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Bliss at Baggy

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 eroica64 16 May 2020

With the coronavirus lockdown easement and good weather I drove down from London to Baggy Point this morning for some Promontory Slab top rope shunt-style climbing. Low-tide was at 6am. The National Trust car park was open.

No traffic on trip down. I was stopped by police car on the outskirts of Barnstaple at 4am with flashing blue lights. Did I think this was reasonable travel? What about the strain on the local NHS if I had an accident? Ditto local rescue services.

I said the government said I could travel in the UK. After repeating that 3 times to him and  a license check he gave up. 

There was no one about and I did 3 routes and drove home again with the car roof down. Glorious to be out on a deserted sea cliff crag on a sunny day. No problem social distancing at 6am in the morning

Spent £s on petrol and food in a local garage and garage owner thankful for this little bit of tourist spend.

Great to be climbing again albeit in a very creaky way.

Glorious driving too.  It was like how it used to be years ago. 

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 Steve Woollard 17 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

Sorry about our police down here. Our chief constable took the view he didn't agree with the guidance so would apply his own interpretation of the regulations.

Fortunately parliament makes the law not the police otherwise we'd be in a police state.

It's important that people challenge the authorities when they overstep the mark otherwise our liberties become eroded by default

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In reply to eroica64:

Just as I am contemplating whether I can justify driving 20 minutes to go walking today, I read this: that you have done an eight or nine hour round trip drive to do some top-rope climbing in Devon!

There's plenty of top-roping to be had at Harrison's Rocks ( 1 hr from London), lot's of climbing around Avon Gorge (2 1/2 hrs from London), and the vast choice of the Peak District (about 3 hrs from London)... so I am a bit baffled at your choice and rationale!

Post edited at 12:00
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In reply to John Stainforth:

But until we have a personal carbon budget it's none of your business John. All that driving didn't create any more virus risk, IMHO, though driving a soft top with the roof down might have left a trail of infection all the way down the M4. (Joke)

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 jezb1 17 May 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> But until we have a personal carbon budget it's none of your business John. All that driving didn't create any more virus risk, IMHO, though driving a soft top with the roof down might have left a trail of infection all the way down the M4. (Joke)


If someone posts something on UKC it is kind of inviting the contents to be anyone’s business, I reckon.

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 David Riley 17 May 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

> Sorry about our police

I agree. But suppose if we pay loads for someone to sit in a car looking for people doing bad things. They might as well stop the only car on the road to check.

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 TheGeneralist 17 May 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> But until we have a personal carbon budget it's none of your business John. All that driving didn't create any more virus risk, IMHO, 

What utter bilge. On both counts.

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 steve taylor 17 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

I'll bite...

> With the coronavirus lockdown easement and good weather I drove down from London to Baggy Point this morning for some Promontory Slab top rope shunt-style climbing. Low-tide was at 6am. The National Trust car park was open.

Good - NT being sensible in understanding that people will travel and will need to park. If only that were the case everywhere else.

> No traffic on trip down. I was stopped by police car on the outskirts of Barnstaple at 4am with flashing blue lights. Did I think this was reasonable travel? What about the strain on the local NHS if I had an accident? Ditto local rescue services.

Yes - you've not broken the law. Well done you.

> I said the government said I could travel in the UK. After repeating that 3 times to him and  a license check he gave up.

Nope - travel in England only. 

> There was no one about and I did 3 routes and drove home again with the car roof down. Glorious to be out on a deserted sea cliff crag on a sunny day. No problem social distancing at 6am in the morning

Lucky that you know how to use a shunt safely, and didn't get stuck on anything requiring a rescue. (To be fair, I'm a little jealous)

> Spent £s on petrol and food in a local garage and garage owner thankful for this little bit of tourist spend.

Well done - but lets hope that you weren't carrying the virus from Londonshire down to sleepy Devon. This is why BMC/UKC and many individuals are asking people to stay local...

> Great to be climbing again albeit in a very creaky way.

> Glorious driving too.  It was like how it used to be years ago. 

Hoping this is a wind-up. If it is, it worked.

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 GrahamD 17 May 2020
In reply to steve taylor:

It has to be a troll.

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In reply to GrahamD:

> It has to be a troll.


A good day out, imaginary or otherwise

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 DaveHK 17 May 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> It has to be a troll.

I thought petzl made shunts?

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 David Coley 17 May 2020

As a rural Devon resident, might I ask a technical question.

What is it about not travelling far and "bringing the virus to less infected areas"?

Maybe I'm being stupid.

If someone from London is infected and arrives in Devon, they might well spread the virus. However is it more likely that they would infect someone than if they stayed at home? The R value might well be very slightly lower back home as more have had it, but looking the the estimates of the percentage of the population that have been infected, this effect must be small. On the other side of the coin, the number of interactions one has in rural Devon is much, much lower than in London. So a 3 hours spent in Devon exercising is less, not more, likely to spread the virus to another individual. 

Maybe the question is about pressures on hospitals? But from what I read, the hospitals here are under much less pressure than the metropolitan areas.

To my uniformed head, this seems ONLY to be about, not-in-my-back-yard. This I find worrying. As there are many ways to slice a society: Devon/Dorset, rural/city, white/back, fat/thin, rich/not rich, male/female, and one point of society (to me) is to smooth out, not reinforce the impact on lives of these lines. Interestingly, some of these exact lines are implicated in the impact of C19 on individuals.

