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Who is not going to climbing walls

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020

My opinion is climbing walls cannot be covid safe with people touching the same things over and over again and then touching their faces.

I know lots of people who are going, and with the current weather I am not sure how long I will refrain.

Having said that are there many others who are avoiding.

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 Andypeak 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm pretty sure you are not required to touch your face

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 Eric9Points 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Haven't been to a wall or a gym for that matter, since February.

My view might be different if I were 22 rather than 62 but why risk permanent damage to your health?

Or dying.

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

No, but I do, it's a habit, and if you observe, lots of people do, though less so now.

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

That's my view.

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 C Witter 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've not been to one since February either. Although I feel bad for people who rely on walls for income, it just seems too risky. Apart from the risk of spreading it to other people, the risk of getting "long Covid" and having to deal with chronic fatigue for the indefinite future is too scary. I miss it, but I'm just getting outside when the weather is dry, running when it's not and I've put up a little fingerboard.

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In reply to SteveX:

I'm not, but it's because of having DVT and not because of COVID.  Otherwise I would be.  I think the measures put in place are sensible and there's no need to lick your fingers between climbs.

Post edited at 08:49
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 Duncan Bourne 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Being retired we go early doors when it is quiet and use the hand sanitizers a lot.

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 JLS 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've not been going. I can't quantify the risk so for all I know the risk might be only slight but my gut feeling, as we tend towards increasing infection rates, tells me to give it a miss...

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 Si dH 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've been back twice. First time waa fine. Second time it was really busy and not possible to keep my distance adequately. I've decided to cancel my membership for now. 

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Yes that's an option for me, however climbing huts say 72 hours between use so leaving 12 hours between me and a load of 16 to 25 year olds seems illogical.

I want to go.

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to C Witter:

Ah fingerboard, am I going to have to put mine up 🤔

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 philipivan 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I only normally go as a winter evening activity so I haven't missed going yet but I don't think I'll be rushing back. For now I prefer getting out on my bike or boat. A shame because I like the vibe of the Nottingham/ Derby walls and it's a nice place to be alone or with the kids. 

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In reply to SteveX:

I've been going and it's been fine tbh.

Wear a mask at all times except when climbing works well, regular use of hand sanitiser etc. I think the walls are running it really well.

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 combatrock 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I have climbed inside once since March, and didn't really enjoy it to be honest. As much as I miss it, I just feels a step too far for me personally at this time. We've been outside more this year than we have in ages which is great and reconfirmed my love for it. Now the weather is changing I feel pretty down to be honest, but we have decided to build a home woody. I can do some laps and enjoy 'just moving' without having to worry about who was heavy breathing or even sneezing on the holds before me!

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In reply to Eric9Points:

> My view might be different if I were 22 rather than 62 but why risk permanent damage to your health?

At 62, I came to the conclusion there was a real risk of permanent damage to my health, or at least my fitness, by not getting back to the wall.  The walls I use are well-managed, masks worn on close communal areas, hand sanitisers everywhere, and numbers restricted.  They definitely feel safer then the few pubs I've sat inside.

There's some evidence that chalky hands and holds are a pretty hostile environment for the virus, which seems logical to me, but there's probably a degree of confirmation bias there.

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 Sealwife 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Not been because the only wall local to me and feasible for me to get to, is still closed.  It's part of a sports centre which is scheduled to reopen next month - although I'd not be surprised if that's pushed back to early next year.

I miss it lots.

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 Webster 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

what do you want, a medal? stop trying to guilt trip people who are trying to get on with their lives. nothing is 100% 'covid safe'. we are just going to have to accept that people are going to die of the virus this winter. as a society we accept that 10's of thousands die of the flue and other respiratory infections every winter. this is going to have to be another one to add to the list.

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Webster:

How can I phrase this, get stuffed.

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 combatrock 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Webster:

Nothing is covid safe, that's very true. Exactly why it is up to the individual to decide what they want to do, be that going to the pub, going to the climbing wall, visiting family (or going to a rave). It's easy to say 'we have to accept that people are going to die of the virus this winter' until it's someone you know, or even yourself. I didn't see any 'guilt trip' in SteveX's original post, it was a simple question.

If you feel happy climbing indoors, good for you.

If others don't, good for them too. 

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 slab_happy 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm not -- less concerned with the risk of surface transfer, much more about airborne transmission, based on current evidence -- but I'm also currently living very close to outdoor bouldering and have a fingerboard and a very small home board. So it's not exactly a hardship!

If my situation was different, I might be making a different call, given the importance of climbing to my mental health.

I think everyone's got to make their own judgement call about this, depending on all sorts of factors like whether you're in a higher-risk group (or living with someone who is), whether you can climb at off-peak times, how well you think your local wall is enforcing precautions, what level of risk you're exposed to in other contexts, etc. etc. etc..  I'm not going to judge anyone who makes their own risk assessment and decides it's worthwhile for them to go to the wall.

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 Reach>Talent 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I have been to the wall a couple of times since they reopened, my local wall seems well managed and social distancing is easy to maintain. Another nearby wall much less so and I doubt I will be back there for quite a while. 

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to slab_happy:

That's where I am at.

It will be interesting to see at what point, the fact I want to go, alters my perception of risk.

The risk will not change, just my perception.

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 Flinticus 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm going regularly now. The GCC (top rope, auto-belay & lead) is less busy than the TCA bouldering centre and the demographic slightly older and more cautious / observant. Its easier keep a distance on routes than bouldering.

I'm now restricting my TCA visits to early weekend mornings as it reaches capacity pretty quickly weekday evenings and the weekend. Peak times seem to attract a less cautious crowd, perhaps self-selecting as the cautious will go early or not at all.

Along with supermarket shopping, its the only risky activity I do now. 

