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Snowbirds: Are you staying or going?

Are you staying put or heading back north? Now? Later? Driving? Flying? Sheltering in place?

Comments (98)

  • 3katz4me

    I think it's safe to say that just about everyone right now - have, have not or have not enough - is deeply concerned for their safety and well being and will do what they think best to preserve it. Self preservation - it's human instinct. I don't think self preservation has ever been (or ever will be) a fair and equitable proposition.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    Agreed. (ETA; Agreed, Running. I was replying to you when The Kat slid in before my post hit)

    Quick question; are Florida's hotels closed? Because in looking through our state's very long list of "essential businesses," under the category "infrastructure," I noted that our state listed "hotels." I had to think about it, but I suppose many of us think of hotels and think about vacations primarily, or even business travel, but hotels also include, alas, welfare hotels ... and hotels may be needed if groups of workers need to relocate (healthcare or pharma or whatever). It's just interesting to look at how each state defines things,

    PS Agree with you too, Katz. That is why, in normal times, leaders should appeal to our better angels to create a civilization that is, in fact, civilized. I'm wondering how border towns are going to handle allocating ventilators to undocumented workers, for example. I shudder to think.

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  • Kswl 2

    If we owned a second home in Montana or Wyoming we would definitely be on our way there now but would have no illusions we’d be greeted with open arms by the natives. Discussions like these may be foreshadowing real life situations playing out over the next few months. I would be making as many provisions for personal security as for food security. The only thing I fear more than an unseen virus is an angry mob.

  • ngcurt

    I’ve kept quiet for a couple of days. In no way shape or form am I suggesting that “natives” would not love to have you there. We wish you could be, you drive our economy for sure. In some situations it’s not the best decision if you care about your fellow man. Stay home, wherever you are. You can be safe where you are unless you’ve already been exposed. If you choose to go, self isolate until the experts tell you it is safe to go out...and that includes grocery stores, where no matter what you do, it’s almost impossible to stay six feet apart. All the capitalist concerns, none of which am I discounting, will have to be dealt with later. But just because Lowe’s is open for essential services doesn’t mean you should go there to order new garage doors, which someone we know in a high incidence state recently did.

  • nekotish

    This post is scaring me. We only have a primary residence, and we are on acreage, so feel safe and are able to enjoy the outdoors. The subject of traveling from your primary residence brings up a lot of issues. If you are comfortable and provided for in your primary residence, please stay there. Just because you pay taxes and "have the right" to inhabit your vacation home does not negate the fact, that moving from place to place can spread the virus. Even if your state or province has not yet evoked "shelter in place", think about it, look to Italy, it is the sensible thing to do. We need to start thinking globally. Please.

  • jmm1837

    I live in Australia, but we do have snowbirds of a sort - people who live in the big city an hour away, but who have second homes where we are. Ours is an attractive area, and has always been a tourist destination, but also has a substantial resident population of around 170,000 spread along a stretch of coast. Inland is rural - farms, wineries, horse paddocks while the coast is a stretch of adjoining towns.

    To our surprise and dismay, we have just become a hotspot for Covid 19. The source? Some of our own Aussie snowbirds, who went on skiing holidays in Aspen, picked up the virus, were told to self isolate at home on their return but came down here and, in some cases, flouted self isolation instructions. So, the local population, many of them elderly, are now facing a heightened risk because of the mindless behaviour of people unconcerned about contributing, quite substantially it would seem, to the geographic spread of the virus.

    Anyone who at serious risk of having been exposed to the disease should be fighting it out where they are, not spreading it further. That is socially responsible behaviour.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    I don't think you should be scared, at least on account of this group.


    It's a long thread and I could have missed it but I don't think anyone here is planning on decamping from a hotbed. It's really a theoretical discussion, impassioned though we may be about it.


    By the way, to be clear, people do not "have the right" to do anything that is contrary to health dept edicts, we all agree on that.



  • Feathers11

    Jmm1837, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. The situation you describe is similar to what Runninginplace described above about the family who lived in NJ, worked in NYC, had a daughter come back from Spain... and traveled down to Florida to shelter there. Based on these details alone, they'ved blatantly violated CDC quarantine guidelines for overseas travelers--unless the daughter flew right into Florida and went directly to their second home.

