Minor Corona Effects Here

Hello and welcome to the blog!  First, my heart goes out to those affected by the Coronavirus.  It sounds like the most populous areas are the heaviest hit.  In rural Iowa we’re in pretty good shape – we have about 1/100th of the population density of the larger cities.  There are no Coronavirus cases in Jones County… but there have been some changes to day-to-day life.


Having a steak sandwich outside the Hale Tap Supper Club… while watching a rerun of the 6 Million Dollar Man. Fun stuff!


On Friday Iowa Governor Reynolds gave an order to close all non-essential businesses (i.e. nail parlors, hair salons, book stores, clothing stores, etc.)  Restaurants are restricted to carry-out or drive-thru service only.  The local library, courthouse, community center, churches, etc. are empty.  Grocery stores, discount stores, etc. are all still open.  Anamosa is like a ghost town… with the exception of a few stores.

During all this, Facebook has been somewhat annoying.  Local friends are circulating the same media releases over and over.  Many “stay at home” rant messages are being forwarded by the very customers I see out and about every day!  (I can’t blame them for that!)  But with all the information being distributed from all directions, I recommend the “30 day snooze” option on Facebook.  The Android “do-not-disturb” option is also a good way to keep people from bombarding your Messenger with panicky videos or chain messages.


The $hit Pit is closed for a bit!


It looks like camping is going to be a little trickier right now.  Though the Iowa state campgrounds are still at the $11 winter rate, all pit toilets are closed as well as the modern facilities.  To camp, a person must now use a self-contained means of going to the bathroom.  It doesn’t bother me with the van – I can carry the Luggable Loo plastic toilet seat and use a bucket… as well as a cat litter jug for #1.  If out fishing and there’s no toidy… well, we know about the Charmin Bears and what bears do in the woods….  🙂



As far as panic buying, I’m not a hoarder but year ’round try to keep a reasonable amount of supplies stocked at the home base.  Some of the young people I know are freaking out because they don’t have tissue or food on hand.  Some joke about the zombie apocalypse and how people are just going to have to rob each other.  Frankly, that worries me a bit.  For that reason, until emotions calm a bit and the economy recovers some, the van and I are going to be home every night.  There are still plans to do some local day fishing and picnics at scenic places… but I feel the best burglary deterrent is a locked vehicle in the driveway.


Keeping a task list is a great way to keep from getting bored!


So much for the doom and gloom!  I’m blessed to still have a job.  Our store hours have been cut and I’ll have plenty of time off this week.  Heck, it’s a great time for spring cleaning!  The plan is to rent a small dumpster and clean out the storage shed and get rid of some things around home.  In fact, for fun I made up a list of tasks and the approximate times it takes to do them.  We do that at work – giving people “five minute” (usually longer than that) cleaning jobs.  Staying busy is also good medicine for the mind.



One last thought about something that might help during this stressful period.  Over the many years of living with anxiety and depression issues,  cognitive behavioral therapy has helped me deal with stressful times.  It’s almost like “Vulcan logic”… Even now cognitive therapy helps with the “what if …” thinking that many of us are experiencing.  This book changed my life in 1994 and I felt compelled to share this.


Spring is here… I thought it seemed like things were getting a little rough while working on this post outside!  No sirens… LOL


That’s about all that’s new right now.  I hope the many camping friends stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks.  Take care and thanks for visiting!  Watch for some cool fishing pictures coming soon!

Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

6 Responses to Minor Corona Effects Here

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    Hi Brad,

    There is way to much information out there and so much of it is wrong. But yes we are in for a long haul with this nasty virus. We have lots of cases here. I have been self isolated now for going on to 3 weeks. I have plenty of food but for odds and ends Walmart has started to deliver for 9.95. I will gladly pay. My daughter dropped off TP and weed spray tonight as for some reason Walmart still hasn’t had any. I am staying very busy around the house packing up more unused items in closets and cabinets. Have been cleaning up the porch a littel each day so I can sit out there.
    AND I started crocheting again. I wear a spandex fingerless glove and it seems to be working out pretty good. I ordered the yarn from Amazon and a set of ergo hooks. I had a few but of course not the one I needed.

    Of course perfect camping weather is coming up this week but camp grounds are all closed. Do you think it not meant for me to ever go again? LOL
    You take care and stay safe

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! Good for you on the crocheting! I am still doing it to relax for an hour or so at night. It’s therapeutic. Walmart is busy here. We’re still behind the curve of infections. 25 miles away, Cedar Rapids has the highest infection rate in Iowa. 21 of them are in a nursing home. I’m hoping to wait it out till the flu season dies out before long.

      My porch needs tidying, too! I plan that for Wednesday. It’s really fun to sit outside and play on the PC… Well, except during that tornado warning the other night!

      Glad to hear you are getting the Walmart items needed. I have a couple of cases of toilet paper and plenty of paper towels. No worries! My friend shot some pheasant birds the other day and I had them with noodles. Yummy stuff! Most of us in customer service are HOPING for a shutdown for a few weeks. I’m worn out and customers are getting grouchy… but it’s an opportunity to give good service and show kindness.

      Take care Jo! Stay safe! — VT

  2. Onevikinggirl says:

    Yay, your website is back up! I knew you’d be ok and prepared. It must be even more quiet now. Even Amsterdam is empty through ‘intelligent lockdown’ (I call it ‘only fools outside’). Stay safe, stay smart!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi and thanks for the note. I understand about the lockdown thing. Just a county to the west things are a mess. Where I’m at we’re in good shape and once the weather gets better I hope to be out there camping and fishing. Take care!

  3. my_vantasy says:

    Getting really bored with Stay at Home Order in Ohio. Haven’t worked since the first week in March. The Little Dog and I are going to play War (the card game) tonight. Wish me luck. She’s never played before, but she looks like a card shark. LOL. Keep healthy and safe. And Happy Easter Sunday this weekend. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Yes, He is risen! So few people around this area don’t understand why I’m not worried about dying… (I’ve come close a couple times in the last few years and ya can’t really do much if it’s going to happen!) It sounds like The Little Dog and you are having plenty of time together. So sorry you haven’t been able to work. Happy Easter! I’ll have to be at home (crappy weather coming) but plan to cook up something good and watch an online Easter service. Take care!