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 C Witter 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Webster:

Given you can't even spell 'flue' I'm not sure it's worth dismantling your argument. But, for what it's worth, there have been over 40,000 deaths from covid-19 in the UK despite social distancing measures, whereas flu deaths average 15,000 without measures. Epidemiological models predicted half a million covid deaths without social distancing. So... go figure - you utter sociopath.

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In reply to SteveX:

> The risk will not change, just my perception.

Well, it might.  It's been changing (reducing slightly) all along as the virus is better understood and treatments are developed.

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 plyometrics 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I’m 44 and haven’t been to a wall or the gym since March.

I don’t want me or my wife to get COVID; perhaps more specifically, I don’t want either of us to have to deal with Long COVID.

Fortunately, we have the ability to workout effectively at home, as well as having the Cumbrian fells and lakes on our doorstep. We acknowledge many others aren’t so fortunate.

Post edited at 11:02
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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Well, it might.  It's been changing (reducing slightly) all along as the virus is better understood and treatments are developed.

Possibly our understanding of the risk may change. I suppose the risk will only change as treatments develop or maybe as the Virus mutates, it could become more or less dangerous.
 

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In reply to SteveX:

> Possibly our understanding of the risk may change.

That too.

> I suppose the risk will only change as treatments develop

Which has already happened to some (limited) extent.

> or maybe as the Virus mutates, it could become more or less dangerous.

It *appears* it has become more contagious, as lockdown measures which previously worked to contain it seem not to be doing.

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 Qwerty2019 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Been visiting our local walls 2-3 times per week since the reopening with my daughter. I don’t climb but I am on the mats. I wear a mask on and off the mats. I do the brushing and as soon as we leave the mats we use hand sanitizer. I wash down any seat or table I sit at. I sanitizer as I walk in and leave. The walls we climb at only ever seem to be at 50% of the Covid reduced capacities at most and when they do get busy like last Friday evening we pack up and go home. Not once have I felt I didn’t have enough space or the wall wasn’t doing enough to keep us safe. I have not had any Covid time off work for the entire period. I still have to go into my workplace and mix with my workmates. My daughter has to go to school and mix with hundreds of others. The climbing wall may be a risk of sorts but it is also a place of solitude to help deal with current life and allow my family some normality

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to plyometrics:

My main focus is my Father, he is 83 and my mother died at Christmas and I want to support him, even though hes a miserable old bugger, its where I get it from, and the main support I can give him is by visiting him.

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In reply to SteveX:

> My opinion is climbing walls cannot be covid safe with people touching the same things over and over again and then touching their faces.

> I know lots of people who are going, and with the current weather I am not sure how long I will refrain.

> Having said that are there many others who are avoiding.

I've not been since about February, and to be honest I'm really missing it, particularly as I can't see it likely I'll be able to return until well into next year. When the wall reopened I asked if they'd freeze my membership as I'd paid for a full year's access back in September, and they did, although only until next month (I'm hoping they'll extend that). I think people have to take a decision based on their own circumstances as there's definitely a degree of risk, but from what I've read that's being managed, and as someone else said life goes on, especially if you're young. If it wasn't for the fact I have close contact with vulnerable relatives I'd probably go myself. And it's just not only the risk of getting covid and passing it on, but the risk of having to self-isolate for 14 days if I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time that I keep in mind. 

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 WaterMonkey 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> My view might be different if I were 22 rather than 62 but why risk permanent damage to your health?

I've been reliably informed by a 74 year old American that it's nothing to be scared of..

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In reply to SteveX:

> My main focus is my Father, he is 83 and my mother died at Christmas and I want to support him, even though hes a miserable old bugger, its where I get it from, and the main support I can give him is by visiting him.

I totally understand that.  If I were in your position I would be taking no chances either.

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In reply to SteveX:

I agree, I was in the bouldering wall last night and there wasn't any effective social distancing and of course everyone was touching all the holds. I used the hand sanitiser twice during the session, and liquid chalk twice - not enough.

Although I don't think it's a massive risk like sitting in an office with people all day or a house party, we're kidding ourselves if we think it's "covid secure" - it isn't. I've got vulnerable parents who I still want to see, and I really don't want to get a horrible virus that leaves me feeling like shit for weeks or potentially months (I sometimes get 3 weeks of feeling shit after a bad cold, so I feel like I'm likely to get covid badly enough to ruin my life for a while if I get it).

So the risk is definitely real (both likelihood and impact) but for me the balance is definitely in favour of going. I haven't got light/time to go outside after work now, don't have training facilities at home, and feel much better having done some proper exercise by the end of the day. The wall is where I see my local friends. I have no interest in spending a dark, cold, wet evening running and I don't have a bike. It's also important for me to climb the stuff I like climbing on my days off (i.e. bouldering outdoors this time of year) and to enjoy that I need a basic level of strength that I keep up by going indoors. 

So yes, it's a risk, but for me the benefits of the wall outweigh it and I'll continue going (at least until I catch covid and spend 3 months feeling utterly shite and getting horribly depressed as I can't do anything except just about make it through work and then fall asleep exhausted).

Having put it into words and clarified my view on it, I'll use the hand sanitiser a few more times next session!

Post edited at 11:24
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 john arran 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I wonder about the likelihood of transmission via hold contact as, even if the virus might sometimes be deposited on holds and then picked up from them on hands, it then needs to make its way to your mouth, and who puts chalky fingers into their mouth, or even on their lips? Without chalky hands I think we're likely to touch our mouths inadvertently from time to time, but I very much doubt we'll do that to anywhere near the same extent once our hands are covered in chalk.

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 Eric9Points 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> At 62, I came to the conclusion there was a real risk of permanent damage to my health, or at least my fitness, by not getting back to the wall.  The walls I use are well-managed, masks worn on close communal areas, hand sanitisers everywhere, and numbers restricted.  They definitely feel safer then the few pubs I've sat inside.