    Perhaps the family, like others, believes it's doing what's best for themselves. But actions like that without considering public health and the greater good have far-reaching results.

    Because a few dismiss guidelines and believe they're the exceptions to the rules, we will be forced to have stricter rules in place with much stricter consequences in our future.

  • lynartist

    It’s impossible to expect that 330 million people will act responsibly and adhere to the regulations set forth. When fear takes over a good segment of the population will overreact; they are the ones sitting at home surrounded by tp and paper towels waiting for the world to end. We can only control our own actions. We are quite comfortable here in Fla; the weather is just beautiful and as long as we keep a safe distance we wave to the neighbors walking by. There are not too many cases in our city as yet but I’m sure that could change quickly. Everyone seems pretty calm and most people are just staying in. Wouldn’t even think of going to our vacation home in RI( yikes it’s March!) I remember March in RI😂‼️

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    JMM, Question ... what if you went on a ski holiday and fell ill? Would it be ok for you to come home?


    (PS as always agree that no one should violate health dept edicts)

  • Feathers11

    Mtn, not to butt in or answer for another, but I didn't interpret Jmm's explanation of what occurred as a statement of belief that people shouldn't be allowed to come home from holiday. I took it as, they should come home and follow the self-isolation guidelines. Not arrive at one home, pack up and leave, and travel to a second home. The act of traveling between homes violates the quarantine guidelines.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    No, I didn't either. It's a separate question, of the "slippery slope" variety.

  • jmm1837

    I think that, if I were diagnosed with the virus away from home, I'd do a Tom Hanks and rely on local hospitals/self isolation until I was cleared.

  • jmm1837

    Sorry, I should probably apologize for my vehemence, but the way so many people are taking this situation so casually with not a thought of the real consequences to others is getting my goat. When did we become so uncaring?

  • arcy_gw

    Just remember these discussions are EXACTLY why China bolted people inside their homes!! We in the colder climates live this same sort of selfish decisions every-time there is a blizzard warning. Everyone decided they are free to interpret the request to HUNKER DOWN in their own way..and in the end ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS some rescue worker has to put their life on the line to fix what should never have been broken. That is the #1 lesson I hope we learn about each other. WE have become a nation of selfish DO WHAT I WANT ALL THE TIME people. It's not working for us!!!

  • lynartist

    Hmmm... bolting people in their homes is not what we as a country are about😓

  • btydrvn

    Not having read other opinions we are in palms springs for the winter ..our home is in a northern california location that can be reached in one days long drive.....we have elected to stay in place an extra month ..as our home is rural...and access to everything is less convenient than where we are...plus any unforeseen complications on the return trip are worth avoiding ....

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/world/europe/rich-coronavirus-second-homes.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


    Not to poke a sleeping dog, but when i saw this article, I had to post it here to round out our discussion. The same the world over. Except they manage to make Parisians sound even worse than New Yorkers.

  • gsciencechick

    My brother and SIL drove back to western NY from Ft. Myers this week. They should arrive home today. They left Tuesday, drove to Savannah (where they said they were able to go out to dinner--YIKES), then WV, then arrival today. My brother has Parkinson's and my SIL has back issues. He just turned 73. I talked to him over the weekend and they said they pretty much couldn't go anywhere in Florida other than the supermarket, but at least it was warmer there.


    Well, that's where we're at. I really question that they should be driving that long in the first place, but nothing I can do about it.

  • lynartist

    Fla has been issued a stay at home order but honestly we have been doing it for a couple of weeks anyway! I’m on the west coast of Fla and everything has been closed for the last couple of weeks except grocery stores and a few other things. But it’s very quiet here. I took a ride over the weekend and the downtown area was a ghost town! The SAHO is a formality I guess; there are always those who don’t heed it but then again I don’t suppose they will now either!

  • eld6161

    We are staying here in our Florida home and Collier and Lee county announced the lockdown last night.

    But, similar to lynartist, we also limited our activities weeks ago.



