Fiddlehead and the Corona Virus
by Rob Rose, MD – owner of Fiddlehead
Having been a family physician and emergency doc for 44 years, I understand the need to be cautious and try to limit the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. It strikes me that camping at Fiddlehead may be safer than staying home or riskier – depending upon our behaviors.
Camping at Fiddlehead may be safer than staying home.
- Being outdoors in the summer is inherently bad news for viruses that are generally knocked down by the UV we get from the sun, so being outdoors is good for us and bad for viruses. It remains to be seen if this coronavirus decides to honor that tradition;
- Depending upon your living situation, camping at Fiddlehead may well be less crowded than staying at home. With 10 campers in a 10,000 square foot site, each camper has access to 1000 square feet of his/her own “living” space – like living alone in a smallish house. The trick here is to spread out and use the vast available space at Fiddlehead to effect the social distancing we’re supposed to do.
Camping at Fiddlehead may be riskier than staying home.
- Some of our campers like to come in large groups and hang together in close contact with each other. That’s a set-up for spreading the virus;
- Encouraging folks to gather and dance in front of the DJ stand is probably not a good idea.
In thinking about how we can make life safer for our campers, while maintaining the pleasure of your camping experience, I conclude we will do several things to limit the spread of the coronavirus at Fiddlehead:
- Spread campers out:
- With 3 miles of Saco River frontage and 1200 acres to work with, we can spread campers out quite a lot. Mostly, we already do;
- We will stagger the picnic tables down the large beaches so they will be 100 feet apart instead of the usual 50 feet. Other sites are well over 100 feet apart already;
- Our Maine governor just mandated people need to avoid forming groups of more than ten people. So, at Fiddlehead, large groups that are used to coming as one group can still reserve under one name, but we will now reserve you as multiple smaller groups of no more than 10 per site. If this restriction continues into the summer, once on the campground, you will be asked to congregate in groups of no more than 10 and maintain good distances between yourselves. Adjacent sites may be booked by these multiple smaller groups, so you can generally camp in the same area with your friends and still be safe.
- Encourage campers to use some of the more remote sites;
- Provide more site options in the less crowded areas;
- Perhaps provide a water shuttle to our 3rd Beach across the river to provide more beach camping opportunities;
- Continue the music on key week-ends, but aim the speakers up and down the beach and discourage gathering in front of the DJ. You can “dance-in-place” at your own sites;
- Encourage using more small tents and fewer large-capacity tents;
- Remind campers to maintain “social distance” with each other.
- Disinfect as much as possible:
- Provide hand sanitizers at the privies, store and bathrooms;
- Have staff frequently wipe down the privies, store surfaces, bathrooms, float tubes, shuttle vans, etc. with disinfectant.
- Provide personal protection:
- Have disinfecting wipes and bottles at the store for use at your site;
- Have face masks (if available) and Kleenex Anti-Viral tissues at the store, should you develop a cough.
Overall, I believe we can provide a camping experience at Fiddlehead that is at least as safe as staying home. Here’s to a healthy summer!