/ Highlands 21st March for a week....

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abr1966 16 Mar 2020

Booked ages ago....other half is getting twitchy. We've got a cottage for the week....happy to stick to our own company and just walk the hills....is it reasonable to still go?

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Neil Williams 16 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

It's definitely "unnecessary travel", though if you go by car and take food with you the risk of spreading it is quite low.

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Ciro 17 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

The reason the government has changed tack, and told us all to stop travelling and socialising, is because the models predict quarter of a million deaths if we don't.

The Highlands have a low population density, which should help slow the spread, however it also means lots of people a long way from healthcare facilities, and fragile supply chain to remote areas. 

There's only two confirmed cases in the Highlands so far, the less people who travel up there the safer it will be for those who live there.

Raigmore hospital is the only acute hospital in the Highlands, and it has a grand total of 7 beds in it's intensive care unit - it will be overrun very quickly.

If people travel up for a holiday, they are hastening the day when they tell the first family "I'm sorry, we have no bed for your elderly relative, they must be left untreated."

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profitofdoom 17 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

> Booked ages ago....other half is getting twitchy. We've got a cottage for the week....happy to stick to our own company and just walk the hills....is it reasonable to still go?

"Reasonable"? I don't know. I can only speak for myself..... personally I'm going to strictly follow NHS guidelines (whatever they are - note to self, must check now), trying to be a good member of a crowded community

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Sherlock 19 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

No. For the reasons Ciro gave. Just don't.

We're all getting twitchy.We've all had to cancel trips.

Post edited at 09:58
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Mark Davies PK 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Ciro:

Yes totally agree.

Not reasonable to go.

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Basemetal 19 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Personally, I'd go. Scotland isn't London and much of the advice online concerns the densest urban living conditions. 

People are still going to work and shopping and living normally up here.

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Sherlock 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Basemetal 

> People are still going to work and shopping and living normally up here.

No, we're just not.

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ebdon 19 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

This is a question I'm also struggling with.  Objectively how is going (unless you have it and havnt realised yet) going to be any worse than staying at home? By doing all you're shopping before hand, only using pay at pumb etc.. you can eliminate any human contact between yourself and the local community. I'm sure I would have more contact with others by staying at home and more likely to and up in a&e through shit DIY!

Post edited at 14:22
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Sherlock 19 Mar 2020
In reply to Basemetal:

Schools are closed and exams cancelled which didn't even happen during the war. And this is "living normally?"

Anyway I'm off , I've got better things to do than argue with the selfish and wilfully ignorant.

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Red Rover 19 Mar 2020
In reply to ebdon:

DIY isn't more dangerous than winter climbing in any world. More people get injured doing DIY because more people do it. Remember there are only 7 ICU beds in the highlands don't take them from the locals!

Post edited at 14:39
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Andy Johnson 19 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Please don't go. Its unnecessary travel and you're potentially putting the local community at risk.

I was supposed to be driving over to Snowdonia about now for a weekend's climbing with my club. But we're not going because its the right thing to do. Its killing me because the conditions look good and i'm itching to be out there, but this is just what we have to do right now.

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Full moon addict 19 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

its definitely unnecessary travel but if you look at it logically, and travel by car with pay at the pump and don't visit cafes etc, then I don't see how its worse than staying at home if you don't actuallt meet anyone and engage in lower risk activities.  Surely unnecessary travel relates to travel where there are interactions?

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mauraman 20 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

I have a week holidays, starting tomorrow. I was going to the Cairngorms for some winter climbing, low grade solos (I/II), driving there and sleeping in the car/camping, so..practically zero contact. I didn't manage to get anything done this year as I missed all the few opportunities there have been in the Lakes and Wales (closer to me) due to work so I was REALLY looking forward to this trip, conditions seems to be good, etc.. so I am really gutted!

But I am not going. 

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ScraggyGoat 20 Mar 2020

Its not just the 'risk' its also the perception.

Remember that most Highland communities regard tourists in a normally year as a 'necessary evil', or are best indifferent to them, even those that work in the hospitality industry.  Its a hobsons choice if you turn up with all your own food and stick to yourself, you aren't providing the 'necessary' element. If you spend money you interact, increasing risk (see below).

