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23-03-2020, 08:36   #1
dogmatix
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CoronaVirus - social distancing on the hills

First thing this morning on the news - talk of banning hill walking due to issues with people not maintaining social distancing.

If this happens I think I will get stir-crazy very fast!

I was out walking the forth mountain three rock trail yesterday in beautiful spring sunshine. A lot of people about but everyone was maintaining a good social distance - hopefully the reported problems with social distancing was just a local issue and hill walking sites will continue open during the current crisis.
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23-03-2020, 08:41   #2
true-or-false
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I'd say the responsible thing is to close them. No matter how careful you are, the small percentage of people that don't take this seriously will be putting everyone they pass at risk.

Places like Howth in Dublin were thick with people over the weekend. That's a cliff walk that's only wide enough for one person in a lot of places. Anyone who wants to overtake, or any two people going in opposite directions on that path are going to have to get up very close. Literally any person, even with the intention of maintaining social distancing, was putting themselves and everyone else at risk. Once they close places like Howth, these same people are going to start cluttering up the wider spaces too.
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23-03-2020, 09:05   #3
Arthur Daley
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The RTE website keeps mentioning that you need to spend 15 minutes in the close company of someone for transmission.

Then yesterday we jump to complaining about people without symptoms (will peopld with symptoms be up for a walk) getting out for a walk and potentially brushing past each other. If you walk along grafton street or college green you will walk past people within a few feet. Same thing in the aisle of your supermarket.

Are people just pushing for a complete lockdown at this stage. How much of this is driven by twitter experts rather than scientific evidence I wonder.

Last edited by Arthur Daley; 23-03-2020 at 09:12.
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23-03-2020, 09:18   #4
_Brian
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It’s being driven by fear.
The absolute truth is they don’t know if the 15 minute thing is accurate.

You will hear very few experts give definitive answers when a question is put to them straight, and that’s not a criticism at all.

My wife works frontline and has done all the training and information and she feels it’s all down to proximity rather than exposure time. If your close to someone and they talk to you there is a risk, it’s hard to quantify that risk but it’s there, the droplet that’s transmits the virus may come with their first word or 1000th word.

We were out cycling yesterday because we feel it’s low risk, your moving along at speed not talking to others, only four of us so not a big group, we are in the car afterwards and then home.

Someone mentioned the cliff walk above, I couldn’t imagine being on that if it were busy, far too much close contact.

I think they will move to curtail outdoor activities in some way, seeing pictures of people jammed against each other queuing for chips and ice creams is ridiculous and as ever the few thoughtless ruin things for everyone.
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23-03-2020, 09:29   #5
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I guessed yesterday morning that I would see the usual mountain / coastal walks jammed with people on the evening news, and of course it happened. I don't recommend leaving the house at all, but if you really have to get out for a walk, and you have a car there are thousands of quiet bothareens where you won't meet another soul on a walk. But no, half of Dublin descended on dun laoighre peir and the Sally gap.
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23-03-2020, 09:31   #6
_Brian
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Originally Posted by Citroen2cv View Post
I guessed yesterday morning that I would see the usual mountain / coastal walks jammed with people on the evening news, and of course it happened. I don't recommend leaving the house at all, but if you really have to get out for a walk, and you have a car there are thousands of quiet bothareens where you won't meet another soul on a walk. But no, half of Dublin descended on dun laoighre peir and the Sally gap.
They did that because these are the shopping mall brigades. They know nothing but the few big name locations so all go there like sheep. There are plenty of quiet locations when your used to being out and exploring.
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23-03-2020, 10:09   #7
listermint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Daley View Post
The RTE website keeps mentioning that you need to spend 15 minutes in the close company of someone for transmission.

Then yesterday we jump to complaining about people without symptoms (will peopld with symptoms be up for a walk) getting out for a walk and potentially brushing past each other. If you walk along grafton street or college green you will walk past people within a few feet. Same thing in the aisle of your supermarket.

Are people just pushing for a complete lockdown at this stage. How much of this is driven by twitter experts rather than scientific evidence I wonder.
First person sneezes on their hand . Sure it's grand I'm out in the open. Climbs over a gate or fence or hand rail.

Next ten people touch that getting over same obstacles.

Ten people infected.


It's really not rocket science all this 15 minutes company stuff is nonsense I've no idea how that came about but all it takes is someone to be talking to you with a bit of a spitty sentence and you have your eyes open to get hit with this thing.