> There's some evidence that chalky hands and holds are a pretty hostile environment for the virus, which seems logical to me, but there's probably a degree of confirmation bias there.

As I understand it, it is now believed that the main route for transmission is through aerosols.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/10/02/1009235/this-scientist-made-a-google-doc-to-educate-the-public-about-airborne-coronavirus-transmission/

I guess shared use of holds in a bouldering wall will of course exacerbate that but I'm wary of being in confined spaces with a lot of other people. Especially when social distancing is commonly ignored or just impractical. 

Yes, my fitness has been reduced by enforced inactivity but to a degree it is something I could address if I had the drive to do so. I could maintain climbing fitness from bouldering outside for example, I can do stretching and weight training in my own house. Certainly when this is over my fitness will return over six months or perhaps a year. I balance this temporary loss of fitness against the real possibility, as I understand it, of permanent damage to my health from contracting C19. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53065340

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 Eric9Points 06 Oct 2020
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> I've been reliably informed by a 74 year old American that it's nothing to be scared of..

Yes, that guy.

The one who's been surrounded by a team of doctors 24/7 and been treated with everything from monoclonal antibodies to Domestios and was still struggling to breathe while saluting the Stars and Stripes last night.

No, nothing to worry about, nothing at all..

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In reply to john arran:

Yeah I'm not sure if the holds is really the issue - the virus doesn't do well in the chalk, they say. I think it's being in a non-socially distanced indoor space for a couple of hours with a bunch of people who might have covid!

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 Webster 06 Oct 2020
In reply to combatrock:

 I didn't see any 'guilt trip' in SteveX's original post, it was a simple question.

i agree with most of what you say. but he is looking for self gratification and a pat on the back, otherwise why post? its a discussion which has gone round in circles millions of times, nothing new has changed, so why post now? if you dont want to go and do x, y or z then fine, dont. making a post about it, directly or otherwise, is trying to influence others decisions.

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 Qwerty2019 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I have stopped going to places like B&Q and supermarkets etc because I got sick of people aged 60+ absolutely ignoring social distancing and how to wear a mask. Even when asked politely to keep 2m away they actually get aggressive. In the end I decided I am working as hard as I can to mitigate it and protect people who really aren’t that bothered about being protected. Those that are trying to protect themselves, well I would hope they are doing what my own highly susceptible parents are doing and keeping themselves as far away from public as possible. In comparison the climbing walls are relative havens of safety with measures in place for people to make informed choices to go. Nowhere is 100% safe but in the list of places I visit it’s definately not that risky. For balance I haven’t visited a pub or had an alcoholic drink in public for over a year. I have had a couple of meals out and both felt as safe as could be with 10ft + distancing

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 spenser 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've not been and don't currently plan on going unless it is with my friend who is the other half of my social bubble so that we have both made an informed decision (we agreed a while ago to discuss with each other before going to walls). That may change, however as things look to be getting worse I am considering a hangboard as a sensible investment.

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In reply to Webster:

> i agree with most of what you say. but he is looking for self gratification and a pat on the back, otherwise why post? its a discussion which has gone round in circles millions of times, nothing new has changed, so why post now? if you dont want to go and do x, y or z then fine, dont. making a post about it, directly or otherwise, is trying to influence others decisions.

so, he's wrong to post, but you're right to respond? how's that work?

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 petemeads 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm 69, wife 68, no aged parents left. Since released from lockdown I have been bouldering indoors on Friday afternoons with a maximum of a dozen others, wife swims 3 mornings a week at David Lloyd which is also very quiet. I'm not at all concerned about the wall, a bit more concerned about Tesco despite masks, but I had all the conventional symptoms of Covid in mid-December and they lasted about 4 days. Been running with a permanent cough since Xmas but X-ray recently confirms nothing sinister. Need to climb, getting really weak arms after 6 months of running and biking...

Post edited at 12:40
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 combatrock 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Webster:

"making a post about it, directly or otherwise, is trying to influence others decisions."

Pretty much the entire point of a public discussion forum! Maybe it was just to see how other people are viewing the situation now, as it is changing weekly. Personally I have found it interesting to read all the different views on it. It's not changing my opinion though, as an internet forum is not something I base important health decisions on as that would be Trump-levels of idiocy.

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 neilh 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

A lot depends on the climbing wall itself. Some are good and some are just indifferent. Fortunately I am in an area where there is an abundance of walls so I can pick and choose. On pure bouldering ones I will visit them outside core hours. Otherwise they just seem full of potential spreaders. 
 

A lot depends on how old you are. But I do think wall managers have to wake upto the fact that they may lose their older regular customers if the wall is not managing the risk well. And older customers tend to be more affluent.  

Post edited at 12:49
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In reply to SteveX:

I have been going to Ratho regularly since it reopened two weeks ago. It's been brilliant for my sense of wellbeing as well as my endurance and feels like I have finally got my social life back - I've not been to a pub or restaurant, live alone and have made or had only a handful of home visits since February. Ratho being huge and airy with social distancing no problem, it is probably relatively safe (I am told that they are unlikely to even reach their maximum capacity). It certainly feels a lot safer than the rest of the day spent in a school! 

Post edited at 13:04
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 ian caton 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

How can anywhere be covid safe!!!

Current thinking, AFAIK, is that most people don't spread it but some are super spreaders. Most transmission is aerosol. So it doesn't matter how many people are in there, if you have one superspreader you are knackered. I won't be going near them for the foreseeable. 

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

> A lot depends on the climbing wall itself. Some are good and some are just indifferent. Fortunately I am in an area where there is an abundance of walls so I can pick and choose. On pure bouldering ones I will visit them outside core hours. Otherwise they just seem full of potential spreaders. 

