His decision to keep trekking flies in the face of public health experts and the pleas of trail organizers and communities along the way.
Johnston is neither apologetic nor alone in his decision to hike. On March 15, he started a Facebook page “Still Hiking PCT.” As of Friday, it had 1,200 members.
“I’m finally unplugging from the mainstream,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday near Idyllwild, California. “I’m going to live my life for me. And then coronavirus popped out. Well, sorry, I am going to be a little bit selfish.”
The question I have in all this is why he chose to publicize his choice and make an issue out of it by creating a Facebook Page. I think if all he wanted to do was complete through hiking the PCT, he could have kept to himself and done it relatively safely in obscurity. If he masks up every time he resupplies in one of the towns along the way so he's minimizing his potential to spread disease, that's not much different than staying at home and getting groceries once a week. One person doing this unobtrusively is fine, one person doing it and actively promoting it to others- not okay.