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Has Anyone Considered Disabling Caches Until the Virus Threat is Past


shellbadger
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23 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

Disabled caches can be logged , if they should be logged is something that, as a finder, you need to decide for yourself.

 

Regardless of "disabling", it might be good to add some information to a cache page.  I went on a cache maintenance run yesterday, and found the park has caution tape around the picnic areas and the playgrounds, and the restrooms are "closed until further notice".  At the very least, that's a consideration for cachers, when the Official Parks and Recreation web site specifically says the park is open, and failed to say what conveniences are not open.  I'm planning to address that on my caches.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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The only cache I have disabled is at my sister's house.  She said she was going to put the ammo can in the garage until things clear up.  She called me and said she was uncomfortable now that people that might be a silent carrier would be coming on her land.  I put in my log there is NOTHING wrong with the cache and it would it return.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

 That video is controversial, specifically about leaving groceries outside.

Depends upon the groceries.  Like the original cache, cans of beans can be left in the garage for a couple of days with no harm, saving some of the hassle of cleaning.

Clearly some items must be brought in immediately since they must be cleaned and refrigerated.  Still  getting a lot of conflicting information about how long this stuff lives on various surface types, however.

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Conflicted about this. On the one hand, I don't want a great hobby taken away.

 

But, most of the time any caches found should be in any exercise allowed in our respective countries and for most people that means any local caches would be quickly exhausted or, in 90%+ cases, have been already. I'm strongly against driving to "exercise" - basic science shows we should be avoiding making any unnecessary journeys at this time.

 

 

Even if geocaching isn't disabled in countries on lockdown it's clear things like "new cache notification" emails should be disabled. There is no way there should be any FTF races at the moment tacitly encouraged by Groundspeak.

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2 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

Conflicted about this. On the one hand, I don't want a great hobby taken away.

 

But, most of the time any caches found should be in any exercise allowed in our respective countries and for most people that means any local caches would be quickly exhausted or, in 90%+ cases, have been already. I'm strongly against driving to "exercise" - basic science shows we should be avoiding making any unnecessary journeys at this time.

Basic science?  Citation?  All depends upon any interaction that could occur at the destination.  In my own case (tomorrow) there isn't going to be any.  It won't be an 'urban' caching run.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Most exist on a couple of infrequently used trails.

Moving from one isolated location to a handful of other isolated locations and return by vehicle provides no additional risk that I can imagine.  Won't even need to be stopping for petrol, though we do have the right PPE for that as well, if need be.

 

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2 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Basic science?  Citation?  All depends upon any interaction that could occur at the destination. 

In my own case (tomorrow) there isn't going to be any.  It won't be an 'urban' caching run.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Most exist on a couple of infrequently used trails.

Moving from one isolated location to a handful of other isolated locations and return by vehicle provides no additional risk that I can imagine.  Won't even need to be stopping for petrol, though we do have the right PPE for that as well, if need be.

Yep.

Us rural folks need vehicles to get to stores, pharmacies, and the doctor.  

My walks in the park are done to/from one of those destinations.  If we didn't hit most already, I'd have a couple finds.

 - Odd that someone thinks there's something wrong with that...

I remember years ago an ex-VP kept telling others about "basic science", traveling to each conference in his private jet.  :)

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3 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

The problem with disabling caches is that finders will concentrate to remaining caches meaning higher risk of contamination.

Yep, I was just about to post pretty much the same thing. Unless all caching is disabled, people are just going to drive further away for active caches.

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8 minutes ago, papu66 said:

Yep, I was just about to post pretty much the same thing. Unless all caching is disabled, people are just going to drive further away for active caches.


I’d like to think that seeing so many disabled caches might actually make someone think twice about just how essential their journey - and caching - is.

Edited by IceColdUK
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Here in the UK we're being told not to drive for leisure - as with many things, different regulations in the US.

OS Junior has 2 or 3 unfound caches within 2 miles of home, I can see us walking / cycling to those soon. There's a possible 5-mile circuit from home with about a dozen caches on, along a very quiet stretch of the Thames. We've been told to limit exercise to an hour but I can't see a problem with doing that walk and re-finding (or maintaining - some are mine) the caches along there.

Someone near here stopped their stretch last Monday on 2509 days!

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16 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:


I’d like to think that seeing so many disabled caches might actually make someone think twice about just how essential their journey - and caching - is.

Locally we are not in a lock down yet. The amount of COVID-19 cases has dropped, but that might be the eye of the storm before the return. I'm told that even in a lock down you are often allowed out once a day to exercise, buy food and the like. Many people could walk or cycle to a cache as part of exercise, so shame to disable caches. There are at least a dozen caches in walking/cycling distance to my house, I have been saving to find if there is a lock down. Being disabled won't stop me finding them.