> A lot depends on how old you are. But I do think wall managers have to wake upto the fact that they may lose their older regular customers if the wall is not managing the risk well. And older customers tend to be more affluent.  

I asked a friend of mine his experience and he said its was great, Masks on entry, then just like normal, which to me at 57 and  3/4, was not terribly confidence inspiring.

Most of my mates are going and I doubtless will succumb, its just a question of time and weaving myself the correct story

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In reply to john arran:

> I wonder about the likelihood of transmission via hold contact as, even if the virus might sometimes be deposited on holds and then picked up from them on hands, it then needs to make its way to your mouth, and who puts chalky fingers into their mouth, or even on their lips? 

I've suddenly become very conscious of my habit of holding the rope in my mouth (which I have just pulled up with my hand) when clipping! My partners and I are leading on our own separate ropes.

Post edited at 13:11
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 AJM 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I am contemplating a return this week. I don't tend to go over the summer anyway and return from holiday has reset me into autumn mode.

My local seems at the stricter end - masks to be worn the whole time - which I can see as useful from a safety perspective but which I am also not looking forwards to much - both from the perspective of exertion whilst masked and because it will force me to wear contact lenses rather than glasses.

As others have said, my main concern would be with space/ventilation/etc. Fundamentally it seems that this is an airborne problem with a side order of surface transmission risk, so I don't tend to focus my concern on the latter as much.

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> I've suddenly become very conscious of my habit of holding the rope in my mouth (which I have just pulled up with my hand) when clipping! My partners and I are leading on our own separate ropes.

I guess you handle the whole rope while belaying, so putting it in your mouth is probably ill-advised, if your partner has covid. Personally, I'm taking the gamble that my partner doesn't have covid rather than assuming they have and then trying not to catch it off them.

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In reply to SteveX:

I've not gone since Feb, and cancelled my membership. It totally sucks, but there's no way it can be 'safe' and i've got a pregnant wife.

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 JLS 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

>"It certainly feels a lot safer than the rest of the day spent in a school!"

There's always one. Someone ready to transmit the virus from school to wall.

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to JLS:

> >"It certainly feels a lot safer than the rest of the day spent in a school!"

> There's always one. Someone ready to transmit the virus from school to wall.

Is that  tongue in cheek?
Because otherwise that means you think most essential workers should not go to the wall, NHS, Retail, Carrier Drivers only people who can work from home and the like.

Apologies if I have missed a joke.

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 slab_happy 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I've suddenly become very conscious of my habit of holding the rope in my mouth (which I have just pulled up with my hand) when clipping!

Yeah, I'm trying to go by a rule of "no gear or ropes in anybody's mouths" while trad climbing outside. Good way to force myself to get in smarter positions to place gear and clip and get less faff-y, I guess ...

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In reply to JLS:

> >"It certainly feels a lot safer than the rest of the day spent in a school!"

> There's always one. Someone ready to transmit the virus from school to wall.

So should I, along with anyone else mixing with other people at work, be voluntarily self-isolating when not at work? Sorry, not going to happen. If you feel uneasy about mixing with other people legitimately going to climbing walls, then you are probably best to stay away (as some are clearly doing).

Post edited at 14:55
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I've not been back to the wall despite being able to go at off peak times. I have been back to the swimming pool....maybe that's illogical but off peak the changing rooms are quiet  and one may end up sharing a lane with just one other person.

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 In reply to SteveX:

I’ve started going back to the Depot in Manchester who are managing the situation very well in my opinion. There are plenty of hand sanitizer points and people of all ages are wearing face masks when not climbing. The staff are cleaning surfaces regularly.  They also have a capacity counter online so you can monitor how busy the wall is before visiting.

I’m 65 and was quite apprehensive on my first visit but actually really enjoyed it. I wash my hands regularly and use hand sanitizer followed by liquid chalk. As an oldie I’m able to go off peak early in the morning when it is quieter.

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 Hutson 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

No. Husband has asthma and I recently found out that my long-term condition may be permanently worsened by Covid. I spoke to a friend who'd been to my local wall and he said no one was bothering about distancing etc so I know I'd not enjoy it. I've not spent much time indoors anywhere that isn't our house - just quick trips into loos etc.

I can cope with the surfaces element, I'm more worried about droplets/aerosols becoming concentrated in an enclosed space with others. I'm also one of those people who gets floored by a cold that others might shrug off, so I don't hold out much hope that I'd shrug off Covid easily.

I've been cycling a lot instead which on the plus side is something my husband will join me in (he is not a fan of climbing). Cycling as far as we can manage from South London (not very far, usually Sussex by the time we've hauled loaded bikes over the Downs) and camping has been a nice change, though the weather is making that less attractive now.

I do really miss it though, and living in London getting outdoors is harder. I could go to Southern Sandstone but I don't fancy the train either. I have even entertained notions of cycling to the Tunbridge Wells Travelodge (the glamour) and staying a couple of nights to use it as a base for SS, if I got a nice enough weekend and a willing partner. Probably too wet for that now.

I don't judge people who are going climbing indoors, though. Their situations are different from mine.

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 J Whittaker 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Personally I am going. As far as the risk involved, I find it an acceptable level of risk for me, if you don't find the risk acceptable to yourself then you don't go.

Simple as that as far as I can see, we all do different things in our lives some which others would find a totally unacceptable risk, its all on a spectrum and you live your life at the risk level you deem tolerable.

I wouldn't wing suit, but i ride a motorcycle and climb. Someone else might think riding a bike and rock climbing is mental (rock climbing whilst riding a bike is definitely mental), another might think it's totally mundane and go wing suiting instead.

Boil it down and there are people that find going out in to public places an unacceptable risk and others that don't.

As far as COVID safe, it doesn't exist, safety is a concept that isnt black and white. A term used in the industry I work within is ALARP - As low as reasonably practicable. Has the risk been reduced to ALARP - Yes or No. 

