major influx of mostly southern New England ATVers. I saw this article today on the current plans http://www.nhfrontpage.com/Articles...richo-Mountain-State-Park-to-open-May-23.html Unlike Maine and VT, NHs 14 days quarantine is advisory not mandatory. Public campgrounds are currently NH residents only.

NH already allows takeout but will be allowing restaurants to open seating on a limited basis soon but the four largest restaurants in Gorham, Yokohama, Js, Mr Pizza and the Chinese buffet are all closed. That means the remaining restaurants are going to be doing great business unless the other ones reopen.

Maine just today announced that rural counties will be able to reopen the tourist industry within the next two weeks. They still have the mandatory 14 day quarantine but maybe Maine folks will be able to move to visit Baxter soon.
 
. They still have the mandatory 14 day quarantine but maybe Maine folks will be able to move to visit Baxter soon.

I thought Baxter was closed until July 1st (for practical purposes - no campgrounds, no above treeline, no Katahdin or Traveler)? I believe that is what the Baxter website said. I was scrolling through the reservation system the other day and it is wide open. I'm hoping to go up the last week in AUG and was looking to find some indication. I even started a reservation, put my name in (I'm in the system) and even with my CT address it not prevent me from continuing. Hopefully I can get up there. Anyway, sorry for the instantaneous thread drift....

My original thought was that ATV'ing should certainly be an allowed activity - helmets with face guards, gloves, moving air, outside, etc. The issue of everyone converging on Gorham I guess will be the hurdle - hotels, food, etc. Hopefully they will figure out something. Gorham has enough off and on economic challenges over the years. They don't need to take any more hits. I can't imagine a Gorham without Mr Pizza in it. :(
 
IMHO , yes there are a lot of folks in Southern NH that use the trails up north. Jericho lake really doesnt have that many campsites and expect southern NH folks will easily fill them. One of the points of contention between NH ATVers and the state was that the registration surcharge for acquiring local trail access for ATVS was represented that the acquisitions would be local but when the clearcut and significantly abused Jericho Tract came up for sale by JR Dillon logging, Berlin and the general area was really hurting with the loss of the pulp mill. One of the possible bones sent up north by the state was the future of a tourist based economy and the state spent the entire ATV trail fund as a downpayment and paid the rest out of subsequent surcharges. Berlin threw in the mostly abandoned park facilities around the lake to the state for their share. Southern NH ATVers were not happy with this deal initially but given the subsequent expansion into Ride the Wilds trail network which is far larger than the Jericho State park system I expect there are few who complain anymore.

I also expect there is a "wink wink nudge" concept going on in that NH state government realizes that there are many folks from outside the state that have either second homes or local rentals (reportedly Air B&B owners who are not supposed to list properties are just going direct with prior guests). The state does not have a mandatory 14 day quarantine so if people go against the advisory rules there is nothing stopping them (the same applies to hikers and other recreational activities not tied to businesses). This allows the local businesses to get some revenue until the state can open up southern NH which is is basically held hostage by Mass. If you look at the Maine governors announcement yesterday she finally acknowledged that there are a few population dense (for Maine) counties that have community transmission plus a large number of elderly homes that are the vast majority of the cases, therefore she will allow the rural counties with low static numbers to reopen faster for in state residents. These Maine counties are all conveniently just bit far for Mass daytripper (although Oxford is close), unlike Coos county which also has had few cases and no increases.

The claim when the deal went through was the state paid Dillon more per acre than he paid for the land prior to clearcutting it and extracting gravel from it. It will be long time before there are commercial harvests from the property and given the states normal approach of not doing pre-commercial thinning, its going to be natural regeneration for better or worst.
 
We don't ATV but I'm glad to see Gorham is helping open up ATV use this season. I'm sure it won't be a normal season on influx but Gorham residents are big boys as well as ATV people and will work it out for a fun family season for all who come. Not safe? really.
 

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The Jericho ATV festival just got canceled. With respect to the thumbnail, I expect the theory is folks need to eat as its essential, they don't (unless homeless) need to camp.
 