Places like Devon have a far great fraction of their income coming from the tax purse than many areas, so it seems wrong to cut off the hand that pays.... particularly at such a time. Unless there is  a well founded reason to do so, in that it will reduce the death toll. So does it?

Thanks.

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In reply to David Coley:

As far as I can see, if the virus is spread evenly across the country, then there is no problem, as such, with travel because, as you say, an infection is an infection no matter where it happens. And, as you say, there is an argument for people travelling from densely to sparsely populated areas. However, if there are hotspots, it makes sense for people in those areas to remain in those areas to contain the virus, and more arguably for people not to visit those areas in case they get the virus and bring it out.

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In reply to eroica64:

Going to a tidal sea cliff when low tide is at 6am is bound to guarantee solitude. I bet there was no one else out on the Devon sea cliffs this morning. May be some locals will be out this evening, you’d get a lot more climbing time for a start if low tide is at 6.30-7pm.

As regards going to the garage, I bet local opinion would be split. The garage owner/staff may be happy to have some extra business. The locals who use the garage might be concerned about transmission risk or they might not really care. Personally I think as long as the place isn’t busy and you take some basic precautions such as wearing gloves and paying contactless, the risk is going to be minimal. However where possible we should avoid using local ‘facilities’ to avoid annoying the locals (it’s all about perception of risk rather than actual risk). If these local businesses go bust as a result, the locals can only blame themselves!

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In reply to GrahamD:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/showlog.php?id=29526 

Probably not a troll. Personally, I don't see any harm in what Chris did - he obeyed the social distancing regs etc. 

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 Steve Woollard 17 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

>However where possible we should avoid using local ‘facilities’ to avoid annoying the locals

I think your concern about the locals is overstated, there are very few "locals" living in the countryside these days, they're mainly incomers, second homes and holiday homes and these are the people making the most noise about visitors, NIMBYisum

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 GrahamD 17 May 2020
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> Probably not a troll. Personally, I don't see any harm in what Chris did - he obeyed the social distancing regs etc. 

That sums up climbers' environmental credentials in a nut shell.

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In reply to GrahamD:

> That sums up climbers' environmental credentials in a nut shell.

Ok, but that’s the same for anyone travelling to climbing anywhere, and at at time.  As for the OP, you don’t know what his annual mileage is, or how much of that is to go climbing.

If lived in Bristol, say, I’d be very tempted to do the same.

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In reply to eroica64:

Stretches BMC advice re staying local at the moment but, as you say, is allowable. I won't be going so far. But then again I have loads of crags within 30 miles of me.

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 Tom V 17 May 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Are you referring to the credentials of someone who drove 200 miles to do a day's climbing?

How does that compare with jetting 8000 miles for a week's bouldering?

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In reply to eroica64:

Great! You went beyond the limits of what a lot of people would consider reasonable common sense and had a nice day out. Give yourself a high-five. Now have a dislike for being an utter tw*t and posting about it afterwards.

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 krikoman 17 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

What do you want from us, applause?

Or do you think you're better than us?

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 krikoman 17 May 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> As far as I can see, if the virus is spread evenly across the country, then there is no problem, as such, with travel because, as you say, an infection is an infection no matter where it happens. And, as you say, there is an argument for people travelling from densely to sparsely populated areas. However, if there are hotspots, it makes sense for people in those areas to remain in those areas to contain the virus, and more arguably for people not to visit those areas in case they get the virus and bring it out.


Wow, I agree, but how do you know where is a hotspot and where isn't, how up to date is the data, and how do we work out what's OK and what isn't.

If we had widespread testing this is very logical, and useful, but we haven't. So what we're ALL involved in, whether we want it or not, is a huge experiment to see what happens.

Since this has been tried in the US in Texas and somewhere else, I'd say we're looking at trouble, in Texas they've had the highest incidence of CV-19 sine the start of the pandeminc, same in the other place I can't remember at present.

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 Tom V 17 May 2020
In reply to AndyC:

He did 60 miles more than all the tw*ts who drove from London to Weymouth. Whereabouts on the journey was the "reasonable common sense" cut-off point?

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In reply to TheGeneralist:

> What utter bilge. On both counts.

What has amazed me is how incredibly divisive this thread has proved, and also the degree of anger expressed. It's Brexit all over again. I get the impression that a lot of the anger is directed at people who are managing to have a better time of it than the angry are. I notice that John, whose post I responded to, hasn't bothered to reply. I'm fairly sure he wasn't offended, and might even have smiled a little. Maybe.

And as for your comment: you may not be aware but on these forums if you don't like someone's light-hearted or jokey comments, you just pass by. Humour is a personal thing and it really isn't something to raise your blood pressure over. As I believe the young people say "Chill".

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 Neil Foster Global Crag Moderator UKC Supporter UKC Supporter 17 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

This thread is an interesting take on the nation’s take on the current state of this crisis.

I read your opening post early in its life, and I  liked it straight away....  (or did I dislike it?!).

Now, several hours on, its 50 likes plays 50 dislikes.

It’s like bloody Brexit all over again!

Is there no escape...

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 felt 17 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> Whereabouts on the journey was the "reasonable common sense" cut-off point?

