It’s kind of annoying the number of people breaking the lockdown rules this time around. It seems as though hardly anyone is taking any notice of them. This is despite the fact that the Coronavirus situation is the worst it’s been. Infection rates are at the highest they’ve ever been. Hospitals are under more pressure than ever. The new Coronavirus strain spreads more easily than the initial strain.
Wales isn’t faring well and yet many people seem to be ignoring the restrictions.
The general lockdown / tier 4 restrictions in Wales say that people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
These ‘limited purposes’ are:
- to exercise, alone or with members of your household or support bubble. This must be done locally unless there is a reason, such as a specific health condition or mobility issue, that would require driving to the nearest convenient, accessible location
- to meet the other people in your support bubble if you have one
- to escape a risk of illness or injury, such as for victims or people at risk of domestic abuse
- to provide or receive emergency services
- to attend a place of worship
- to attend a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if you are invited
- to vote in an election
- for elite athletes, to train or compete (or for others, to provide coaching or other similar support to an elite athlete)
- the need to obtain supplies and services for you or your household, for example food, medicine, and essential household maintenance. We encourage everyone to do this as infrequently as possible
- to access childcare and education
- to access medical services
- to access public services, including services provided to victims of crime or domestic abuse or those at imminent risk of becoming victims
- to deposit and withdraw money from a bank or similar establishment,
- to provide care for or to help a vulnerable person; this includes getting food or medicines for them
- for work purposes, or voluntary or charitable purposes, but only where it is not reasonably practicable to do this from home
- to attend court or meet other legal obligations
- to move home, view a property or undertake other activities associated with moving home.
Admittedly that’s quite a long list of reasons to leave home, but for most people the only real reasons to leave home are
- To go shopping for essentials.
- To go to work/school.
- For exercise.
Exercise in Lockdown
As far as exercise is concerned then there aren’t many restrictions on this other than the fact that:
- You do so alone or with members of your household or support bubble.
- Exercise should start and finish at home.
Judging by the number of people parked up at the beach then few people are taking much notice of this. Similarly, loads of people I know are posting on Facebook about walks in the hills, swims miles from their home and other such activities that can’t possibly have started and finished at home.
I for one would love to get out for a walk in the hills. They’ve been looking lovely under the cover of the recent snows. The weather has been perfect and I even have some new walking poles to try out. I haven’t been able to though because we live just a little too far from them to start and finish at home. Even Moel y Llyn would be nice. That only requires a 5 min / 4 mile drive for me to get to. That would still be breaking the rules though, so I haven’t been able to as all my exercise has started and finished at home.
Fortunately, despite these restrictions I’ve still been able to do some form of exercise most days and my ‘fitness and freshness graph from Strava doesn’t therefor look too bad. It’s amazing what you can do all within a mile or so from home.
Exercising from home
My runs from home are a little limited as there are only a couple of directions I can go, and not many routes from there. I do mix it up a little though with intervals or some running in the dunes.
My walks from home are similarly limited but walking on the beach is always nice whatever the weather.
Cycling would allow me to go a little further afield and therefore the route options are virtually endless. I however have been cycling indoors so haven’t really taken advantage of those options.
Surf skiing is fairly limited as well but it does allow me to get on the water. Even that is pushing the restrictions a little as the recommendation (but not rule) states that we should
Avoid activities that involve a significant degree of risk (for example, swimming or other exercise at sea or in lakes, rivers and other waterways).
This means that I’ve only been going out for a paddle (or windsurf) when the conditions and forecast are very benign. For instance, today there was no wind, no surf, a helpful tide and I was able to paddle my favourite and very well known route into the estuary.
There was virtually no risk. There’s always some of course, but that’s the case with anything we do, even staying at home. However in such conditions there was very little that could go wrong and even if it did I of course had my safety and emergency equipment with me and I was never more than about 1 minute away from the shore. I was also doing it on my own as permitted by the lockdown rules and the exercise started and finished at hone so I didn’t have to drive to get there.
Stick to the Rules
I understand people’s arguments saying that driving somewhere to go for a walk in the hills doesn’t actually increase the risk of infection. However, people willing to break those rules probably don’t stick to the other rules properly either. I know for sure that many people have met with other people outside of their bubbles. Such things do increase the rate of infection and therefore put everyone at risk.
We’re fairly safe. Anna has been told to shield again and we’ve been sticking to the rules and have been extra careful. We don’t go out (other than for the exercise mentioned above). We haven’t seen anyone and haven’t been anywhere. We don’t even have the need to go out for any of the permitted reasons – not even shopping as we get everything delivered. If only everyone acted like us then things wouldn’t be as bad in Wales as they currently are.
If things weren’t so bad then maybe we could all go for walks in the hills. Until people start taking notice and we can get on top of the situation then I can only see the restrictions getting stricter.