But Where Will You Pee?

but where will you pee

Just How Far From Home Can I Go?

The sun is out; the weather is getting warmer. It’s springtime in Michigan and even under normal circumstances, we’d be antsy to get outside and get moving.

But, heading out to the lake for a walk on the beach isn’t an easy call anymore, in this world of coronavirus.

Governor Whitmer’s Stay at Home Order suspended activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and for those that do leave home under the exception:

7. Exceptions

a. Individuals may leave their home or place of residence, and travel as necessary:

1. To engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.

…but we’re to do it responsibly.

Plus, the Michigan State Police have said it’s not okay to just take a drive.

We Want to Walk the Beach. Is that Okay?

Last night, on a Zoom call with friends, we talked about which close-to-home hiking trails our family had visited during the shutdown – how crowded were they? Were people on the trails staying apart from each other?

Someone mentioned wanting to go to a beach about an hour or two away and it started a great discussion. What would be the harm in driving a couple of hours away? We’re in our own car, we’re going to hike along when we get there, we won’t touch anything and then we’ll drive right home – so it’s covered under the exception, right? Plus, this is for mental health.

That’s where the pee test came into the convo.

The whole point of the stay at home order is to stop the spread of COVID-19. The virus is invisible and you can’t tell who’s infected because many people are asymptomatic even when positive. It’s been suggested that we all assume we’re positive — even if we feel fine — and we don’t want to spread the infection any further.

What does that have to do with driving two hours to a beach?

Well, even if you pack a lunch, fuel up at home and don’t stop anywhere other than your destination, you’re still human and your transportation is still fallible.

What happens when someone in your car has to use the restroom?

Many of the rest stops are closed. Fastfood restaurants, if open at all, are drive-through only. The restrooms at parks and beaches are closed. That leaves the restrooms at gas stations and supermarkets as your option and those are places we’re all trying to limit our trips to and minimize the transmission of germs to other communities.

And what happens if you have car trouble, get in a car accident, or otherwise have a motoring emergency?

That incident will require help from emergency personnel that could otherwise be dispatched to help someone else. Additionally, that’s another human-to-human interaction that we were trying to avoid.

but where will you pee 1

Let the Bladders in Your Family Make the Call

Decide how far you can drive based on how long your family can go without needing a public restroom. For us, that means our whole trip needs to last, at most, a few hours. I’m not comfortable driving two hours away for recreation right now.

Keeping our outdoor recreation within a loose 15-minute radius of our house seems to be where we’ve personally drawn the line.

As much as I want to see Lake Michigan right now, it’s a good 50 minutes from my house. I think I could pull it off alone, but I don’t trust the bladders of my kids to make it there and back with time to spend on the beach without needing to pee.

This is one way our family is doing our part to flatten the curve. How about you?

COVID-19 Resources – Table of Contents

Where to Buy Masks, Locally
Where to Buy Local Beef, Produce, Milk
Supporting Your Child
Bringing Groceries Into Your Home
Grocery Shopping Hours
GR Coronavirus Resources Page
Pregnancy During COVID Q&A
How Far Should You Drive?
Remote Learning Tips
COVID-19 Time Capsule
Kid Birthdays During the Shutdown
250+ Boredom Busters
At-Home Date Night Ideas
Michigan Armchair Travel Guide
Neighborhood Ideas

2 thoughts on “But Where Will You Pee?”

  1. Pingback: Ann Arbor Walks without Playgrounds | Ann Arbor with Kids

  2. Elizabeth Rudd

    Fun little tidbit – we keep one of the little potties with a lid that closes in our van. (I keep disposable diapers in the van to clean out the potty after it’s been used.) We put it in there when we started potty training our oldest so he could go as soon as he made the announcement. Even though he’s 8 now, we always ensure it’s in the van for roadside emergencies. To be fair, 8 is my oldest and my youngest is 3 so they can still all fit on the potty if they need it.

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