The leafier outlying areas of Bracknell

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 Simon King 17 May 2020
In reply to Neil Foster:

Had to give you a 'like' Neil, just to make it 3 all!

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 David Coley 17 May 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> However, if there are hotspots, it makes sense for people in those areas to remain in those areas to contain the virus.

Robert, this is the bit I'm trying to get my head around. It sounds seductive, but is it true? I think it important as most people seem to think it obvious around my way.

Unless we are talking containment in a everyone-in-the-containment-gets-it way, and I don't think we are, I can not see how someone from a hot spot, even someone 100% with C19, spending time in another area increases the likelihood that they will spread it to another person, compared with if they exercised closer to home and gave it to a local. Surely all that matters is the number and length of contacts? Which leaves buying petrol about the only difference. However, people seem to think the opposite.

Post edited at 21:14
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 GrahamD 17 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> Are you referring to the credentials of someone who drove 200 miles to do a day's climbing ?

Days cli.bing ?

> How does that compare with jetting 8000 miles for a week's bouldering?

It doesn't.  That is even more shite.

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 Tom V 17 May 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Whether you go for the day or the weekend you still consume the same fuel and put out the same emissions. And as i said earlier, if a drive to Devon is off the scale for Londoners where does that put a drive to Dorset?

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 Steve Woollard 17 May 2020
In reply to David Coley:

Herd theory works because once you get to about 80% of a population infected the ability of an infected person to find one of the 20% who have not been infected becomes remote and the infection dies out.

Therefore it is better for people in a hot spot area to climb locally as they are less likely to infect someone than if they went to a location with a lower infection rate where there would be a higher chance of infecting someone

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In reply to Rog Wilko:

I was confused, because I thought that you were the OP, who was blowing me off and therefore did not want a response. But seeing you are another individual, I think it's a bit rich of you to say whether it is my business or not.

I think you are exaggerating greatly: "... amazed ... how incredibly divisive this thread has proved, and also the degree of anger expressed. It's Brexit all over again. I get the impression that a lot of the anger is directed at people who are managing to have a better time of it than the angry are.."

It's nothing like Brexit.

For the record, I am not the least bit angry, nor was I even taking sides. Just genuinely interested in the OP's rationale. (Although, his profile may partly explain the trip, in that his interest outside climbing is "driving fast".)

Practice what you preach, and chill a bit yourself.

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In reply to David Coley:

>> However, if there are hotspots, it makes sense for people in those areas to remain in those areas to contain the virus.

> Robert, this is the bit I'm trying to get my head around. It sounds seductive, but is it true? I think it important as most people seem to think it obvious around my way.

I was more thinking of containment. To take an extreme example, I can see why New Zealand would not want people coming there freely on holiday from, say, Brazil., whereas Brazil would having nothing to fear from a visitor from New Zealand. I am not sure the herd immunity argument that Steve makes would be noticeable at the likely relative levels of immunity.

In the end I think the major factor is how spread out people can be; in principle spreading people from Manchester around the Lakes rather than cramming them into parks in Manchester ought to be a good thing, but of course that doesn't work if they in fact cram themselves even tighter into Lakes honeypots.

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 David Coley 17 May 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

Yep, and that's why I made the comments about levels. At the moment the non hot spot is at 0.1 percent and the hot spot at 3. So, herd immunity isn't really relevant. 

So, what is the logic? I'm kind of lost 

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In reply to David Coley:

Well it's not surprising, a lot of people aren't being very logical and instead are being rather emotive, quite possibly because they are scared. In some ways that's a good thing as it encourages the 'locals' to comply with SD, which is the main thing which will help prevent local transmission.

On a side note, the various tourist bodies in the Lakes are still going on about how there's a high rate of Covid there. Cumulatively, there is (mostly in Barrow it seems - that well known tourist destination!) but if you look at the 'heat map' of cases identified in the last 10 days, it's not particularly high at all - Cumbria is in the second highest band, same as many other relatively rural areas such as Suffolk and lower than Norfolk. 10-20 cases per 100,000 population. Obviously that's just the cases which have been identified through testing, so the  real number is much higher but what matters is the relative number of cases identified (as a proxy for actual cases) compared to other regions. Cumbria is no longer a 'high Covid rate' area, whereas a few of the Northern cities are. Plus some other areas like Herefordshire which is rather odd!

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In reply to John Stainforth:

I suppose this just goes to show how one's intentions can be misinterpreted. My ideas of humour on this occasion may not be widely appreciated.

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 Mattyk 18 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

I'm still baffled why somebody would drive that far to go top roping?

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In reply to Mattyk:

> I'm still baffled why somebody would drive that far to go top roping?

Because someone would complain that soloing was irresponsible?

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 GrahamD 18 May 2020
In reply to Mattyk:

Because some people enjoy their cars at least as much as climbing ? This was, if it's to be taken at face value, a driving outing, not a climbing trip.

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In reply to Mattyk:

> I'm still baffled why somebody would drive that far to go top roping?

The same reason a dog licks its own bollocks*.

*Because it can.

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 Ged Desforges 18 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

it’s all about perception of risk rather than actual risk).

Surely it's not, surely it's about actual risk.  We haven't just floored the global economy and stayed at home for 2 months because of a perceived risk, we've done it because of an actual risk.  It might be a very small risk, probably because of the very small numbers that have it here in Devon, but it's still an actual risk.