They are perceiving the impending wave of tourists arriving as substantially increasing the risks to them/loved ones/older members of their community, and on a macro-scale they are right, even though on a micro-scale your presence probably isn't adding much to that.

So the end result will be further erosion of the 'Highland welcome', which currently has been manifest as animosity to motorhomes (sounding horns when driving past in the night, occasional blocking of laybys, & signs), and aggravation / minor road rage in response to poor tourist driving. A lot of the locals have a strong sense of 'doing the right thing' , e.g. I've know a local see an ambulance at a holiday cottage half a mile away, go round as soon as its left, to find that there has been a heart attack, then insist to drive the partner to the hospital, drive them back to the house when the caz has been air ambulanced to Inverness, help them pack bits and pieces before driving them to the station to catch the train to Inverness. Followed by looking after the holiday makers dog for two weeks, and putting up relatives whom arrived to collect the dog.

Conversely you will be seen 'as not doing' the right thing by many. 

Post edited at 08:36
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Simon Caldwell 20 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Although BJ said "avoid all unnecessary travel", if you look at the current advice on the NHS website it qualifies this as travel on public transport (and taxis if you're showing symptoms).

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Personally in your position and with the current government advice, I'd go, provided the cottage owners are happy and confirm they've thoroughly cleaned the place since the previous occupants. And as per mountain rescue recommendations, stick to walks that are well within your ability. Yes, you might still have an accident, but the same applies if you stay at home.

Post edited at 12:04
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In reply to Basemetal:

> People are still going to work and shopping and living normally up here.

Well.... that doesn't make it a good idea.

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ScraggyGoat 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

If you go to a holiday cottage, the cleaning will be commensurate with the accommodation type booked. One for which the the owners/cleaners will have done what they can, as the majority always do (I've stayed in some where looking in the corners wasn't advised, but to be fair the majority I've stayed in have been very well presented), but in a limited time window within which to clean, and they may have more than one property to clean in that period, so they can only do so much. There is a huge difference between the ideal, and what is practically possible. 

Like it or not, there is no way to completely sanitize a house, there is no magic wand, irrespective of what the government may provide as advice and what letting agencies are communicating......that is just reality.

I've done cottage cleaning, you work your ass off for 5 - 6 hours to the time deadline, and always walk away knowing that there were bits and pieces. Try stripping and making up six beds, thoroughly cleaning two baths rooms, hovering a whole house, mopping the floors, wiping down all surfaces, cleaning all door handles, cleaning the kitchen, microwave, toaster, washing fridge freezer draws, and shelves and emptying the bin. You are against the clock, before you find the guests have half heartedly washed and put away pots and pans, and glasses, left the oven a mess or worse just hidden things because they can't be bothered to admit damage, or put a bit of effort in. Its impossible not to miss something. Further how on earth is it possible to sterilize the lounge soft furnishings............

Post edited at 12:50
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In reply to abr1966:

As a population, we need to think of the big picture rather than of our own small worlds.

That means all individuals need to think of the big picture, rather than of our own small worlds.

You may (but probably will not) be able to make this minimal contact. But that isn't the point.

The point is that if enough people decide to focus on their own small world and continue to go out, enough people will not achieve no contact for the spread to continue.

You going on this trip reinforces in other people's minds that it is OK to take the chance "because my mate abr1966 did it, and he is ok". Coronavirus doesn't respect that view. The "I'm just one person, it'll be fine" view is ideal food for coronavirus. 

In an age where people think primarily about their rights, now is a good time for people to start thinking about their responsibilities.

Post edited at 12:42
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abr1966 21 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Thanks for all the comments....decided to not go in respect of the general view of highland folk on here and other social media.

Best wishes to all.....

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tom_in_edinburgh 21 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

This is from the MP with an Island constituency with a pic of their coronavirus preparations - camp beds in the village hall.   Don't expect ventilators or even sufficient oxygen in remote parts of Scotland if you get it.

https://twitter.com/AngusMacNeilSNP/status/1241135502914437121

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scragrock 21 Mar 2020
In reply to abr1966:

Thank you for not visiting at the moment.

please please Do come up north when this horror show ends.

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DaveHK 21 Mar 2020
In reply to ebdon:

>  Objectively how is going (unless you have it and havnt realised yet) going to be any worse than staying at home? 

The bit in brackets is the important bit.

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