The thumbnail image conflates 'safe' with 'essential'. Of course, the imagine isn't trying to make a rational argument, it's just meant to trigger people who have already come to the same type of conclusion, for better of for worse.

Why do the two concepts have to be tied together? If something can be done safely right now who cares what its relevance is to other parts of life? If it's safe then...uh... it's safe. It's worth is irrelevant. I'm not sure why everyone is so wildly obsessed with suppressing every non-essential activity on the planet exclusively because it is not essential. It would be nice if we could all get out of our black or white, all or nothing, one size fits all mentality on this stuff. (I make this point generically, not in the context of the ATV event).
 
Because of math. Our activities do not happen in a vacuum. Every one we interact with creates a potential exchange point if one of the parties is infected. Reducing those interactions to only the essential ones is our best tool to slow the spread right now. But you're right, it's not black and white - there is a whole gamut of risk for every individual activity. Sitting in a campsite with members of your household? Yeah, very low risk right there. Taking the same household shopping for groceries, or out to dinner? Or sharing the bathroom facilities at the campground?

Let's say this is the day after one of the family members was unknowingly exposed in their local town. Now the infection has a chance to spread to everyone at the campground, including the staff who live in that community. So sure, sitting around the fire is safe, but we can't ignore all the activities the are linked to it. And without better testing, the best we can do is avoid the non-essential activities.

I think people should be annoyed at this, but not because it's needless, but because it's still needed.

With all due respect your reply makes no sense. You have taken a SAFE activity (sitting alone in a camp site), then assumed additional activities which are UNSAFE (going to buy groceries or out to dinner) and then determined that therefore sitting alone in my camp site is now UNSAFE and cannot be allowed. You can over analyze it however you'd like. There can be dozens of SAFE activities and dozens of UNSAFE activities existing together on your risk spectrum that don't automatically have to interact together. If you're saying that because there are still UNSAFE things we could do we need to continue to not do SAFE things too I'd say that is ridiculous. And if you are saying there are no SAFE activities possible right now I would also say that is ridiculous.
 
Because I can't quote both DayTrip and TJ.....

A family likely does some of those activities, depending on age. Not every family is cookie cutter & they change. Yes I did storyland with my kids when they were under 10.

Today, my son & I would come up & do all we could to avoid all tourist like activities. We'd hike, eat, sleep repeat. We both could survive on a week's worth of pasta, a weeks worth of bagels & trail lunches. Showers could be skipped for swimming in a stream, like we do on the Allagash, which only leaves the few port-a-let visits if the camper didn't have a toilet or water hook-up available. (that actually is his diet in the Allagash)

What is interesting is what will happen as time passes. Bars were filled to capacity in WI after the Supreme Court of WI decided the Governor's stay at home order was unconstitutional. No one wearing a mask. I don't think anyone is thinking that's safe, but when people get pushed to far, they rebel. I've heard no mention yet of a Governor using the National Guard or Police to use force to keep citizens from gambling with their lives & the lives of others.

As we've heard from trail condition reports, cars from out of state continue to visit trailheads. I would guess we've all seen behavior in our towns that we find puzzling, whether it's people not wearing masks or unable to follow an arrow in a store. We expect rules to keep us "all" safe, while I want to avoid almost all human contact when I visit NH, I know most visitors will come in contact with others.
 
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My apologies if my point is not clear. As an exercise, I would ask you to consider all of the activities associated with a "family camping trip". Let's just say it's a family of four coming up from Connecticut for a week-long trip. What are all the logistical and practical activities associated with that trip? My point is, We can't just cherry pick the safer activities because all of the activities are associated with the trip. There are things people can do to reduce the unsafe activities (bring all of their own food from home) but there are other activities that are harder to account for (such as going to the bathroom/showering). And the biggest issue is what does the family do with all of their spare time? Do they go to Storyland or Santa's Village? Ride the Cog? I doubt that they would sit around there campsite for a week and then go home.

