COVID-19 ….. where is the light?

2020 will be an extraordinary year for many of us for many reasons.  Many have suffered the loss of friends, family financial or all three.  Others might not have suffered to any great extent and must be grateful for that and understanding of others, their predicaments and their (sometimes odd) responses to situations.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and there is hope that we will adapt to the virus and contain it.  I hasten to use the term ‘defeat’.  I have climbed many mountains, but defeated none.  I don’t think we defeat or win.  COVID-19 has already accounted for probably over 50,000 deaths in the UK alone.  That does not sound like a ‘win’.

For Freewill Outdoors?  Well, time stands still for no one, and being the optimist that I am I see folks re-engaging with their local outdoor activities whilst being mindful of social distancing restrictions.  We all just need to make sure the level of challenge we undertake is appropriate, shall we say ‘modest’ in order to not occupy a valuable hospital bed space.

Phase two, from an outdoor activities perspective, offers little change as activities will need to remain local, for good reason.  At this stage we could be into late June or even July, dependent on the R value.    Phase three offers the most optimism for those working in the outdoors, as this is the first opportunity for the lifting of the ‘local’ travel restriction and an opportunity for accommodation providers to re-open.  All of these subject to social distancing measures – 2 metres for the UK or will we revert to the WHO advice of 1 metre by then?  When will phase three start?  My guess is sometime in July – tourism needs this and the government is well aware of that.  By then we may all have a better appreciation of what social distancing looks like.  Many (as I write) are reveling on English beaches and simply not getting it.

As for Freewill Outdoors, we hope to be working again in the hills, potentially from late July.  Fingers crossed, if not then, then soon after.  Join me to walk, bike, run or climb in our wonderful and much missed mountains.

Keep safe.

Author: Will Manners

Will Manners is a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WMCI), and International Mountain Leader, a Nordic Ski Instructor (BASIO 2) and a Mountain Bike Leader. Passionate about all things in the mountains including hill running, ski touring, bike packing and kayaking.