During these difficult times as we do our bit to try to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, we all face many challenges.
If like me, the thought of staying inside for any long periods of time makes you feel claustrophobic and the symptoms of cabin fever sets in, then you may find this blog helpful.
Is it safe outside?
Yes. At the time of writing this blog, it is still safe to venture outside.
It is safe to walk in the fresh air, and with the kids now being cooped up, I would recommend anyone who lives in the countryside to make the most of what is on your doorstep. When out walking think about the following:-
Touch – what objects are you touching that should really be avoided? Do not go to play parks or social outdoors areas. Think about crossing stiles, opening kissing gates (no kissing advised!), navigating bridges with a handrail. I am recommending to my club members that they wear gloves while on a walk – even summer gloves if it's warm. Gloves will also limit the possibility of catching the virus, but please wash them regularly.
Social distancing – please try to limit the number of people that you are walking with. AG Club group walks are currently limited to 15, which will change as per the Government Guidelines.
At the time of writing this blog, the AG club is adhering to a 2 metre social distancing rule. We call it the “walking stick and a bit” rule. So everyone needs to be at least a walking stick and a bit away from each other when walking. To ensure this is controlled properly, we have a keyword that anyone is free to shout out loud when on a walk which basically means “we are a getting too close”. Our keyword is “Mooove“. To keep spirits high, when someone shouts “mooooove” we start singing “you've got to move it, move it”. It just lightens the mood of the group but at the same time, everyone stays safe.
Read the Government guidelines on social distancing here.
Crowded areas: As mentioned, avoid any public areas such as the park, a beach, a well known local trail.
Handshakes – I think everyone is aware of the advice about not shaking people's hand, washing or using hand sanitiser (while singing happy birthday song) and general conduct when greeting each other, but it feels rude and uncomfortable. At AG, we have implemented the Vulcan Touch Free Greeting, and once again it evokes a few giggles as many people struggle to separate their fingers in the correct way.
Should I still go for a walk if I am self-isolating?
NO – The advice from the Government is set in stone and very clear (click here for self-isolating updates) If you have ANY symptoms of Covid19 (ongoing dry cough or high temperature), however mild, you MUST NOT leave your home for at least 7 days after they first appeared. Even if you are convinced that it is just a cold, then you must still self-isolate for this period.
If you need the outdoors, then you can go into your garden for some fresh air as Covid19 is not airborne but please maintain a distance from your neighbour's fence etc and apply common sense.
Can I walk with Adventure Geek Club?
Yes, if you are an existing AG member. New starters will need to wait until we get the green light. We are briefing our members on a regular basis with regards to the latest developments and therefore we are now restricting our club to members only.
We are limiting walking numbers to 15 people, although this may change over time depending on Government advice.
We are also only accepting group C people on our walks.
If you are not sure what the grouping categories mean, then let me explain. (I hope this makes sense?)
The Governments plan is to segregate all vulnerable people (older, ill, disabled and at risk) = Group A
Anyone looking after the elderly, ill and at risk etc = Group B
The general population / generally healthy = Group C
Group C needs to go about it’s business keeping the country moving, going shopping, going to work etc.
* Group B looks after group A and avoids contact with C
* Group C is allowed to contract the virus and because it’s generally healthy it can cope with it better than group A
* Group A and B are almost self isolating without the virus to avoid putting strain on the NHS and reducing the risk of getting the virus and then needing the NHS
* Group C (the generally healthy) go through the cycle of contracting the virus self isolating and being looked after by healthy family members, friends and the local community.
Anyone who has complications gets looked after by the NHS while groups A and B are kept away The NHS are not strained by A and B while its looking after complicated cases in C.
As group C comes full circle and recovers it divides in to groups that take group B’s position looking after group A allowing group B to go though the cycle.
With B and C though the cycle, A is free to have NHS to itself because B and C are now clear from illness and infection and hopefully have a degree of immunity from getting it again this season.
That's the plan anyway!
So AG Club members are welcoming Group C walkers only onto the walks, keeping a social distance and limiting numbers to 15. So far it is working really well.
Should I still go on my walking holiday?
This is a difficult one to answer, but in my opinion, I would recommend staying as local as possible. Any unnecessary travel just makes sense. Mosta accommodation will let you rebook for a later date or refund your stay, so again, let us just be sensible and try to only walk within your local area.
In reality, I know that this blog will probably be outdated as soon as I hit the publish button. We may soon go into lockdown and then new guidelines will be released, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
The biggest message is to stay safe, use common sense and enjoy as much of the outdoors while we have the opportunity to do so.