Hope that makes more sense, but happy to clarify anything! :)

I understand your point perfectly. You do not understand my point. All I am saying is that SAFE/UNSAFE has nothing to do with ESSENTIAL/NON ESSENTIAL. If after analyzing all the variables in a given activity we determine that Activity A has a 99% chance of a favorable outcome and Activity B has a 99% chance of a favorable outcome then Activity A has the same risk/level of safety as Activity B and either choice is "equal". The actual activity is irrelevant.

Just because Activity A might be "non essential" (such as playing a round of golf at an out of state golf course or hiking a mountain 3 hours away) does not suddenly make it riskier/more dangerous/LESS SAFE just because Activity B is an "essential" activity (which might be going to my local grocery store and spending an hour getting food and essentials). If the probability of a favorable outcome is the same, the activities are "equal" in terms of the risk.

I would further say that there are many "non-essential" activities that have a significantly higher probability of a favorable outcome (i.e. are SAFER) than many "essential" activities. In my opinion I am taking far less risk to myself or others driving 2 hours to go for a hike, encountering a minimal amount of people (at a 6' distance), possibly stopping for gas and driving home versus going to the Price Chopper in my local town to get groceries, touching door handles, produce, groceries, the ATM buttons and all while hundreds of people with varying levels of concern, health status and hygiene (i.e. some have PPE and some don't) walk around shopping, and while counting on low income and tired workers to maintain a standard of sanitation and hygiene that prevents transmission. And then I would further say that the consequences of an unfavorable outcome would also be worse in the above "essential" activity versus the "non essential" hike. If I am sick or contagious I am likely to impact far more people in the grocery store than I am maybe brushing up against someone on the trail or possibly touching the door handle of an outhouse door. I impact far more people in the grocery store than I do out in the woods.

So in my opinion, we are deeming things as "SAFE" because they are "essential" when in fact they are far riskier and have more severe consequences than many non-essential activities. But of course we need to eat, etc so we are engaging in these higher risk activities anyway because we have to in order to survive. And then we are further perpetuating that distorted position by calling these "SAFE" activities dangerous and irresponsible, which in many cases they are clearly not. I think that is the source of what you labeled as "irritation" by certain people (i.e. me).

Your statements and "exercise" are changing the premise of what I am saying. You're adding Activity C, Activity D, etc to my Activity A, which alters the variables and the probability of a favorable outcome and is an entirely different conversation and analysis. Obviously the things you mentioned add risk. To reiterate my point, SAFE/UNSAFE is not a product of ESSENTIAL/NON ESSENTIAL. It is a product of all the risk factors that go into said activity. A lightning strike doesn't care if I'm on my way to the grocery store or a strip club, the drunk driver who plows into my car didn't do so because I just snuck in 9 holes at a golf course across the state line, and COVID 19 doesn't care if I'm a nurse giving someone kidney dialysis or making out with a girl I just met at the beach. Risk is risk. Intent is irrelevant.
 
Because I can't quote both DayTrip and TJ.....

A family likely does some of those activities, depending on age. Not every family is cookie cutter & they change. Yes I did storyland with my kids when they were under 10.

Today, my son & I would come up & do all we could to avoid all tourist like activities. We'd hike, eat, sleep repeat. We both could survive on a week's worth of pasta, a weeks worth of bagels & trail lunches. Showers could be skipped for swimming in a stream, like we do on the Allagash, which only leaves the few port-a-let visits if the camper didn't have a toilet or water hook-up available. (that actually is his diet in the Allagash)

What is interesting is what will happen as time passes. Bars were filled to capacity in WI after the Supreme Court of WI decided the Governor's stay at home order was unconstitutional. No one wearing a mask. I don't think anyone is thinking that's safe, but when people get pushed to far, they rebel. I've heard no mention yet of a Governor using the National Guard or Police to use force to keep citizens from gambling with their lives & the lives of others.