If yes, there is nothing further you can do to make it safer without taking unreasonably onerous measures (full lockdown again)

If no, there is more that can be done with a small effort that will have an impact in reducing risk (wearing masks, distancing where possible)

I'd love for the concept of ALARP to be brought out to the wider public. There is no realistic way to be 100% safe. That's true for COVID, walking down the street, driving a car, living in a house with a gas boiler, petting that friendly looking dog.

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In reply to SteveX:

Haven't gone back yet. Have people been bouldering while wearing masks? I watched the British championships recently and a number of them wore masks while competing, so if they can I guess most can?

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to J Whittaker:

> Personally I am going.[.......] dog.

So in short your still going to the wall.

TBH I was not really after a lecture on assessing risk, but rather ALARP I prefer to use a Risk Matrix, ie Probability v Impact.

The probability is actually very difficult to assess, but the personal impact at 57 and 3/4 could be very high, and losing two parents in a year would be a tad careless, so probably for me, best to avoid, but I make no judgement on anyone else.

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In reply to J Whittaker:

> (rock climbing whilst riding a bike is definitely mental),

That reminds me of theBangor University Mountaineering Society's magazine front cover from 1982. Someone on a (pedal) bike on Lord of the Flies with the caption "Come on pedals, do your stuff"

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 mondite 06 Oct 2020
In reply to RX-78:

>  I watched the British championships recently and a number of them wore masks while competing, so if they can I guess most can?

Advice seems mixed on this. Arch latest email has the WHO advice on masks during exercise which is against since if it gets saturated with sweat it can both become hard to breath (probably less of a factor here) but also be a breeding ground.

I did try it and got unpleasant fairly quickly. Would be a case really of having several masks and swapping them out every 10-20 mins I think.

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 J Whittaker 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

It wasn't a lecture, just my two pence.

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In reply to SteveX:

I have not been to a wall, gym, pub, restaurant, cafe, cinema or anything that is indoor and public except the petrol station, local shop, super Market and just recently the chippy since early February.

I have been to work at least 5 days a week helping to keep the water, food and medicine flowing but that is critical. The other stuff isn't and I refuse to take the risk for myself or my wife. 

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 SteveX 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Dax H:

Blimey, that's hardcore. I think something we all need to do is be respectful of other people's attitude to this issue, and that seems to shift over time for some people.

If it keeps raining I very much doubt I will not have been to a bouldering wall in the next few weeks but middle of the day.

Post edited at 18:03
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In reply to SteveX:

I won't. I'm mid-60s, male and a bit lardy, which puts me in the higher risk groups, and I have family members with high-risk health conditions, so we haven't been out much apart from essential shopping and solo walks.  I haven't even been climbing outdoors, which I've missed badly. I get varying reports on how well my local walls are managing it, which doesn't encourage me to risk it.  I'm not so bothered about climbing indoors though as I don't much enjoy it (it doesn't feel like climbing to me) and it was always a bit of an effort to force myself to go, especially now we can't go to the pub afterwards

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 girlymonkey 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I do think if walls are to be open, masks should be worn at all times. Fabric ones are not a big deal and are pretty effective. It's not just about whether you are willing to risk it or not, the more people get it, the deeper lockdown we all need to go into! 

Our wall is part of a sports center and the management don't really understand climbing. So we only have autobelays open and max of 5 people in. You have to book in advance for a single hour session with half an hour in between sessions. So it's making no money at all, and pretty much no one is using it. I have been twice, willing to mask at all times, but have actually been the only one in both times so only masked on entry and exit. 

I very much doubt I would be going to a more traditional wall.

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 ceejaysix 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

We're going - though we are fortunate for a number of reasons that makes it (to my mind) relatively low risk for us:

1. Both mid-30s with no close contact with vulnerable people (parents a long ways away, working from home) so minimal personal risk even if we contract;

2. Our wall is pretty big for the max of 50 people they're allowing in;

3. Face masks at all times - the risk is droplets, why allow people to de-mask and breathe/cough/splutter all over the holds that everyone else has to touch, pretty much makes the wearing of masks anywhere else in the centre obsolete;

4. Live in Dorset - pretty low infection rates anyway.

Though to be honest I think 1. on its own would swing it for us.

Re: masks, I use a buff rather than a mask, if I can ski or cycle in it it's certainly okay to breathe through when climbing, plus if it gets a bit damp you can just move it around to a dry bit.

All down to personal circumstances and fully respect people have different risk tolerances and vulnerability levels. 

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In reply to girlymonkey:

> I do think if walls are to be open, masks should be worn at all times. 

If masks were compulsory, I'm not sure I would bother going; my glasses would just steam up.

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 mik82 06 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

The touching the wall/touching face thing is probably not important. As far as I'm aware the risk is theoretical and there's been no published evidence that it's a significant vector for transmission

The lack of ventilation and multiple people indoors is, as respiratory droplets are the main cause of infection.  This has been shown to be a problem in cold environments with people being infected up to 8m away. No amount of hand sanitising is going to protect you from the belayer on the next line.

Personally I've been tracking the numbers at the local wall and going down when it's quiet. I've already had it, and wouldn't be bothered getting it again but I'd like to avoid the hassle of contact tracing or having to isolate again.

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In reply to SteveX:

I'm not going to climbing walls. 

This is because I've given up on 🚆ing for climbing and am spending my time doing things to make myself faster on my feet over rough ground.

I do miss it tho, but 8a is gone for me. Ah well. BG instead. Right?

BB,

Serial failure.