If these local businesses go bust as a result, the locals can only blame themselves!

As a result of what? As a result of not opening for people who've driven a huge unnecessary journey? That seems a harsh judgement.  Surely a huge global pandemic is to blame!

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 Martin Bennett 18 May 2020
In reply to AndyC:

> Great! You went beyond the limits of what a lot of people would consider reasonable common sense and had a nice day out. Give yourself a high-five. Now have a dislike for being an utter tw*t and posting about it afterwards.

My first thought too. I wouldn't have felt it a reasonable thing for me to do but there are more opinions than mine so... To then shout about it to all and sundry? Very smug sounding.

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 David Coley 18 May 2020
In reply to Ged Desforges:

This is why I'm confused. Why is leaving the home and not remaining local more likely to spread it, than leaving the home and remaining local? 

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 felt 18 May 2020
In reply to David Coley:

> This is why I'm confused. Why is leaving the home and not remaining local more likely to spread it, than leaving the home and remaining local? 

Think of the country as a piece of bread and yourself as the butter. If you remain local you are simply a bit of butter on a piece of bread. If you move around you are spreading yourself, the butter, over the country, the bread. It comes down to what the word "spread" means.

[+ "a"]

Post edited at 12:52
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In reply to David Coley:

> This is why I'm confused. Why is leaving the home and not remaining local more likely to spread it, than leaving the home and remaining local? 

I think the answer is that, all other things being equal*, it's not.

Things that might not be equal are stopping for petrol and other contacts (which may or may not be greater non-locally).

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In reply to Ged Desforges:

> Surely it's not, surely it's about actual risk.  We haven't just floored the global economy and stayed at home for 2 months because of a perceived risk, we've done it because of an actual risk.  It might be a very small risk, probably because of the very small numbers that have it here in Devon, but it's still an actual risk.

If we're talking about infection risk, I'm pretty sure I would have been safer to drive down to Baggy for a spot of dawn low-tide soloing than what I actually did, which was a local family walk with the dogs, part of which went through a bit of Dovedale.

It wasn't all that busy, for Dovedale but there were some astonishingly selfish people among those who were there.  Those who thought social distancing was down to personal choice and said so (when challenged as they ploughed on into an oncoming group as we stood to one side off the path), large groups who clearly weren't one family and cyclists forcing walkers off the path (no, it's not a bridleway).

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 Ged Desforges 18 May 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I agree, I was just replying to the notion that it's about perceived risk rather than actual risk.  I disagree, and think the risk is very real, albeit small in lots of places.

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 Ged Desforges 18 May 2020
In reply to David Coley:

If you live in a place where quite a lot of people have it (e.g. London), then there's a higher chance that any given person is going to catch it than say in Devon.  If a person from London, who is statistically more likely to have it, travels to Devon, then anyone in Devon who comes close to them is more likely to catch it than if that person hadn't travelled from London.  

More than that, it's about the number of potential transmissions.  If you stay at home, there aren't any.  If you go to a petrol station out of necessity because you've just done a big journey, that's an extra transmission that wouldn't have otherwise happened.

To be honest, my post wasn't really about that.  Although I do think that driving from London to Devon to go climbing at the moment is a bit odd, and hardly in the spirit of things. To then post about it on here is just a bit daft.

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In reply to felt:

> Think of the country as a piece of bread and yourself as the butter. 

Isn't it a box of chocolates?

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 eroica64 18 May 2020

In reply to capoap:

Boxster S

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 eroica64 18 May 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

Hi John,

I particularly like N Devon sea cliff climbing, finding it far nicer than Harrisons. I also reckoned I would be on my own at 5-6am in the morning and, lastly, I do like a drive

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 eroica64 18 May 2020
In reply to AndyC:

You wrote this: "Now have a dislike for being an utter tw*t and posting about it afterwards."

Thank you for making the UKC forum a nicer place in which to exchange news and views etc. 

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 eroica64 18 May 2020
In reply to Mattyk:

Shunting with a top rope was necessary because there was no partner available. It was the first time out this year and it was wonderful to sit on the top of the Promontory and gaze out at seabirds, Lundy, the N Devon coast running down to Harland and beyond, and hear the waves and seabirds. Bliss after being confined for so many weeks. It was well worth it to me.

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 eroica64 18 May 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

And the trip was the dog's bollocks Robert

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In reply to Ged Desforges:

I was commenting specifically on the risk of visitors infecting locals. The government has allowed people to travel because the scientific advice is that the risk of transmission in an outdoor environment is relatively low. The reality is that the actual risk from visitors is relatively low but it is perceived by some locals as relatively high.

Clearly other aspects of life involve relatively high actual risks, which is why people are being urged to work from home if possible and pubs etc are still closed. 

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In reply to Misha:

If anyone wants a lovely visual demonstration of why travel outside your local community can be an issue, they could do worse than looking here:

https://infectiousmatter.com/smallworld/

However, travel alone doesn't spread infection, there has to be some infections contact when you arrive. So the take home message is probably to be very careful about what you do when you get there.