As we've heard from trail condition reports, cars from out of state continue to visit trailheads. I would guess we've all seen behavior in our towns that we find puzzling, whether it's people not wearing masks or unable to follow an arrow in a store. We expect rules to keep us "all" safe, while I want to avoid almost all human contact when I visit NH, I know most visitors will come in contact with others.

As long as your trip proceeds on the happy path that you describe you're right - you are relatively safe (a little boring and maybe tedious avoiding people, but safe) It's when the unexpected occurs - someone gets sick/injured, the car breaks down - that all of a sudden you are thrown into an interaction with the local community. No natter how great you think your car is or what a skilled healthy hiker you are - statistically something is going to happen if you roll the dice enough.
 
As long as your trip proceeds on the happy path that you describe you're right - you are relatively safe (a little boring and maybe tedious avoiding people, but safe) It's when the unexpected occurs - someone gets sick/injured, the car breaks down - that all of a sudden you are thrown into an interaction with the local community. No natter how great you think your car is or what a skilled healthy hiker you are - statistically something is going to happen if you roll the dice enough.

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero,” author Chuck Palahniuk

In 2018 in the United States there were 1.13 auto fatalities per 100 MILLION miles driven. So what are we talking about here? Yah, if you get in an accident you'll interact with at least a cop, maybe a tow truck driver and EMT's. But we're talking about such an absurdly small percentage incident. Is that really the yardstick we're going to use to determine recklessness?
 
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As long as your trip proceeds on the happy path that you describe you're right - you are relatively safe (a little boring and maybe tedious avoiding people, but safe) It's when the unexpected occurs - someone gets sick/injured, the car breaks down - that all of a sudden you are thrown into an interaction with the local community. No natter how great you think your car is or what a skilled healthy hiker you are - statistically something is going to happen if you roll the dice enough.

People are over rated (myself included). My car is a POS these days and if you roll the dice enough doing anything, something will happen.
 
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Jumping back to ATVs, the Berlin Sun today had an article about the many options for reopening ATV traffic. Its not simple.
 
“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero,” author Chuck Palahniuk

In 2018 in the United States there were 1.13 auto fatalities per 100 MILLION miles driven. So what are we talking about here? Yah, if you get in an accident you'll interact with at least a cop, maybe a tow truck driver and EMT's. But we're talking about such an absurdly small percentage incident. Is that really the yardstick we're going to use to determine recklessness?

Citation please. A flat tire is not an accident and certainly not a fatality - but its likely to trigger an interaction. Learn the meaning of phrases like "medical catchment area". Its easy to rationalize....
 
This is certainly an interesting discussion, and I appreciate your thought and effort! I think we're in agreement and your point. The thumbnail that sparked this was conflating 'safe' with 'essential'. I agree that there is no inherent causality between the two; however, they are (or maybe should be) connected when considering an activity.

Imagine a chart with 'Is it safe' on the X axis and 'Is it essential' on the Y axis ('essential' here means helps keep you alive, but can also be phrased as 'if I don't do this, there will be a negative consequence); positive values are safer/most essential and negative values are more dangerous/non-essential. Items on the top right (safe and essential) might be things like eating a home cooked meal, or sleeping in one's bed. Items on the bottom left (dangerous and non-essential) might include things like playing Russian roulette. There doesn't seem to be much debate around these two quadrants.

The issue appears to be around the top left ('Dangerous/Essential') and the bottom right ('Safe/Non-Essential'). It has some people asking "why am I allowed to do something that is dangerous, but not allowed to do something that is safe? It seems like a paradox, and without the context of a pandemic, it would be. Normally grocery shopping would be 'Safe/Essential', but due to the high rate of potential interactions and transmission, the activity has been augmented to become 'Dangerous/Essential' due to the pandemic. I think every activity with interactions has become more dangerous resulting in a paradigm shift - while how essential something is has remained fairly constant.

