Is it Essential to Use My Car During a Pandemic?
During the Spring of 2020 much of the population of the United States are in shelter in place orders. As such, many of us are severely limiting, or avoiding unnecessary trips to outside our domiciles.
The state of Colorado has been in shelter in place orders since March 26, 2020. At the time of publication, there is no time-table for a reopening of Colorado businesses so one is forced to ask themselves a few different questions. What activities are considered essential? When is it essential to use a car? Can I Drive a Car for Recreational Purposes?
What Is Essential in the State of Colorado?
While locked down there may be serious urges to resist local and state government orders and venture outside. However, it is strongly advisable to avoid anything but essential trips outside.
So what is considered essential in our state?
Per Colorado's tourism website, essential travel is considered as "grocery shopping or health care appointments". If you are in need of a trip to either of these locales, then the trip is considered "essential". Additionally trips to and from the hospital for emergency and personal injuries in Colorado are deemed essential. In the event of a car accident in Colorado, ensure that you exchange information with any other bystanders, but manage your distance, to cover social distancing and legal obligations.
While our state has communicated that these policies will be in effect until April 26, 2020, it is incredibly viable that this policy will extend past this initial order and into May 2020 and beyond.
What are the Penalties of Ignoring Essential Travel Orders?
Ignoring quarantine shelter in place orders can have expensive consequences. In the state of Colorado, violation of quarantine orders can result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Since the shelter in place order was issued, there have been several instances and infractions levied on individuals that have violated these orders. Canon City's police department has reminded it's citizens that a violation can result in $1,000.00 or jail time.
How About Driving for Recreational Purposes?
If you are an auto enthusiast and enjoy driving behind the wheel of a car, there are guidelines preventing you to do so. These guidelines have been implemented to ensure social distancing and limit the exposure and unnecessary travel.
Most examples of road trips are included as non-essential travel. The exception to this being travel to and from your essential place of business. Road trips, in the recreational sense, are generally trips of leisure and thus not included under the umbrella of "essential".
If a road trip had been planned for any sort of vacation, it is best to postpone this trip until the late Summer or possibly push this event to a future date. It is imperative that all of us follow the guidelines presented by our local, state and health entities.
For some driving a vehicle can provide enjoyment and release of endorphins in your brain that provide pleasure. Unfortunately, for many, driving for any reason outside of essential activities, including recreational purposes, needs to be paused for an indefinite period of time.
Colorodans by nature generally enjoy recreation and outdoor activities. However, it is essential to the interests of our state that we follow these guidelines to limit our exposure to others, the outdoors and the road. As difficult as this may be short term, social distancing is appearing to help flatten the curve.
Driving a vehicle may be a recreational activity for many, and some those that are auto enthusiasts will . Although we need to limit the size of groups and travel, we can still enjoy driving our cars to essential outlets like the grocery store and pharmacy.