If you have to travel outside your community to climb, please do take extra steps to not spread infection when you're there. Avoid local shops/petrol stations if possible. If you do a number 2 in a local convenience, make sure you put the seat down before flushing. Use hand sanitiser a lot. Maybe don't hang about and chat with locals. Etc.

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In reply to midgets of the world unite:

> If you have to travel outside your community to climb, please do take extra steps to not spread infection when you're there.

Why extra steps? Surely it should be the same steps as in your own community?

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In reply to Robert Durran:

Spend 5 minutes with the link I’ll posted and you’ll see why you should be more careful. 

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In reply to midgets of the world unite:

> Spend 5 minutes with the link I’ll posted and you’ll see why you should be more careful. 

Yes, but that simulation assumes an epidemic starting with a local outbreak. I think it is clear that containment of a local outbreak makes total sense. However, the situation we have now is more like an even spread of cases across the country. In this scenario I fail to see how one infected person spending a day in a different area than their own can make any difference nationally.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

Two points.
 

1) Your statement is only partially right: you can use the webpage to simulate an outbreak with more than one case and still see the same effects. They are caused by the degree of connectivity in “small world” networks, not the isolation of the case to a single locality.

2) The amount of infections across the country is far from even, so even if you were right, you’d still be wrong.

That you “fail to see” the consequences of a single person doing this is because you are not thinking about the consequences of many people behaving the same way. 

It’s an issue, all network based epidemiology agrees it’s an issue, whose magnitude depends on the network structure of a outbreak (which can vary a lot). All it requires of you is a little bit of forethought - ie fill up with petrol locally, not at your destination.

why so resistant?

Post edited at 16:20
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In reply to midgets of the world unite:

> Two points.

> 1) Your statement is only partially right: you can use the webpage to simulate an outbreak with more than one case and still see the same effects.

I can't see how to do that. Do you have a link?

> 2) The amount of infections across the country is far from even, so even if you were right, you’d still be wrong.

Fair enough. In that case maybe travelling is not sensible.

> That you “fail to see” the consequences of a single person doing this is because you are not thinking about the consequences of many people behaving the same way. 

I am thinking! I still can't see how, if infections are evenly spread, moving a random selection of people to another randomly chosen locality for a day is a problem. Maybe I'm being thick...... I'd at least like to see a simulation.

> why so resistant?

I'm not being resistant at all. I'm just interested in the validity or not of the arguments for and against travel.

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 Ged Desforges 18 May 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

This starts to give an indication... 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-51768274

Somewhere, I forget where, I heard 10% of London population has been infected, and less than 2 % of Devon population. Bearing in mind that the vast majority of Devon cases are in Plymouth, Exeter and torbay, I think it's fair to assume that rural Devon is a lot lower than that. So if you're coming from one of the worse areas of London, that's a pretty big difference. 

Post edited at 16:39
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In reply to Robert Durran:

Fair enough. From the first simulation you get to, you can hit “infect someone” multiple times. 

You are asking the wrong question though; if infections are completely uniform at all times there is no effect, true. But this is a hypothetical that is never observed. Even if infections across the country are statistically similar (which they aren’t), those infections consist of small clumps within localities. 

Personally I don’t see this suggests we should not travel. It’s a well known effect and those advising the government will be well aware. They’ve decided on balance we can travel, presumably because the risk of us actually spreading the virus at the end of our journeys is small. 
 

But I think a bit of extra prudence at the end of our journeys is probably worth the effort. 

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 krikoman 18 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

>  Plus some other areas like Herefordshire which is rather odd!

In other words no one understands it yet? I which case why risk moving it about?

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In reply to midgets of the world unite:

> Fair enough. From the first simulation you get to, you can hit “infect someone” multiple times. 

Yes, that's good. Though they are random. It would be interesting to be able to start with chosen numbers of infections in each locality to see the effect of travel with a non uniform initial distribution.

> Personally I don’t see this suggests we should not travel. It’s a well known effect and those advising the government will be well aware. They’ve decided on balance we can travel, presumably because the risk of us actually spreading the virus at the end of our journeys is small. 

Of course. It is all a balance.

> But I think a bit of extra prudence at the end of our journeys is probably worth the effort. 

Yes, it certainly can't do any harm!

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 Trangia 18 May 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Because some people enjoy their cars at least as much as climbing ? This was, if it's to be taken at face value, a driving outing, not a climbing trip.

Good point. Yesterday, I was out walking around the Isle of Oxney which overlooks Romney Marsh, and The Royal Military Canal, which was built to keep Napolean's Army at bay had he invaded. The canal has numerous jinks in it which would have been gun positions from which to provide enfilade fire along each of the reaches had attempts been made to cross it with boats . It was a glorious Spring day and the air was full of the sound of motorbikes being ridden flat out along the road taking full advantage of the wonderful bends these jinks have provided. 

There were dozens of motor cyclists enjoying themselves for the sheer thrill of it, many in groups of 4 or more.

I am suspect that a) It's extremely unlikely that these groups came from one household plus one other from another household, and b) that they had ridden down to the area to go walking, running or some other exercise.

If their behaviour was to be taken at face value, theirs too was a riding outing

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 Steve Woollard 18 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

You probably got stopped by the police because they thought you were a drug mule 😎

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 rgd1977 18 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

I’m happy for you. Sounds like you had a great day. Good for you, bet it was nice to get out of London for a mental boost and some fun after 2 months stuck in the city 👍

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 eroica64 19 May 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

Better that than being thought an ass ....