Activities such as day hiking might have only shifted slightly, and probably still fall in the 'safe' category. Whereas my flag football and ultimate frisbee sports leagues shifted significantly onto the 'dangerous' side of the spectrum, and thus were canceled; the extremely high rate of interactions combined with it being a non-essential activity meant the risks outweighed the benefits. And that's fine - not playing sports doesn't have the same consequences as not eating. Camping at a campground has become more dangerous right now due to the likelihood of interactions among groups from a wide range of geographies and I argue it is likely unsafe, but I don't think it's obvious.

Who's cooking this meal? It may be essential and dangerous :D Part of living in America is that no one person gets to draw the quadrants and it's subjective where things go. If I lived in a studio apartment, being trapped in that kind of space would be hazardous to my mental health.

For those people in high rise buildings, elevator buttons, malls, the escalator handrails, any building with many occupants and door handle or manual revolving doors need to be rethought or automated. Until (if) there is a vaccine, the idea of attending a game, a race or any other event with an audience has to be second guessed. Compared to any of these, even crowded trailheads aren't very crowded.
 
Citation please. A flat tire is not an accident and certainly not a fatality - but its likely to trigger an interaction. Learn the meaning of phrases like "medical catchment area". Its easy to rationalize....

In 2018 in the United States there were 1.13 auto fatalities per 100 MILLION miles driven

Select the second quote using your mouse, right click, and search in google (or however you do). You will get several sources, including:

https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/roadway-fatalities-2018-fars

Even easier: Google Search

Tim
 
WBUR's On Point discussed quarantine fatigue and harm reduction on yesterday's show. One of the primary points was that strict abstinence-based safety protocols in an epidemic only work in the short term. They are not sustainable on the long-term, so we have to come up with harm-reduction strategies, whether it is the use of condoms for the HIV/AIDS epidemic, or needle exchanges for the heroin epidemic.

We will be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for at least a couple of years, maybe even permanently. While I think social distancing is a necessity, it is neither healthy nor realistic to expect us to limit our travel for a sustained period of time. Nor is it really necessary. Hiking, and I would argue camping, is a great social distancing activity, but as DayTrip and Mike P. point out, we need to take steps to mitigate unnecessary risks. These include making sure your vehicle is in good working order; filling up your gas tank before your trip; packing enough food and fluids; avoiding public restrooms; keeping a mask with you at all times and using it when necessary; keeping rubber gloves, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer in your vehicle; avoiding crowded trailheads and summits. For popular trailheads, such as the Adirondac Loj, Lincoln Woods, Pinkham, etc., parking capacity should be grossly restricted.

For camping, the high-risk points are the communal areas. Require people to bring their own toilets—either pack-in-and-out bags like those used on high-use peaks in the western U.S. or DIY toilets made out of a toilet seat, 5 gal. bucket, and trash bags—and close the showers, stores, and other communal areas. Is that a pain? Yes, indeed, but it's better than no camping at all.

There should be public education campaigns and where people don't follow the restrictions, such as parking, there should be severe penalties. Destination states such as Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Upstate New York should be targeting Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, etc. residents with ads saying if you want to visit, we expect you to do X.

Will there be added risks? Yes. People will always have accidents. One way to mitigate the risk of spread is to require that anyone who needs to be helped by SAR or paramedics or healthcare facility or even auto-repair service be tested.
 
Probably won't be seeing this this, I wouldn't think. Although it is a month out.

https://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/events/nh-atv-day

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I don’t really have a dog in the hunt (meaning I don’t feel strongly either way). I don’t think anyone can say that going to price chopper is on the safer side of the spectrum. But going grocery shopping is essential. Hiking simply isn’t. So there are those that argue that hiking presents, at a minimum, incremental risk for an activity that is non-essential. So then the question becomes where in the risk spectrum non-essential activities should be permitted or condoned. No activity is safe given the potential for it to involve many people as articulated above. I don’t think it’s worth arguing over because as is the case for most things these days, each side digs in and feels strongly about their respective position. As such, there is never going to be consensus. So I just do what I’m comfortable with and otherwise keep to myself, enjoying Peakbagger’s long posts on developments throughout northern New England!
 
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