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5 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Locally we are not in a lock down yet. The amount of COVID-19 cases has dropped, but that might be the eye of the storm before the return. I'm told that even in a lock down you are often allowed out once a day to exercise, buy food and the like. Many people could walk or cycle to a cache as part of exercise, so shame to disable caches. There are at least a dozen caches in walking/cycling distance to my house, I have been saving to find if there is a lock down. Being disabled won't stop me finding them.


As you say, conditions vary from country to country, but as I said on another thread:

 

For the moment though, when front-line medical staff, putting their lives on the line, day in day out, are pleading with me to stay at home, I will.  Not just because of the science, but out of respect.

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One point doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far and that's where COs are in enforced isolation (usually 7 or 14 days in UK at present, though can be longer if family gets the virus one after the other) and/or being shielded (currently min 12 weeks with no movement at all outdoors.) 

 

It's difficult to repair and maintain caches under such circumstances.

And it would be inappropriate to ask others to help, given current request from overworked, stressed and highly respected health and social care staff to "Support the NHS, Stay at Home, Save Lives."

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15 minutes ago, Beechtrees said:

One point doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far and that's where COs are in enforced isolation (usually 7 or 14 days in UK at present, though can be longer if family gets the virus one after the other) and/or being shielded (currently min 12 weeks with no movement at all outdoors.) 

 

It's difficult to repair and maintain caches under such circumstances.

And it would be inappropriate to ask others to help, given current request from overworked, stressed and highly respected health and social care staff to "Support the NHS, Stay at Home, Save Lives."

I think that's been brought up, but I'm having trouble locating the discussion. Why can't you leave a note on the cache page, for the reviewer? Just explain the circumstance. I can't image a reviewer not understanding that right now, all over the world, cache maintenance is not able to be done. 

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35 minutes ago, Beechtrees said:

One point doesn't seem to have been mentioned so far and that's where COs are in enforced isolation (usually 7 or 14 days in UK at present, though can be longer if family gets the virus one after the other) and/or being shielded (currently min 12 weeks with no movement at all outdoors.) 

 

It's difficult to repair and maintain caches under such circumstances.

And it would be inappropriate to ask others to help, given current request from overworked, stressed and highly respected health and social care staff to "Support the NHS, Stay at Home, Save Lives."

 

Earlier in this thread, I shared information from Geocaching HQ about maintenance expectations.  What is the point you don't think was mentioned?

 

On 3/26/2020 at 6:52 PM, Keystone said:

I can now confirm two items relating to cache maintenance expectations.

 

First, Geocaching HQ has "turned off" the cache maintenance notification emails that cache owners receive when their geocache falls below the threshold for a good "Cache Health Score." Under present conditions, many CO's may not feel comfortable responding to a notification by going out to check on their cache.  In some areas that may be contrary to governmental orders and restrictions on non-essential travel.

 

Second, Community Volunteer Reviewers will be noticeably more lenient about archiving or disabling caches that have maintenance issues.  The details may vary from one country or region to another, based on local conditions, but the spirit is consistent worldwide.

 

 

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On 3/30/2020 at 11:21 AM, ecanderson said:

Still  getting a lot of conflicting information about how long this stuff lives on various surface types, however.

 

I expect that there are a lot of unknowns, like indoor surfaces vs outdoor; warm vs cold; humid vs dry... and how much it might actually take to pick up on handling, move to your face, to actually get sick. 

 

Per the US National Institutes of Health website, "(SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel."   LINKY

 

QUOTE: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted.  Centers for Disease Control article LINKY

 

 

 

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I saw this on a new cache today. I'm not sure what false bragging rights means.

 

As the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, there are increased directives from government and health authorities highlighting the critical need for social distancing and the importance of staying at home. With respect to this new geocache and other existing geocaches, before you decide to go look for it, please consider whether it is essential that you leave home to do so. And should you choose to search for this cache, then please practice safe geocaching and observe social distancing during this time. This means:

  • Please avoid group hunts. Keep your group size to a minimum and only to those with whom you live.

  • If you observe someone already at a geocache as you approach, please respect them and stay back until they have left the area. Better yet, you leave the area and come back at a different time.

  • To avoid a group arriving at a new geocache at the same time, resist the urge to be First to Find when you see a new geocache being published. The risk of contracting the virus is not worth the false bragging rights associated with being FTF.

  • Resist the mindset of invincibility. Remember that although you may not develop symptoms should you be exposed to the virus, you can still spread it others who are more vulnerable, especially family members and other loved ones.
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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I saw this on a new cache today. I'm not sure what false bragging rights means.