  • jmm1837

    The police here in Australia are starting to hand out some fairly hefty fines to people glouting lockdown orders. We're allowed to go out to get groceries and medication, to go yo work, and to exercise (alone) but that's about it. People who've returned home from abroad and are supposed to be in self isolation at home are being chcked up on, and if not home, are getting substantial fines. And most of the state borders are now closed.

  • lynartist

    Other Gov of RI has been very strict about who can come in. We have a summer home there. So do a lot of NYers! They are being met at the border by the state police and given orders that they must stay in place for 14 days or else pay a hefty fine and serve jail time. The beach town we live in is the first town over the border from Conn. the SP and nation guard are going door to door checking out of state license plates and making sure people comply.

  • lynartist

    There is a lot being said about Fla but I don’t think people realize how large it is! There are 22 million people here! We have counties that are as big as some NE states! , that have no virus. Mass. Has almost as many cases as we do and is much smaller by comparison!

  • maddielee

    I’m in Hillsborough County FL... the governor’s order doesn’t go into effect until midnight tonight. We’ve been home for weeks,( I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m just fine!!! ).


    Many stores, including antique malls and consignment shops, here have remained opened, I am receiving notices today that they will be closing, per the governor’s SAH order, today at the end of business. And that is one more reason the state should have been locked down weeks ago. And so should the whole country.

  • lynartist

    There are 100 cases in the county we are in but look how many in RI! It does give a perspective! I think I will stay put for awhile although things can change quickly 😓

  • lynartist

    We have been home for two weeks now. The supermarkets in Sarasota open early for seniors and people who are compromised. I left my home at 7am for the first time in 2 weeks and bought enough to shelter in place for at least another 2 weeks! I’m not going back out and neither is hubby!

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    Last year when DD totalled the car (going 25 mph) we bought a new car in Maine, which was where we were at the time. We got Maine plates because it was easier and we do plan to move in the next year or two and make it our primary residence. We already had a convertible we keep there w Maine plates. We have 5 cars, and now 2 w Maine plates. Seems so odd to me that that might become important!


    BTW I noticed that North Haven in Maine tried to pass a law forbidding second homeowners from coming to their homes. 3 days later they walked it back.


    Not sure, but I think if the gov/t didn't let you use your house, they would have to pay you. Like when they took over homes to house troops. Interesting legal analysis.


    I think making people q for 2 weeks is totally reasonable, isn't everyone SAH anyway?


  • lynartist

    Everything here has been closed for weeks now, parks, beaches, schools, restaurants etc. I was surprised to even see the park downtown all fenced off! The boat ramps are closed too. I guess each county is a bit different.

  • jmm1837

    Here in Aus, we're all being told to stay at home as much as possible, but those who've been ordered to self isolate because of recent travel or contact with positive cases are required to stay in their homes and not go out at all. There are thousands locked up in hotels in Sydney, not allowed out of their rooms, while they go through the wait.

  • jay06

    In regard to posters defending a trip to their second home, or to their primary home if they're already at their second home--If you are in a state with a Stay-At-Home order, then you stay at home. Whichever home that is. You stay there. You don't leave it.

  • lynartist

    I can’t imagine risking it! I guess fear makes people do irrational things!

  • tigereye

    If you can drive without stopping and take what you need with you, I fail to see the difference. We don't have a second home as such, but we do have a camper on a permanent lot. It is 35 minutes from our home. We never see anyone. We can launch the boat and fish without being around anyone at all. We, in normal times, usually never shopped at the stores there, I would, for sure, not go out now, I would not want to be around anyone else.

    ETA: I am sure that the pool will not be open this year and I would not use it if it was.

  • chispa

    lynartist, I had a neighbor here in CA start to badmouth FL, because she heard from a friend that the friend's parents were out and about. I told her she shouldn't make assumptions about a whole state, and that my family and people I know in 3 different areas of FL, have all been practicing stay-at-home for as long as we have here in CA.

  • lynartist

    I think most people assume Fla is all beaches and tourists! But there are large parts that are not! I haven’t read the SAHO yet but wonder how it effects the very large agricultural areas and ranches! This is a huge cattle producing state! I hardly think these people will be staying home!