People are clueless. Simple as that.
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23-03-2020, 10:11   #8
bladespin
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It's really not rocket science all this 15 minutes company stuff is nonsense .
HSE advice on the late late Covid show.
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23-03-2020, 10:11   #9
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me and the OH were the only people out on the hills on saturday (bluestacks donegal)
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23-03-2020, 10:13   #10
listermint
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HSE advice on the late late Covid show.
Id assume it's 15 minutes worth of risky behaviour. But that can easily come down to seconds depending on the behaviour. Especially in proximity.
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23-03-2020, 10:16   #11
eyeball kid
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I live in west Wicklow and take the dog for a walk on loads of different forest/mountain walks. These would be down small boreens and you'd never normally meet anyone else but yesterday every one of them had 20 to 30 cars parked outside them. Not surprising given the current situation and the good weather but really strange to see so many people at these isolated places.
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23-03-2020, 10:23   #12
Captain Flaps
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Originally Posted by dogmatix View Post
First thing this morning on the news - talk of banning hill walking due to issues with people not maintaining social distancing.

If this happens I think I will get stir-crazy very fast!

I was out walking the forth mountain three rock trail yesterday in beautiful spring sunshine. A lot of people about but everyone was maintaining a good social distance - hopefully the reported problems with social distancing was just a local issue and hill walking sites will continue open during the current crisis.
Dublin/Wicklow mountain rescue were quite vocal about people not taking enough care hillwalking, I'd say that's quite likely to be restricted where possible also.

Quote:
Mountaineering IrelandLike Page
16 hrs ·
STATEMENT BY PAUL KELLAGHER, PRESIDENT OF MOUNTAINEERING IRELAND, THE REPRESENTATIVE BODY FOR HILLWALKERS AND CLIMBERS ON THE ISLAND OF IRELAND

"In normal circumstances, Mountaineering Ireland would be delighted to see lots of people getting outdoors and enjoying the beauty and majesty of the hills and mountains.

These are anything but normal times. We are on the count down to a major health emergency. Despite advice from Public Health experts to engage in sensible social distancing, recent days have seen large numbers of people flocking to hill and mountain areas.

The ignoring of Public Health advice on social distancing is selfish and irresponsible.

You may think that you are Socially Isolating while on the Hills. You are not. Many of the cars lined along roads into the mountains will have driven there from distant places. Along the way, you may have stopped for fuel or refreshments. When you arrive on the hills, you may have opened a gate or climbed over a stile. While walking, you may have brushed past people on a path. At the top, you may have posed for photos with your friends. In short, you may have had multiple potential contacts with a virus that can live on some surfaces for 72 hours.

If you have an accident while on the hills, the selfless Mountain Rescue volunteers will still turn out to help you. But they can’t socially distance themselves if they have to carry you on a stretcher. So you are placing them at added risk. Treating your injuries will impose increased strain on health services that are likely to be stretched beyond breaking point in the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, more people are going to die of Coronavirus in the near future. Some of them may be your friends, relatives and neighbours. Is your trip to the hills worth the risk of spreading the virus?

Wise up folks.

Stay at home or stay local. If going outdoors, walk in small numbers and avoid places where there are large numbers of people. The mountains will still be there when this crisis passes and we can all resume our enjoyment of the hills then.”
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23-03-2020, 10:29   #13
Tabnabs
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It's as much about the cars and blocking access to emergency vehicles, illegal parking and blocking access to private land. The scenes at Glenasmole over the weekend were disgraceful. A car park that fits about a dozen cars was overcrowded and additional cars were simply abandoned in front of gates and at junctions nearby. Glendalough was closed due to the crowds queuing for the food concessions as much as the traffic. Herd mentality indeed.
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23-03-2020, 10:45   #14
bladespin
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Originally Posted by listermint View Post
Id assume it's 15 minutes worth of risky behaviour. But that can easily come down to seconds depending on the behaviour. Especially in proximity.
Found this:

ECDC advisory

2. Low-risk exposure (casual contact)
• A person who was in a closed environment with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min or at a distance of
more than 2 metres
• A person having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case for less than 15 min and at a distance of
less than 2 metres
• Traveling together with a COVID-19 case in any kind of conveyance.
Longer duration of contact increases the risk of transmission; the 15-minute limit is arbitrarily selected for
practical purposes. Based on individual risk assessments, public health authorities may consider expanding
contact tracing and management to persons who had a shorter duration of contact with a case.
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23-03-2020, 10:52   #15
Alun
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Personally, I've avoided hill walking altogether since this all began. Even on hills that as a seasoned hillwalker I'd consider very low risk there's still a very real chance of injury. As someone who works closely with a voluntary rescue organisation myself, I'm not going to put my friends and colleagues in a position where they may need to take unnecessary risks to rescue me.

For the foreseeable future, I'm sticking to low level walks on well defined tracks only, and trying to get out as early in the morning as possible to avoid the crowds.
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