 

As the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, there are increased directives from government and health authorities highlighting the critical need for social distancing and the importance of staying at home. With respect to this new geocache and other existing geocaches, before you decide to go look for it, please consider whether it is essential that you leave home to do so. And should you choose to search for this cache, then please practice safe geocaching and observe social distancing during this time. This means:

  • Please avoid group hunts. Keep your group size to a minimum and only to those with whom you live.

  • If you observe someone already at a geocache as you approach, please respect them and stay back until they have left the area. Better yet, you leave the area and come back at a different time.

  • To avoid a group arriving at a new geocache at the same time, resist the urge to be First to Find when you see a new geocache being published. The risk of contracting the virus is not worth the false bragging rights associated with being FTF.

  • Resist the mindset of invincibility. Remember that although you may not develop symptoms should you be exposed to the virus, you can still spread it others who are more vulnerable, especially family members and other loved ones.

It is my understanding that the discussion has not been about groups, but about caching alone (to keep social distancing), or at the most only with people who live in the same household. That is why no new caches are being published, so as to avoid the FTF hunt and more than one person at a time approaching a cache. I can't imagine anyone thinking group caching (beyond members of the same household) is still on. However, do be aware others might not realise you belong to the same household and think you are ignoring social distancing.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

I still don't know what false bragging rights means.

We've had lots of new caches published in my area.I've only found caches with my spouse since the virus arrived in the US. 

 

I would say because FTFs are not an official stat except on project-gc?

 

But why caches continue to get published if you need to put this kind of warning...

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

I still don't know what false bragging rights means.

We've had lots of new caches published in my area.I've only found caches with my spouse since the virus arrived in the US. 

 

No new caches are being published at present in Australia, and so far we have far less virus cases than the US does, so I am surprised to hear they are still being published in the US. I imagine after this is over (when a vaccine can be widely given) a huge amount of backlogged new caches will suddenly be published. Maybe I'll even get the chance for a FTF myself, as the usual FTF competitors won't be able to get to them all at once.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

No new caches are being published at present in Australia, and so far we have far less virus cases than the US does, so I am surprised to hear they are still being published in the US. 

 

Around a dozen saturday, and three today here.

We're in a  "restricted" county, as most around us,  but doctors still feel exercise, sunlight, and fresh air are important for our health.

The only thing they ask is we apply common sense, and not be in groups ("social distancing").   :)

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11 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Around a dozen saturday, and three today here.

We're in a  "restricted" county, as most around us,  but doctors still feel exercise, sunlight, and fresh air are important for our health.

The only thing they ask is we apply common sense, and not be in groups ("social distancing").   :)

Every day here the news and sometimes the Governor stresses the importance of getting outside to enjoy the sun and fresh air. Today in the mail there was a half-page ad from the city letting us know some of the great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors around town, and reminding us to practice social distancing.

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On 3/31/2020 at 6:28 AM, Oxford Stone said:

Here in the UK we're being told not to drive for leisure - as with many things, different regulations in the US.

 

I don't know about anyone else but when I drive I am always at least 6 feet from other people.  I don't think driving on the left side of the road would change that.

 

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I don't know about anyone else but when I drive I am always at least 6 feet from other people.  I don't think driving on the left side of the road would change that.

 

Until you collide with someone or something. Or they collide with you.

Then you come in contact with first responders. Causing much needed sterile equipment to be contaminated and just maybe delaying and elderly person from being taken in for care. Not to mention the resources you would be taking up in a hospital.

Dont drive for leisure means just that. 

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Most of my hides are urban, easy to get to and have generous hints so i'm getting a fair amount of traffic, especially from newbies. I've disabled 2. One because it's in a touristy area and the sidewalk to it would be impossible to allow 6ft of distance between a cacher and any muggle using the sidewalk. The other is in a little free library (which is closed) but security cameras still show lots of folks checking for books.

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4 hours ago, fellsmanhiker said:

Lake District Cumbria England,I have disabled over 100 of my caches which are mainly on the high fells,The Mountain Rescue are urging people to stay off the Fells during the duration of the crisis my explanation note states that any found logs Will be deleted.

 

If the log is signed you cannot delete a find.

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18 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I don't know about anyone else but when I drive I am always at least 6 feet from other people.  I don't think driving on the left side of the road would change that.

 

The point is not the driving but staying in your own neighborhood and not transferring an infection to another area. Remember that's how the whole thing started but on a bigger scale. Travel restrictions are very efficient in not spreading Covid-19.

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9 hours ago, colleda said:

If the log is signed you cannot delete a find.

I fully agree with fellsmanhiker.

In UK we are asked to stay home. Simple.

If gung-ho attitudes of some geocachers continue they are risking health and lives of others.