  • lynartist

    If you go ten or fifteen miles east of here you are out in the middle of agriculture area! People live on acreage!

  • runninginplace

    It's SUPER quiet here in the Florida Keys. Now that we've got the checkpoint only residents (yes MTN that includes second home owners ;) , supply trucks and workers are allowed in.


    And 2,500 people were turned away in the first three days, so I'm very happy about that! Considering that all hotels, restaurants and bars are closed and there are no state parks open, no charters operating...clearly far too many bored day trippers were still determined to have their party day in the Keys. Don't miss ya right now folks


    In typical Margaritaville style the only congregating problems have been boaters on sand bars. Now the sheriff is using marine patrol boats to shut that down too.



  • maddielee

    “But there are large parts that are not! I haven’t read the SAHO yet but wonder how it effects the very large agricultural areas and ranches! This is a huge cattle producing state! I hardly think these people will be staying home.”

    It means for the whole state. Farmers are essential.

  • btydrvn

    Staying in place (with neighbors in populated areas) is not the same on a farm...of course they will carry on with farming...and that type of lifestyle is usually well-stocked for stay at home....shopping as infrequently as every two weeks is a way of life

  • lynartist

    The huge and well known farmers market that we have in Sarasota that gave an outlet to all the wonderful local growers and organic farmers in the area was a traditional meeting place here! It’s a terrible loss to the community and the farmers. Sigh😢 like so many things that may take years to recover if ever!!!

  • jmm1837

    We have some pretty tough rules in place here in Aus (at least in my state) but it doesn't affect legitimate and necessary work, which farming obviously is. It does affect sitting on park benches eating a burger, though. And someone got fined yesterday for not having a valid reason to be out and about (he was going to see his drug dealer).

  • jmm1837

    lynartist - I'm wondering how this situation will affect local farmers in my area too. We have a weekly market running down Main Street here, but it's been shut down for the duration. I'm hoping the big supermarket chains will pick up at least some of the slack, because the restaurants sure cannot. Some of the vendors were handing out cards with contact details to customers before it closed down, but that will be a trickle of normal trade.

  • Lisa SW

    In Illinois, agriculture is an essential business that must continue to feed the nation. As sad as I am about which of my favorite restaurants won’t return, I’m more worried about their suppliers who feed us all.

  • jmm1837

    On the positive side (sort of), we live in a wine producing area. Many of the local wineries rely on cellar door sales and sales to local restaurants, both of which are no longer options, so they're now getting into on-line orders and delivery. Some good deals out there. I absolutely feel it's my responsibility to help them in their time of need. ;-)

  • Kathi Steele

    following


  • gail618

    In New York, companies that usually supply meat and produce to some of the city's best restaurants are now accepting and delivering orders to the public. I just ordered a pork roast, a whole chicken and a hanger steak to be delivered in a few days by Piccinini Bros. and the prices were really reasonable. This seems to be working well for these suppliers, another one is mostly sold out. I also placed an order with Misfit Market for produce to be delivered on Monday and every two weeks thereafter. I've never used them before, I'm curious to see how it works out. So I should be set for a while with these two options. I have plenty of rice and beans!

  • chispa

    In the LA area they just instituted rules for the farmers markets, just like for supermarkets and restaurants, so many should be able to continue selling their produce. One article I read, said that only thing that had been grown (veg, fruit) could be sold and not a food item someone had prepared. I didn't check the details as I had no plans to go to our local farmers market at the moment.

  • gsciencechick

    Brother and SIL are home!


    I left the house today to pick up my farmers market order from the dropoff location. I used to pick it up at school, but they can't use that location since we're closed. So, I got my favorite lettuces and some meats.

  • lynartist

    The many farmers markets that we had here have been shut done for several weeks now. The Saturday market downtown was a huge one that attracted thousands every week! I’m not sure these vendors will be finding an outlet for that much volume so easily! We just got through strawberry season here; a huge fruit crop that also comes with a big festival!

  • lynartist

    gsciencechick, glad to here your brother and SIL made home ok! Let’s hope they didn’t pick up anything along the way😒

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