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As we approach Pandemic Year 2, it seems clear travel is not getting back to normal anytime soon, and we’re not going to be able to hold it.

We all want to go somewhere and we’re going to have to go while we’re getting there.

It’s not a question of if, but where.

In my family, it is highly likely we’re taking only driving trips for a good chunk of 2021. It’s all about risk tolerance, and while many people are in airports and flying as usual, we are waiting to be vaccinated. In the meantime, if we can’t drive there, we’re not going.

Unless you’re limiting your road trips to destinations within 90 minutes of where you live, you need a Pandemic Pee Plan. Indeed, that timeframe may shorten depending on your own personal (enlarged prostate) schedule and whether you are married.

Your options, according to me:

Standard Pandemic Procedure (SPP)

You could stop at a rest area and simply use the restroom. You would follow all social distancing protocols, wear gloves to touch doors, and even take bleach wipes to sanitize the throne (only needed for DEFCON No. 2). Wash your hands when you leave and continue on your journey.

Ilze_Lucero /

This was immediately ruled out at my house. 

Me: “If we did that, what could the risk possibly be?” 

The Mrs.: “The risk is zero because we’re not going in.”

Her reasoning is we’ve been safe on lockdown so we’re staying on lockdown. Too many people inside, too many droplets flying around in the air, too much to worry about.

Now, at this juncture, a husband could choose to debate this, with the full understanding that the chances of victory are none and that, even if said husband did win, he’d then be on the hook for any health ailment striking any member of the family within the next 90 days.

Port-A-Pandemic Potty

Some of you may be traveling with extended family: in-laws, grandparents, siblings. This creates a numbers problem and could dramatically extend your travel time, with everyone! 


Well, they are called Porta-Lets for a reason, so get yourself one. You’ll also need a trailer, a trailer hitch and several bungee cords, the universal redneck security fastener, to complete the new addition to your vehicle. 

But hey, problem solved. Just pull over, lower the convenient folding steps and enjoy a family moment.

Now, what if someone has to go No. 2? First, I do recommend this person goes last. Second, I know what you’re really worried about: “Grandpa just went in there with a newspaper. This could take forever.”

Why not knock out a few miles while Grandpa’s taking care of business? That Porta-Let is not going anywhere, provided you’ve at least used the number of bungee cords often seen holding couches aboard pickups traveling at 70 miles per hour.

I do recommend additional bungee cords to attach Grandpa himself, though be forewarned that not all Grandpas can release a bungee cord without assistance or encountering some type of “I’m hooked somewhere” problem. 

Also, avoid potholes or prepare yourself for a crime scene.

Can In Hand

Pretty self-explanatory, and this approach is a real timesaver, but there are some important guidelines. 

First of all, pull over. It is not recommended that a driver attempt to urinate into a container while driving, particularly if there are other passengers in the vehicle. While technically this procedure can be accomplished in a hands-free manner, it’s a bit of a juggling act.

Also, be certain you’ve got a big enough container. Only highly skilled road urinators can toggle to a new container in midstream. Done correctly, it looks somewhat like the transition in a golf swing. Get the tempo wrong and, well, it should dry fast.

Back To Nature

Old reliable. I think this is the part where I should mention my family hails from out in the country, where every tree is a potential pit stop.

This great nation of ours is filled with spectacular state parks, nature preserves and wetlands. They deserve a visit from you. I mean, who doesn’t want to keep our wetlands wet? They’re easy to find on a map and work into your Pandemic Pee Plan. Yeah, yeah, it’s technically illegal, but typically tolerated as long as the tree you select is not at the front gate.

And it’s not like we’re the only ones communing with nature. Everyone else has been doing it. Bears, squirrels, deer, chipmunks – I could go on and on – they’re all doing it. Humans are the only ones not doing it.

Since when does a chipmunk enjoy more freedom than you? Stand up for your rights. 

Behind the tree, please.

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About The Author
David Meeks
David Meeks
David Meeks has never hesitated to speak truth to power. He’s uncovered shady coal mine operators in Alabama, corrupt politicians in Louisiana and supported single fathers in Florida. When New Orleans flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Meeks, then Sports Editor of The Times-Picayune, refused an evacuation order. He commandeered a newspaper truck, assembled a team of journalists and won two Pulitzer Prizes. He has worked for the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and was the Managing Editor of USA Today Sports. He is Alabama-born and Michigan-raised, and today lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
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