As well as in some cases, breaking the law. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Beechtrees said:

I fully agree with fellsmanhiker.

In UK we are asked to stay home. Simple.

If gung-ho attitudes of some geocachers continue they are risking health and lives of others.

As well as in some cases, breaking the law. 

 

Aren't you allowed out once a day for exercise? A person could walk or cycle to a cache as part of the exercise; and then turn around and go home; avoiding all other people. Of course it's better if the cache hasn't had a previous finder too recently. I found two caches today; one had last been found in December, and the other a year and a half ago. Otherwise, carry hand sanitiser. I saw only one other person on my walk. A cyclist went by.

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7 hours ago, on4bam said:

The point is not the driving but staying in your own neighborhood and not transferring an infection to another area. Remember that's how the whole thing started but on a bigger scale. Travel restrictions are very efficient in not spreading Covid-19.

Travel didn't spread the virus.  Contact with other people along the route and at the destination of the traveler spread the virus.  Driving to the trailhead of an infrequently used trail (and keeping a big distance in the event that you do actually encounter anyone else on the trail) is hardly going to create a public health issue.  Indiscriminate travel and contact with other people is certainly a major problem, but that's not what we're talking about here.  A carefully planned run that avoids 'urban caching' (one that creates many chance encounters) and maintains safe practices while making finds mitigates the risk.  OTOH, if people aren't prepared to be sensible, that's another story -- and should stay home.

 

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Aren't you allowed out once a day for exercise? A person could walk or cycle to a cache as part of the exercise; and then turn around and go home; avoiding all other people. Of course it's better if the cache hasn't had a previous finder too recently. I found two caches today; one had last been found in December, and the other a year and a half ago. Otherwise, carry hand sanitiser. I saw only one other person on my walk. A cyclist went by.

UK view

 

Stay at home.

"This advice is not a request, it's an instruction.'

Quote from British Home Secretary during daily press briefing, 3rd April 2020.

 

 

Edited by Beechtrees
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In Spain we can go out just for essential matters or going to work, anything else is not recommeded and mostly forbidden.
For example outdoor exercise is forbidden. You can get a fine.

 

We all together can stop this virus although it means to forget for a time our favorite sport/way of life.

 


 

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1 hour ago, Beechtrees said:

UK view

 

Stay at home.

"This advice is not a request, it's an instruction.'

Quote from British Home Secretary during daily press briefing, 3rd April 2020.

 

 

You might want to review your own government's website (I found it on www.uk.gov) "Guidance on access to green spaces" Updated today.

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1 hour ago, Michaelcycle said:

You might want to review your own government's website (I found it on www.uk.gov) "Guidance on access to green spaces" Updated today.


I couldn’t find this, but this is what says on the https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus front page:

 

87ECEA80-7897-4538-B038-F1BC1ED57DA9.thumb.jpeg.5bc27c3da06ca8a912e99b476bc4c165.jpeg

 

Unfortunately, we do seem to get mixed messages about what is ‘allowed’, but for weeks the advice has been pretty clear: stay at home.

 

Alas, too many people ignore the advice, preferring to see how far they can stretch the rules to justify their behaviour.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Beechtrees said:

Quote from British Home Secretary during daily press briefing, 3rd April 2020.

 

I would recommend that you use your own judgement rather than relying on sound bites from politicians.

E.G. Matt Hancock (Health Minister)  said on Question Time last night that driving a short distance to exercise or walk your dog was acceptable.

 

Think for yourself!

 

Edit to add: I've just looked at today's press briefing, and it was actually presented by Matt Hancock and contradicts what he said on Question Time on  TV last night, which IMO reinforces my admonition to not listen to sound bites, but think for yourself.

Edited by MartyBartfast
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I’ve actually found quite the opposite. My geocaches have been found more during this period, than any other time. I don’t think disabling your caches is a good call. It’s the cachers choice to look for it, and I don’t think you should take that away from

them. I see geocaching as one of the few things that you can use to get away from this pandemic.

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

Alas, too many people ignore the advice, preferring to see how far they can stretch the rules to justify their behaviour.

 

OMG, this is how I've felt about geocaching for years. :antenna: 

 

Especially when discussing things in the  forums... Topics like, what defines a "find", what is "cheating",   is it OK to log a T5 found if you didn't perform the T5 activity or perhaps not even see the T5 cache (and definitely didn't sign the log yourself). One of my favourite quotes is from knowschad: "Give geocachers an envelope and they will push it." 

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

 

Let me rephrase... travelers spread the virus. It only takes one infected person to travel to a "clean" area and have contact with people there to start a new cluster.

 

Operative phrase ... "have contact with people there".

Think we covered that already in the prior posts.

 

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