Daily Archives: March 26, 2020

“Look to your backyard and recreate there”

The Washington Post: Thousands are crowding into free national parks. And workers are terrified of coronavirus.. “A park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park had 600 close contacts with visitors in a single day, greatly increasing his exposure to infection, according to a staff member at the attraction.”

“Two days before he cursed a supervisor and quit the National Park Service job he loved, Dustin Stone arrived to work in a foul mood. A decision by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to keep national park sites open despite the coronavirus outbreak left him angry and in disbelief.
The virus hasn’t reached Skagway, a tiny town on the Alaskan panhandle where Stone lives and worked at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. But if it does, he said, it could be a disaster. “I’ve lived here year-round through eight flu seasons, and I’ve seen how quickly an infection can spread,” he said. “When one of us gets sick, most of us get sick.” There’s no full-time doctor and no hospital in Skagway. A single community health clinic has a registered nurse and assistants.
[…]
“This is a political game being played with people’s lives by leadership at the highest levels of the Department of Interior, and, I believe, the White House,” Stone said. “President Trump is the one who announced the fee waiver. I don’t think he knows what a national park is. I would be so surprised if Donald Trump ever set foot in a national park.””