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In reply to girlymonkey:

I go to the same wall and have re-started when it opened again recently.
Before the restrictions, I was part of a group of 'senior athletes' who met regularly there twice a week and it was a really important part of my routine. I think that climbing has become a form of mindfulness for me and I was really missing it.
On my first return there were only two of us and I was on my own last week. So this week I emailed our group of oldies and five of us met up there today. We were able to maintain distance but still get a good session in the hour (long enough as I am out of shape) and the chat was great.
I am satisfied with the cleanliness & sanitisation systems and it is well ventilated so I will continue to go while it is open. The only down side so far is the drying out of my hands due to the sanitiser and liquid chalk that I am using liberally.

PS The supermarket once a week and the wall are the only public places I am visiting at the moment and I think it will stay that way for quite a while.

Post edited at 20:52
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 Martin Hore 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Webster:

> what do you want, a medal? stop trying to guilt trip people who are trying to get on with their lives. nothing is 100% 'covid safe'

The respective profiles say all you need to know. You're 24. SteveX is 56, I'm 69. Do you appreciate at all how much greater chance we have of dying of COVID than you do?

I'm afraid it's increasingly clear that it's people of your age and attitude that are substantially responsible for the current second spike - which is now spreading back to the more vulnerable age groups, and leading us back to heavy lockdowns.

I know many young people who are taking the virus seriously, but they wouldn't have written as you have.

Sorry to be so blunt. But that's how I felt on reading your post.

Martin

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 girlymonkey 06 Oct 2020
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:

Yes, the big open space is reassuring. I will still keep my mask on if others are in though. To be honest though, I might wait until we have new routes! If I have to pay to climb, I will start being picky! Lol

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In reply to SteveX:

Great, another Covid thread. Let the arguments get reheated from back in spring and the fun start... I do enjoy the debate.

On a serious note, I think your concern is valid for high incidence areas. We have to take basic precautions but I’m happy going tor the wall for now, despite my city (Brum) being fairly high on the list of high incidence areas.

I’m not particularly concerned by touching the holds. Scientific consensus seems to be that the main form of transmission is via droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking, as well as some even smaller micro particles which may hang around in the air for a while. Of course going to the wall involves touching a lot of shared holds, so the risk there may be greater than average. However it can be largely mitigated by washing your hands before and after. I also clean my phone with surgical spirit when I get home from the wall. You are right about touching your face but I just don’t any more. We’ve all had 6 months to learn not to do that...

The point for me is SD. Go at quiet times and/of seek out quiet areas. Bouldering is better than ropes as you can move away quickly if an area gets busy. It also avoids contact with non household people, unless you live with your climbing partner. 

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In reply to Webster:

You are right that nothing is fully Covid safe. That’s just government inspired marketing speak. The way I see it, everyone has a Covid risk budget. If you stay at home all the time, you don’t spend any of it. If you go to the pub with five other mates followed by a rave before going to work in a customer facing role the following day and then to the wall in the evening, you’ll bust your overdraft and the bailiffs will be a-knocking.

Most people are somewhere in the middle. I don’t think most people are ‘getting on with their lives’ as before - most people have had to make changes. That could be WFH or not going to the pub or not having family reunions, not to mention the plethora of local Covid measures. I suspect people will keep doing what’s important for them. I’m happy to spend my Covid budget on climbing indoors and out. Due to WFH, not going to the pub and not seeing family, my spend is fairly low so there’s budget available. 

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In reply to Neil Williams:

Not sure there is any evidence it has become more contagious. We don’t have the same lockdown measures as back in spring and people are probably less observant of the rules than they were back then. 

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Well put. I might add that you could not go to the wall, not get Covid and still get horribly depressed as you can't do anything except just about make it through work and then fall asleep exhausted...

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 C Witter 06 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

> The respective profiles say all you need to know. You're 24. SteveX is 56, I'm 69. Do you appreciate at all how much greater chance we have of dying of COVID than you do?

> I'm afraid it's increasingly clear that it's people of your age and attitude that are substantially responsible for the current second spike - which is now spreading back to the more vulnerable age groups, and leading us back to heavy lockdowns.

> I know many young people who are taking the virus seriously, but they wouldn't have written as you have.

> Sorry to be so blunt. But that's how I felt on reading your post.

> Martin

I'm not defending Webster, but I disagree with you that younger people are responsible for the second spike. One thing you need to understand is that younger people are more likely to be:

- living in cramped accomodation without a garden
- having to go to workplaces
- have children who are at school

Given this situation where people are forced into contact with others through necessity, it's not surprising that they are more relaxed when it comes to things they have some choice over. And, indeed, they've been encouraged to relax by the government, who have been literally giving them vouchers and telling them to go and socialise with strangers.

The people who are substantially responsible for the second spike are the Tory government, who've failed by every measure. And who voted in these reactionary bastards, who increasingly resemble a reactionary death cult...? Disproportionately, people over 65.

Younger people have been suffering from Tory austerity for a decade, whilst the "boomers" as a whole have actually economically benefitted since the 2008 crisis. But, sooner or later, you reap what you sow.

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 Blanche DuBois 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

> I'm afraid it's increasingly clear that it's people of your age and attitude that are substantially responsible for the current second spike - which is now spreading back to the more vulnerable age groups, and leading us back to heavy lockdowns.

Well, we aren't all given handouts by the government to stay at home (and no, you haven't paid for this - you paid for the much smaller and less long lived generation before you - it is the current younger generation that you're vilifying that is paying for you nice retirement, and one that they are not going to enjoy themselves).

My experience is similar to one of the posters above in that whilst visiting places such as shops that it is your generation who are most stubbornly refusing to wear masks or keep their distance.

It's also all a bit rich given how the wrinklies on here all squealed like stuck hogs when the possibility was mooted of them maybe choosing to self isolate just a bit in order to protect themselves.  But noo, it was the young who were supposed to keep cooped up in their tiny studio appartments.  Remember that?  Or wait, this is basically the same discussion right?

> Sorry to be so blunt. But that's how I felt on reading your post.