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 profitofdoom 19 May 2020
In reply to Steve Woollard:

> You probably got stopped by the police because they thought you were a drug mule 😎

Right - saying "I'm on my way to Baggy" rings alarm bells for the law, bless them

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 David Coley 19 May 2020
In reply to Ged Desforges:

> This starts to give an indication... 

> Somewhere, I forget where, I heard 10% of London population has been infected, and less than 2 % of Devon population. Bearing in mind that the vast majority of Devon cases are in Plymouth, Exeter and torbay, I think it's fair to assume that rural Devon is a lot lower than that. So if you're coming from one of the worse areas of London, that's a pretty big difference. 

Its a small difference in impact . Imagine the person comes from London and is infected. If they were not infected then they can't spread it. They come to Devon and get close enough to infect someone by any route. The probability that the person can be infected in Devon is by your numbers 98 percent and in London 90 percent. Only an 8 percentage point difference. Not much. And I would suggest much smaller than the difference in people density between the two places. Except for the question of possibly more interactions from buying more petrol I can see no mathematical reason not to traveling far, the key is whether the destination offers more or fewer interactions than the local alternative. 

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 Roadrunner6 19 May 2020
In reply to David Coley:

Really? the general advice is to stay local, he's pushed far beyond what was sensible to most people and if everyone did that there would be more interactions down there.

He's not broken the law but he's really not coming across well having done that and then, seemingly, bragged about it on a public forum.

Hours of driving for a few hours top roping.

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 kevin stephens 19 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I can’t understand the bragging about it, it’s Just encouragement for loads of others to do the same, then there really would be a problem. Next there will be convoys if surfers heading there from London too. 

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 Tom V 19 May 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

I suppose the good thing about the  UKC log book is that it doesn't list the ascensionist's town of origin .

Or is that a bad thing?

Post edited at 17:33
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 David Coley 19 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

My comment was on the maths of the idea of travel increasing spread. Not on whether this was sensible for other reasons 

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 eroica64 19 May 2020

In reply to capoap:

Caterham 7 and Elise?  You like them light and fast sure enough.

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In reply to Misha:

> Well it's not surprising, a lot of people aren't being very logical and instead are being rather emotive, quite possibly because they are scared. 

I know a lot of people are quite keen to portray behaviour during lockdown as a matter of emotional behaviour versus rationality.

I don't see it as being so black and white. People are emotional, we all are, excluding a handful of sociopaths. Behavioural science requires accounting for the fact that people don't always behave rationally, and I think a lot of people probably find it easy to justify their own behaviour when managing a public health crisis requires understanding the behaviour of millions.

Even if we were to all act "logically" - how far are you willing to take that? It's statistically likely that the vast majority of people who die due to COVID-19 would likely have done so anyway within a few years. Many might be willing to accept that so long as those tens of thousands remain anonymous. What if instead I present you with a list of names and ask which ones you're willing to cross off? Suddenly it's not so easy.

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In reply to planetmarshall:

I just meant that it’s illogical to oppose people visiting an area on the grounds that they might spread the virus when all they are doing is parking up and going for a walk / climb. That’s not just my own view, that is also the view of the government and its advisers. They have recognised that the risk of transmission outdoors is low. Some ‘locals’ do not seem to accept that and I would say that is illogical.

There is some risk of transmission if visitors use local shops etc, which is why people should not do that.

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 Ged Desforges 20 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

But if they have driven from London, then then there is a very high chance that they ARE going to use some public amenities, as the OP has proven.  Food, petrol, toilets.  It starts getting a bit daft if we start saying you can drive as far as you want as long as you don't go into any shops or petrol stations or toilets.  Just make it simpler, and say stay close to home.

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 Cusco 20 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

Government advice for England still appears to say “If you can, stay local.” It would appear from your post that you could, yet didn’t.

It would seem that, due to the fact you have posted about this, you are already aware that your actions are controversial at best, so have you posted to boast, or to seek approval?

I do think it is a slippery slope to name call and criticise others, there isn’t need for that. There does seem to be an overwhelming opinion that the risk of a resurgence now that England has relaxed restrictions is high, and reason why Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not followed suit.

Did you consider, regardless of risk of infection, the stress and upset that will have been caused to locals when lots of non-locals pitched up, and your piece in this larger puzzle? Did you consider the extra pressure on the local police in having to stop and speak to more people?

Regardless of the result, it would surely be difficult for you to argue the fact that it is likely a selfish act, and not very community minded. 

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 David Coley 20 May 2020
In reply to Ged Desforges:

> But if they have driven from London, then then there is a very high chance that they ARE going to use some public amenities, as the OP has proven.  Food, petrol, toilets.  It starts getting a bit daft if we start saying you can drive as far as you want as long as you don't go into any shops or petrol stations or toilets.  Just make it simpler, and say stay close to home.

I think this goes back to my original point. If you take the view that we are all in this together, then there should be no difference between obtaining food etc. local to where you live compared to doing so remotely. There is the point that you might need to fill up more often, however if you are coming from a densely populated region to a sparsely population one, this is more than likely than not to offset this I guess. 

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 Lankyman 20 May 2020
In reply to RyanS:

> Government advice for England still appears to say “If you can, stay local.” It would appear from your post that you could, yet didn’t.

