Group Learns How The World Has Changed After Finishing 25-Day Rafting Trip With No Reception
It's hard to escape news about the coronavirus when it has changed nearly every facet of our livelihoods.
Travel has been restricted; people are working from home; gyms, pubs and clubs have been closed; everyone is wearing masks; and it's tough to get all your grocery shopping done at the supermarket.
But one group managed to avoid all the updates as they were on a 25-day river rafting trip when the news first broke.
More than a dozen people set off on their journey through the Grand Canyon in mid-February, excited at the prospect of no phone reception and no contact from the outside world for a while.
They rafted down the Colorado River and thoroughly enjoyed their time away.
Californian couple Mason Thomas and Kate Condino told ABC7: "Everything is magical, beautiful down there. Every turn, every corner shows you something new. It's just absolute paradise."
However, reality set in when they finished their 280-mile journey.
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They met a man after pulling their rafts ashore, who dished the dirt on what they had missed over the course of nearly a month.
Mason said: "He goes, 'OK, have you had any contact with the outside world?'
"And we all just kind of shrugged and said, 'No, not really.'
"And he goes, 'OK' and kind of rolls his eyes and sighs. [He continued:] 'The world is going crazy, you've got a lot to hear. The stock market crashed, toilet paper is out everywhere, Italy closed its borders, the NBA isn't doing games anymore.' And it was like, whoa!"
Once they gathered their things, they ventured back to civilisation and that's when Mason got cellphone reception.
"The first message I get is from my mom and she says, 'You need to call me now,'" he said.
His girlfriend Kate added: "It just felt like a completely unreal situation, like something from a movie. We expected the world to be normal when we returned.
"It feels like stolen time, essentially. Like you stole this extra moment from the world and so that, I think, is pretty cool."
A lot has changed over the past few weeks, with the coronavirus now having infected more than 1.3 million people and causing more than 74,500 deaths and 276,000 recoveries.
The US has been hardest hit by Covid-19, with more than 366,000 patients.
Featured Image Credit: ABC/Mason Thomas