Ditto.

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 TomD89 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Martin Hore:

Blame the old for their terrible leadership and unintelligent choices in handling of the virus, not the young for having the desire to live their lives.

Take precautions to protect your own health, don't expect everyone else to suffer for your safety. It's all well and good to keep others wellbeing in mind, but to go about expecting people to put your health over their happiness when your perfectly capable of protecting yourself is ridiculous.

This guilt economy is stifling and unsustainable. Well done for buying into the "blame the young" mentality the government/media fed you. Bloody kids trying to get an education and make human contact in the prime of their lives!

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 Si dH 07 Oct 2020
In reply to C Witter:

> I'm not defending Webster, but I disagree with you that younger people are responsible for the second spike. One thing you need to understand is that younger people are more likely to be:

> - living in cramped accomodation without a garden

> - having to go to workplaces

> - have children who are at school

> Given this situation where people are forced into contact with others through necessity, it's not surprising that they are more relaxed when it comes to things they have some choice over. And, indeed, they've been encouraged to relax by the government, who have been literally giving them vouchers and telling them to go and socialise with strangers.

> The people who are substantially responsible for the second spike are the Tory government, who've failed by every measure. And who voted in these reactionary bastards, who increasingly resemble a reactionary death cult...? Disproportionately, people over 65.

> Younger people have been suffering from Tory austerity for a decade, whilst the "boomers" as a whole have actually economically benefitted since the 2008 crisis. But, sooner or later, you reap what you sow.

Very good post, I can't imagine why you have four dislikes (possibly the language?) You are 100% correct.

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In reply to C Witter:

> The people who are substantially responsible for the second spike are the Tory government, who've failed by every measure. And who voted in these reactionary bastards, who increasingly resemble a reactionary death cult...? Disproportionately, people over 65.

> Younger people have been suffering from Tory austerity for a decade, whilst the "boomers" as a whole have actually economically benefitted since the 2008 crisis. But, sooner or later, you reap what you sow.

Exactly. My generation (65+) has lost any right to lecture anybody. (I'm one of the minority who didn't vote for the current disaster nor the impending one.)

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In reply to TomD89:

> This guilt economy is stifling and unsustainable. Well done for buying into the "blame the young" mentality the government/media fed you. Bloody kids trying to get an education and make human contact in the prime of their lives!

By the same token the young shouldn't expect to go home to mummy, or grand parents at xmas, half term etc.. That's where the risk lies. 

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In reply to TomD89:

There is a lot of poison in these attitudes. IMHO it is completely wrong to blame "the old" or "the young" as groups. If people want they should restrict their criticisms to those old people or those young people who behave or have behaved in a way one disagrees with. The attitudes have some similarities to  ignorant racial prejudice where people wrongly blame an  entire group for, say, terrorism or violent crime.

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 PaulW 07 Oct 2020
In reply to C Witter:

I have you a thumbs up.

But as an over 65 I must protest strongly at being lumped together with those who voted for our current leaders

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 TomD89 07 Oct 2020
In reply to oldie:

Agreed. I was more trying to point out that blaming the young is unfair rather than suggesting we all jump on the blame the old bandwagon instead. There's plenty more individuals who are worried can do to protect themselves rather than this group think collective guilt that seems to be afflicting all levels of society at the moment.

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 C Witter 07 Oct 2020
In reply to PaulW:

> I have you a thumbs up.

> But as an over 65 I must protest strongly at being lumped together with those who voted for our current leaders


Yes - obviously not all over 65s! ;) And, I'm also not in anyway meaning to suggest that this means younger people should just disregard the health of older people and our communities as a whole. Just that we swim or sink together - and not only when it comes to Covid.

Post edited at 09:22
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 PaulW 07 Oct 2020
In reply to C Witter:

I live close to several schools and for me the most obvious breaches of social distancing are the kids socialising. I don't resent this in any way, everyone has a life to lead and people make their own decisions.

There is a cost to all these decisions though. For me the cost is reduced close contact with my family, especially my grandchildren. Two of them are in schools that are now shut and until they have been symptom free for a while i won't be seeing them

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In reply to oldie:

Well said. This young vs old debate is unpleasant and unhelpful because the reality is that there are many, many reasons for this second wave - government incompetence and human nature being the main ones. We are social animals and that’s hard to change. We are also faced with the greatest crisis faced by the country since WW2 and the most incompetent government within living memory and beyond. 

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In reply to PaulW:

Kids are kids though. You can’t blame them for lack of SD, especially younger ones. There is also uncertainty over the extent to which younger kids spread Covid. 

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to ceejaysix:

> 1. Both mid-30s 

> Though to be honest I think 1. on its own would swing it for us.

> Re: masks, I use a buff rather than a mask,

This is exactly why older climbers are afraid to visit climbing walls.

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 ceejaysix 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Why’s that?

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 Le Sapeur 07 Oct 2020
In reply to ceejaysix:

1. Mid 30's. Perception of being invincible. 

2. Wearing a buff is almost as effective as no mask at all.

You did ask.

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 ceejaysix 07 Oct 2020
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I did, as I was curious.

I have no perception of being invincible, and I'm not sure how you infer that. I and my family made a conscious decision that the risk presented to us personally was low enough to be tolerable given low risk of infection and minuscule risk of developing a serious case if infected, and we took the decision to not see vulnerable family / friends (which was relatively easy as that only stopped one or two visits per year). We socially distance, we take all precautions the Govt stipulates. If we think we're invincible from that, presumably people with an inherently higher risk who go to the wall are at the next level of invincible - mega-invincible, or maybe uber-invincible?

Suspect from one comment you've lumped us in with a few people you've had a bad experience of who happen to be my age? 