> It would seem that, due to the fact you have posted about this, you are already aware that your actions are controversial at best, so have you posted to boast, or to seek approval?

> I do think it is a slippery slope to name call and criticise others, there isn’t need for that. There does seem to be an overwhelming opinion that the risk of a resurgence now that England has relaxed restrictions is high, and reason why Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not followed suit.

> Did you consider, regardless of risk of infection, the stress and upset that will have been caused to locals when lots of non-locals pitched up, and your piece in this larger puzzle? Did you consider the extra pressure on the local police in having to stop and speak to more people?

> Regardless of the result, it would surely be difficult for you to argue the fact that it is likely a selfish act, and not very community minded. 


Surely you must have realised by now that some people are special enough to be above all consideration other than themselves and their own wants?

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 Tom V 20 May 2020
In reply to RyanS:

> Government advice for England still appears to say “If you can, stay local.” It would appear from your post that you could, yet didn’t.

I'm all for staying local myself but I think if you are going to criticise someone for not following government guidelines then you should be familiar with those guidelines yourself. 

The update issued on 11/5 says quite specifically in 1.7 that you can travel unlimited distances for your exercise : "You can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance"

Surely that's what brought about all the fuss about opening up the Lakes and so on.

Post edited at 20:55
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In reply to Tom V:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#is-your-journey-necessary

My point, however, was more about social responsibility and not just acting for yourself and your own (unnecessary) wants in a time when community thinking should be a priority. 

Despite the government issued “rules” it is indisputable that we all should be staying at home as much as is possible, driving from London to Devon would fairly be considered excessive. 

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In reply to Ged Desforges:

I would say a round trip from home which doesn’t require stopping for fuel etc is a reasonable limit. Realistically, I suspect most people wouldn’t travel longer than a couple of hours each way anyway for a one day hit (well I wouldn’t) but there are always exceptions. 

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 wintertree 21 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

> Glorious driving too.  It was like how it used to be years ago. 

Spewing out vast amounts of filth and CO2 without a care for anyone it will harm?

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In reply to wintertree:

Considering the poor guy has been holed up in Croydon for eight weeks, I don't blame him one little bit for going for a burn down to Dorset.  He's done sod all harm to absolutely no one.

If we all had the tens of thousands of pounds to spend that you've told us all about how green and self sufficient you are, we'll happily jump on your green high horse.

I wish I had that kind of money!

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 wintertree 21 May 2020
In reply to Ultradecrepidarian:

> If we all had the tens of thousands of pounds to spend that you've told us all about how green and self sufficient you are, we'll happily jump on your green high horse.

You’re ever estimating my spend by a factor of lots there.  I’ve bought used and installed myself.  I’ve also not flown or had a holiday more than 50 miles away in 7 years to save the money to buy a used EV and install used solar panels and a rainwater system etc to reduce our carbon footprint.  So excuse me if I jump on a high horse about your presumptuous post.  

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 Tom V 21 May 2020
In reply to RyanS:

As I said, I'm a stay local person myself.

The fact that we can both quote conflicting sentences from government documents issued on two successive days shows how difficult it is for people to interpret the advice.

As for the trip being excessive, it needs to be compared to all the other travel that would be involved in UKC discussions: a trip to Devon from London pretty much equates to a trip to the Peak and is much less than a trip to the Lakes. 

Whether the trip is a one day trip or a weekend is irrelevant .

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In reply to Tom V:

I feel a little sorry for the OP. At last he's allowed out (by gov standards), decides to go for a blast in the car because the weather's nice, sorts out his timing to reduce chances of contact/transmission, has a great time enjoying the rock and driving on much quieter roads, and then posts on here about a great experience.

And then he gets a complete flaming from several directions. Typical UKC but this thread is hardly what you'd call a positive experience.

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 Ged Desforges 21 May 2020
In reply to Misha:

I'd agree with that.  Seems common sense.  It's a shame everyone's idea of common sense is different.  

I still can't help but feel that the government is being particularly vague with guidance so that when the R does creep up again, they can slope their shoulders and say it's because we weren't all being sensible enough.

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Increasingly it seems that people are starting to lose sight of the bigger picture in the midst of this pandemic. Yes it's important we protect each other from transmission, but there are also lots of other issues at play. I know that your social media feeds and the media would suggest otherwise but don't forget that. It's tempting to become a bit... fixated. Fixated on minor details that don't actually make that much difference.

Whether someone touched a petrol pump in a different postcode is a pretty minor detail really (they are always covered in petrol anyway, surely that would keep them disinfected? I can't imagine the virus thriving on that surface with all the fuel evaporating around there and coating the handle).

Let's please remember, people's mental heath and overall well-being are also very, very important. Yes we don't want people to die of coronavirus, or the NHS to get swamped (not that they weren't already before this...), but don't forget everything else in life that matters. There is a balance to be struck here between protecting ourselves from the damage that an unchecked virus would have versus completely eroding our liberty, our happiness, our well being, and stopping society from functioning altogether.

For example, I bet that people living in London have higher rates of suicide and mental health issues compared with people living in beautiful countryside areas, especially at the moment. That matters too! Imagine being trapped in an apartment in the middle of London during this pandemic. What a difficult situation to deal with, especially now it's clear we are in this situation for the long term. There is a limit to what people can endure, and everyone is different. Some people may be struggling more than others, and that is totally understandable.

