If you’re self-isolating inside a studio apartment and yearning for a getaway, some enterprising entrepreneurs may have a solution for you.
The Information calls them “escape communities” — small-group gatherings in remote locales where people can pay to ride out the pandemic in comfort and style.
Think of it like a yoga retreat for the Bad Times — a gentler (and crunchier) spin on the booming doomsday economy.
It sounds relaxing, but the journey could be harrowing. Reports of coronavirus vigilantes — AKA neighbors who want to keep folks quarantined — are enough to make us think twice about skipping town.
You’ll face a few hurdles if you go for it
First of all: You’ll have to pay big bucks to get access. Harbor, “a luxury 2-month retreat” in Southern California, lists accommodations that start at $3k per month.
Residents will be screened for COVID-19 before being admitted, and they’ll have “zero interactions with the external world.”
Speaking of being admitted: Yes, you have to apply to join the club.
Are these elite clubs actually safe?
Health experts told The Information that it would be very easy for a single infected individual to spread the disease to others in a small community.
The disease might not be the only thing to worry about, either.
Well-heeled jet-setters still actually need to get to their sanctuaries. Traveling there could violate a state’s shelter-in-place order… and the arrival of wealthy out-of-towners seems VERY likely to piss off the locals.
Take your getaway and get the hell away
That’s what many small-town residents have told the Johnny-come-latelies who try to decamp to their 2nd homes for a few months. An influx of new cases could quickly overwhelm a small town’s healthcare system.
Those fears have given rise to an unusual new phenomenon: coronavirus vigilantism. Nah, that doesn’t sound like it’s straight outta The Purge at all.
In the island town of Vinalhaven, Maine (winter population: 1.2k), residents allegedly cut down a tree in an attempt to forcibly quarantine roommates from New Jersey who had been renting a home in the area.