How is storm chasing during Covid-19?

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Aug 27, 2009
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Today would have been my first day of chasing but as I had to fly from Sweden it was impossible for me to chase this year. I am curious though, how has chasing been during the first part of the season in terms of Covid-19, restrictions etc? Is it pretty much business as usual but without handshakes. Are there any hard restrictions to what you can do (states you cannot enter etc), or limitations on services offered in the Midwest (restaurants, hotels etc). In other words, how is chasing limited by Covid-19 at this moment?
 
Aug 27, 2009
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Sure, but it is 33 pages long and considers every aspect of Covid-19 and everyone's personal experience in dealing with it. My main question (which, I guess could be asked in that monster thread) is if there are any actual restrictions in chasing this season, or if it is pretty much the same but with personal precautions?
 
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Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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He’s asking because he’s from Sweden and is trying to obtain real-time information. I think Warren nailed it. Just wear a mask (N95 if possible) and medical type gloves when out of your car in towns, cities, gas stations, or in stores. A lot of services like restaurants do curbside pickup or delivery as well. Be aware of social distancing and you’ll be golden. We haven’t heard of any lawful restrictions but the season is young, the virus has plateaued, and we’re figuring things out on the fly. Are you planning a later trip to the Alley this year? I talked to Marko Korosek and he said he wouldn’t be coming quite yet this year from Slovenia. Sounded like he couldn’t get approval to travel or fly here just yet.
 
Jan 16, 2009
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The only hotel issues I have found was in Arkansas where they had large signs on 49 and 44 highways saying NO RECREATIONAL OUT OF STATE HOTEL STAYS ALLOWED. I think that has since been lifted however.

If you go into a gas station they now make your coffee or hand you the food. I do not mess with any of that however as I bring my own food and beverages.

I have chased in eight states so far this year and everything else it is pretty much the same other than people wearing masks and gloves.
 
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Aug 27, 2009
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Thanks for the feedback. I am quite surprised there isn't much that is different. I would imagine staying at hotels might feel very uncomfortable but it would take a whole lot for the hotels to shut down completely as well. In the beginning I heard about states having some sort of laws in place that restricted traveling but I must have misunderstood that. Anyway, I am glad you guys can chase without restrictions!

Unfortunately, I am not chasing this season. I was supposed to have been in the US this very week but as you are probably aware of, almost all Europeans are restricted from entering the US at the moment. I was just curious. Following the storm chasing season of 2020 from the sidelines is very tough, it is like being on the curbside outside a party and asking everyone coming out of the party what's going on inside.

@MarkBlue: Thanks! I have put a whole lot of effort into it so I am glad it shows.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
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Christoffer, there were and still are states that restricted travel, you did not misunderstand that. But there were a lot of nuances. If you are interested you can read through the other thread on storm chasing and Covid-19. Anyway, most of the Plains states that had restrictions have since lifted them.

I had posted a similar question to yours in the other thread. As I consider myself whether to chase, I was wondering what some of the logistical considerations might be - i.e., whether hotels are open, do they still have the lobby coffee or breakfast, are restaurants open or just for takeout, do they have reduced hours, etc.

For me chasing is not just about the chasing itself, it is also a vacation. I have some favorite restaurants, enjoy spending time checking out bars and music venues in cities such as Wichita or OKC during down periods, etc. Chasing just would not be as much fun for me if I couldn’t do some of those things, especially during down periods. It’s hard enough getting a decent meal in some of these towns after a certain time as it is, I can imagine it will be even harder if restaurants are closing early because of reduced demand and to allow more time for cleaning and disinfecting. They will have reduced capacity because they have to keep the tables further apart, and that could make it hard to get a seat on those nights when the one Applebee’s open in town is flooded with every chaser that was in the area.

Where I live in southeast Pennsylvania, we are still under lockdown so restaurants are not open yet except for takeout. I hate even going to the grocery store, with everyone wearing masks and the way traffic and queuing are controlled in the store, it’s like being in some dystopian science fiction film. I don’t know how it will feel going into restaurants when they reopen, but I would rather get used to the “new normal” close to home than out there in the middle of nowhere.

I haven’t made a final decision yet, and it’s actually my work situation that is going to be the real determinant. If I had complete work freedom, I’m honestly not sure what I would do, but I may not even have the opportunity to make my own decision. I’ll know for sure what I’m doing in the next 7-10 days.

I love your analogy about standing outside a house where there is a party, and asking people as they come out, how is it inside? I share your feelings on how tough it is. I always tell myself it would be less torture to not even watch what’s going on, to not stand at the curbside and talk to the people coming out of the party, but it’s hard to do isn’t it? Sometimes I do it just in the hope I will find out it sucks anyway 😏
 
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James K

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Mar 26, 2019
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JamesCaruso said:
Where I live in southeast Pennsylvania, we are still under lockdown so restaurants are not open yet except for takeout. I hate even going to the grocery store, with everyone wearing masks and the way traffic and queuing are controlled in the store, it’s like being in some dystopian science fiction film.
They've loosened some of the restrictions here in Colorado, but what you describe above is still very similar.
Restaurants are delivery/take-out only. Bars/clubs/music-venues/etc all remain closed. And yes, going to the store, ug, I'm keeping that to a minimum...not just to stay away from people, but because of how it is.
 
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Aug 27, 2009
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Thanks for all the responses, maybe we should cut the discussion here and continue in the Covid-19 thread further on, with one last reply:

JamesCaruso: It is very difficult. I have hardly gotten involved at all this season knowing that I would likely not be able to chase and I was nervous about this week as it was my supposed chase week and last week I muted all follows on storm chasing pages/groups on Facebook. Somewhere around this weekend, it just changed though, and I actually found myself feeling a bit of joy following my chase week at a distance. I guess it had to do with this week looking like a total bust to begin with (which was a huge relief) but even now when it seems a lot better I can actually (a bit to my surprise) follow it closely and find joy in that. I would be fine missing out on a tornado or two but missing out on a spectacular/historical event would be very difficult. When some people started talking about Wednesday/Thursday in terms of the DDC week of 2016, I get quite anxious to be honest.
 
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