I thought I’d share my personal opinion on the current restrictions in place and also share UKGov advice. So, first off, a rather nice video explaining the countryside code at this extraordinary time…

https://twitter.com/NaturalEngland/status/1246360609484083200?s=20

This is a personal stream of consciousness, my thoughts on the restrictions that the virus has brought to us and that may or may not be fully formed. Please do not round on me and say that I am not in support of our NHS. I am, unlike some, always have been…

Wales Outdoors would dearly like to be able to be delivering walks at the mo but of course we cannot and, at this time, would not. But it is worth us thinking on the policies being adopted and to criticise, where we see fit, our governments actions.

My first criticisms would be of a confusing start to he restrictions and too slow. Why were schools open for so long? Why was advice snail like in coming? Why was there no effective and in advance preparation for such an event? But the big question has to be how can we trust this Conservative Government who for the past 10 years have woefully and with the voting publics full consent underfunded ‘Our NHS’… It makes me feel a little sick when Gove or Johnson claim love for and ownership of national treasures for personal political gain…

If you go to the twitter feed that the video links to you’ll likely see comments about HS2 which it appears is currently still under construction. And that led me to think a bit deeper on the building work I’ve seen taking place in Cardiff, all of it non essential and all of it ongoing. And also of Sweden’s current protocol’s, which may change sometime soon, of no lockdown, just sensible advice.

And that’s what’s missing… sensible advice…

I am positive that the best way to have dealt with this would have been a complete stay at home shut down of everything. No public transport. No building works. No non essential deliveries. Hand washing both going in and coming out of designated to be open supermarkets. No exercising outdoors. Two weeks of that and we would likely be on top of the spread of the virus… But, there is the problem… How to loosen off the restrictions…

Sweden is I think unique in giving advice but allowing normal life to continue, a mature and I think sensible approach. After all, we are all adults, right? Since the 17th March I have social distanced. Since the 21st March I have not used my car. I do not have the virus and so I am not a risk to others so long as I remain in general isolation, two metres away from other humans. I think I ought to be able to continue, as best as I am able, with life.

Sweden is going for, but not stating that that is the aim, herd immunity. If their health service can cope with a spike in infections then this would seem to be a sensible policy, after all, scientists are stating the vaccine is a year and a half away and so a good proportion of us will catch Covid 19 before then.

The problem with a universal lockdown is that it makes no sense if it is halfhearted. We are being told that if we are naughty we’ll all have to simply stay at home when conversely there is non essential work and services ongoing the length and breadth of the UK. It’s as if the UK also has a policy of creating herd immunity, just more slowly than Sweden.

And so I ask the question. What is so wrong with me walking for a day from my house with my dog and partner? Or going for two or god forbid three walks a day? And what is right about some bars selling bottles, about building work taking place, about buses (which have to be incubators for the disease) continuing to run and about shops allowing people to browse and touch without demanding hand washing as a must do to get in?

I think Sweden has the right approach and I do hope that they are not peer pressured into changing their current protocols but that if they make a change it is because of sound science. The Swedish government, in allowing the population to make independent and sensible decisions are treating their public as adults.

We’ve gone past the point where a full lockdown would have been useful. And in any case, no one has any exit strategy and so full lockdown or partial we are here for months without sight of an end. Fears of getting some control on numbers infected being undone by early lifting of the restrictions will be weighing heavy on politicians minds. Would you want to be the Minister for Health and give that instruction only to see a resurgence of the virus a few weeks later?

There is much debate and comment about the restrictions and little light at the end of the tunnel. These thoughts are not here to inflame but are a record of how I see the virus restrictions at a particular point in time. I’m sorry there are no answers and that we won’t be walking together anytime soon.

But get out walking the hills again we will and won’t they be all the more beautiful when we do 🙂

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published

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