We all know the value of being out in nature, being away from the city, and of course the benefits that climbing have on our mental and physical health. We do also need to look after ourselves, don't underestimate the value in that too. They are predicting there will be more people needing cancer treatment in the coming months, but that is just one impact I see coming. Our mental health has a huge affect on physical health, and being trapped indoors or trapped in a city is not good for you, it doesn't take a genius to realise that. Running around in the same park each day doesn't really have the same positive affect (for some people) as going out into nature and going for a climb. It's hard to motivate yourself to stay active in that kind of environment.

As we are all aware, the UK has experienced some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection and related deaths (relative to the rest of the world) not because the public have been nonchalant or selfish. It's because we are an international hub. Heathrow and Gatwick both see some of the highest numbers of international travellers of any airport in the world.

It's also because our front line workers (and the public) have not been provided with enough PPE and testing kits. It's because the government originally told us that masks made no difference. It's because the care sector in this country is disgustingly under-funded and under-resourced, and so of course it was more likely that people in care homes would get infected and die. It's because international flights were not scaled down fast enough, and those coming into the UK from abroad were not tested (not even their temperatures were monitored). These are the factors that made a real difference.

It's true, the measures we take now will still have an impact on the spread of the virus. But let's keep things in perspective. Proper testing and PPE will make a huge difference. Whether Karen decides to drive a few hundred miles to go climbing will have little impact in comparison. Put pressure on the government to deliver what they have promised, rather than turning on each other. 

And most importantly, there are other issues we need to focus on, not just coronavirus. Climate change and ecocide. Inequality. Famine. War. Human rights. Whether the current system can realistically bounce back or whether actually capitalism and globalisation are failing us.

So really, if the OP, or other individuals, take a longer drive to get out into the countryside and climb really isn't that important given the overall state of the world. More diligence while queuing in the supermarket would probably have a bigger impact.

The relative positives in this case probably out weigh the relative negatives. It's still a little strange that he came on here to tell the UKC community about it, but perhaps he wanted to share how great his experience was. Maybe he wanted to assert that it is possible to go climbing without having a lot of contact with others (which is true!).

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 Skip 21 May 2020
In reply to louise_travelling_climber:

Great post!

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 kevin stephens 21 May 2020
In reply to louise_travelling_climber:

Suicide rates are actually higher in nice rural areas than in London, see the chart on page 32

https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/1.39_Health%20in%20rural%20areas_WEB.pdf

Post edited at 17:08
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 eroica64 21 May 2020
In reply to wintertree:

You wrote: "Spewing out vast amounts of filth and CO2 without a care for anyone it will harm?" 

Oh God yes; humungous amounts of black oily exhaust killing roadside mammals, wilting the plant life in the verges, shortening the life of every human within 10 miles of the road. Can't wait to go back.  

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 wintertree 21 May 2020
In reply to eroica64:

I think you may not be the only person to have missed some of the point of my post. Car exhausts and emission levels are way, way cleaner now than they were the last time roads where as quiet as during lockdown.  So much for a bit of whimsy...

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 Tom V 21 May 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I must admit to having read it as  er64 did and being surprised at you for saying it.

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In reply to kevin stephens:

You can take all kinds of sources for your stats. I had a look through that document, there wasn't much to suggest that there are less people in Croydon committing suicide than in, say, Devon. Anyway, you can't lump all of London into one area. There are HUGE differences in quality of life between different people and areas in London. Some areas are leafy and green and super affluent, some are concrete jungles of poverty.

Here's an article that explains that suicide rates among men in London have been increasing at an alarming rate: https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/suicides-reached-record-levels-parts-17061806

And this is all before lockdown measures started...

Anyway, suicide is just one indicator of mental health and well-being. There are plenty of others.

Do people literally have to get to the point where they are killing themselves in such high numbers that people stop and think, or could we just use our common sense and realise that people trapped in small flats in cities are probably having a hard time of it?

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 kevin stephens 22 May 2020
In reply to louise_travelling_climber:

> You can take all kinds of sources for your stats. 

Exactly! My post was to show that your own assertion/assumption could not be relied upon. Mental health is a major and complex issue, never more so than now. It’s over simplistic to recruit it to support one side or another of an argument 

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In reply to kevin stephens:

I disagree. I think it is at the centre of the argument here.

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 Stuart William 22 May 2020
In reply to louise_travelling_climber:

> Anyway, you can't lump all of London into one area. There are HUGE differences in quality of life between different people and areas in London. Some areas are leafy and green and super affluent, some are concrete jungles of poverty.

Same goes for the countryside. It’s not all quaint little middle class villages and second homes. Rural areas have at least their fair share of deprivation and plenty of challenges not faced by those in cities. Deprivation and mental health outcomes can be pretty bad once you look beyond the bits you see on holiday, and farmers have one of the highest suicide rates of any occupation. A lot of rural areas also have much older populations than cities (young people often have to move away to find work) so a higher risk population in terms of covid.

Not saying I disagree with you about the benefits of people being able to get outside, but pitting city and country in some kind of suffering top trumps misses the nuances of both situations and just adds further to the sense of “us vs them”

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