My wife and I had to make a crazy-long business trip this month, but we were hyper-concerned about doing it during Covid. To begin, we didn’t want to fly — which, I get it, might seem a little over-cautious. But still, we didn’t have to fly, so we thought we’d just road-trip it — get some dfresh air and see the countryside.
Only, we also weren’t crazy about the idea of staying in hotels during our travels. So, we threw some cushions in the back of our SUV and decided we’d sleep in the car the whole time. (I’ll do a separate article on that, as we learned a lot!)
And then we set off. The trip took us in a giant circle that started and ended in our home town, Portland, Oregon. As you can (mostly) see below, we hit OR, ID, UT, WY, NE, IA, MO, KS, AR, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, CA, and NV. Sixteen states in all, and I believe something like 6,000 miles.
Based on that representative sample of the USA, I have to report that, mostly, people did pretty good about wearing their masks and keeping things sanitary.
I can also report that the country is NOT shutting down, by any means. The highways are perhaps a bit less congested in places than normal, but by no means are they empty anywhere except for the remote areas we crossed. The big highways are full, and the trucks are out there as always carrying their loads across the country.
We stopped for gas or food probably 50+ times during the trek, and that’s when we usually got a peek into the local perspective about masks and hand sanitizer usage.
And sure, we had a few stops here and there where no one at a particular station was wearing a mask. But, there was one city in particular where the entire city went maskless, almost as though they’d never heard of Covid. Are you ready for the big reveal?!
Yep, it was Biloxi. We’d never been there, but had heard about it in movies and so forth. So, we thought we’d cruise around and see the beaches.
Turns out cruising was/is a big deal there. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but our visit happened during a giant “classic car cruise” they were having — one that spanned nearly all the way from Biloxi to Gulfport. It featured thousands of classic cars, and thousands more people lining the roadway there along the beach.
I guess what people do is to setup tents along the road to watch. They then sit in the tents and just drink beer, barbecue, socialize with others, and watch the cruise. (At least, that’s what I gathered by observing it.)
There wasn’t a single mask in that town, though — almost as though there were no such thing as Covid-19. Maybe they still believe down there that Covid is a “Democrat hoax”? I really have no idea… I only mention that because, quite clearly, President Trump is going to have zero trouble winning Mississippi next month. If they had as many masks as Trump flags, then I daresay their Covid troubles would be gone.
On the other hand, I don’t know if Biloxi is a hotspot. Maybe they aren’t, and they’re just lucky. But damn, not a single mask!
✍🏻 Jim Dee maintains three blogs — Hawthorne Crow, Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine, and Wonderful Words, Defined — and contributes to various Medium pubs. Connect at JPDbooks.com, Amazon, FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, or Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com. His latest screwball literary novel, CHROO, is a guaranteed good time.