I was not aware buffs were inadequate face coverings. I have no doubt that a surgical mask, if used correctly, would prevent smaller particles, but buffs and any other cloth face covering clearly fall within UK Govt and US CDC requirements, so I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that were sufficient for purpose. I opted against surgical masks as they need changing as soon as they get damp to remain effective (when exercising that's pretty regularly) - I went through four in an hour once - and because they are single-use plastic.

As it's been raised I decided to have a quick Google. This was 10mins plus some typing time, so I'm sure there's plenty more and it may not have been sufficient for a balanced view, but to summarise:

FDA: "If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others.

While a surgical mask may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or certain medical procedures. Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the mask and your face."

A summary of a study in the (US) community: "Experiments with mock viruses and patients in laboratories suggest surgical masks should help prevent viral illnesses “if used correctly”. Yet, randomised trials done on people in their homes or communities often show little, if any, benefit." There's more, but to summarise it concludes that they would be useful if people wore them properly, but that vast majority don't. Fit isn't so important for surgical masks as they're designed to stop stuff getting in; whilst they're also fairly effective at stopping stuff coming straight out, it just comes out in every other direction through the gaps.

I did also read about a study by Duke which was trialling a new, cheaper method of testing masks using light refraction (I didn't try to understand further). Buffs and other stretchy masks performed poorly, and this received a lot of sensationalist press, though the scientist conducting it stated it was a trial of unproven technology and was not designed to rank masks. A NIST aerosol expert speculated that the result may be due to the spandex fibres causing larger droplets to break into smaller ones, thus increasing 'spray' (this is what the press picked up), but that in all his time working in aerosols he had never seen that happen (they mostly omitted this), and the dataset was too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.

Other summaries all differ but the broad conclusion seems to be nothing short of respirators is great. A correctly used and fitted surgical mask is okay, but too few people use or fit them properly. Cloth lets more droplets through, but usually easier to fit due to elasticity in the mask itself.

These findings interested me and I may do some more research to make a better-informed decision than relying on the advice from Govt, but I don't think there's anything there to justify your comment - especially not as most walls allow you to take your mask off when climbing, we don't, so on the basis that anything is better than nothing I'm not sure how we're the reason that 'older' climbers (I assume you mean more vulnerable regardless of age) are afraid to visit the wall.

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In reply to J Whittaker:

> I wouldn't wing suit, but i ride a motorcycle and climb. Someone else might think riding a bike and rock climbing is mental (rock climbing whilst riding a bike is definitely mental), another might think it's totally mundane and go wing suiting instead.

None of those things are really comparable to a virus, as they are not contagious. The risk analysis is completely different.

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 Vejovis 07 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I hear that several Depot Manchester staff had to lockdown this week after one of them tested, not sure if customers have been informed

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In reply to SteveX:

If the front page of The Times is to be believed, leisure facilities in high incidence areas in the North will close from next week. I’m sure there will be some toing and front behind the scenes ahead of Monday’s expected announcement but it’s going this way. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-54458296

The only thing which surprises me a bit is that the second wave has come 4-5 weeks earlier than I was expecting. I’ve been pretty bemused by all these people at work and elsewhere who seemed to decide earlier this year that we weren’t going to have a second wave. It was always forecast, right from that original Imperial College paper back in March... 

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In reply to SteveX:

I have not been yet and I am not keen. Heavy breathing and the widely ignored issue of rope in mouth plus the indoor nature/close contact put me off. 

It also depends on the specifics of your local wall, for me:

King Kong Keswick, little or no air flow, high risk. 

Eden Rock, draughty large shed, medium risk, 

Kendal with all doors propped open, like being outside, low risk. 

There are a number of posts above that have drunk the cool aid on the chalk paper. Please, think again, it borders on pseudo science. 

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 SteveX 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

Yes, this was all predicted.

I understand why walls want to open, and why people want to go, but for myself I think it would be the wrong thing.

This thread has been good as I thought I was the only person not going.

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In reply to SteveX:

It seems to me that a lot of the problem lies with the lack of clear guidance from the government. Faced with contradictory guidance which seems to be made up on the hoof with no sense of a coherent strategy, people are falling back on one of Boris's recommendations and relying on "good old British common sense".  People are making up their own minds about what feels safe for them.  Many young people appear to feel, probably correctly, that if they get it they won't be very ill, and that if it is safe for them to go to work, use trains, eat out etc then it is safe for them to meet friends.  On the other hand, many older people, including myself, are perhaps being over-cautious and are still avoiding activities which the guidance now allows us to do.

I find this a very uncomfortable situation.  I'm in my mid-sixties, I've been a climber and mountaineer since I was 18.  I'm moderately fit and active and in good health.  I'm not accustomed to thinking of myself as "vulnerable", and frankly I don't much like it.  But I don't want to get this disease and I don't want to give it my family, so I'm being cautious.

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 JimR 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Howard J:

I’m also in my mid 60s and am avoiding, it just seems to me to be a high risk area and I can do other things. One thing that did piss me off yesterday on a number of levels was when I was bouldering yesterday at a Yorkshire crag I was trying a problem when two youths strode up and dump their pads beneath me Saying let’s try this one. It was as if I was completely invisible, I got off gathered my things and one of them said “why not join us” , I thought “why not have some manners” but said nothing and went elsewhere. So rude and also COVID-19 risk to me

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 slab_happy 08 Oct 2020
In reply to ceejaysix:

Some useful links to recent research in here, including the debate about buffs:

https://www.outsideonline.com/2416950/wearing-face-masks-outside-exercising-coronavirus

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 SteveX 08 Oct 2020
In reply to JimR:

> I’m also in my mid 60s and am avoiding, it just seems to me to be a high risk area and I can do other things. One thing that did piss me off yesterday on a number of levels was when I was bouldering yesterday at a Yorkshire crag I was trying a problem when two youths strode up and dump their pads beneath me Saying let’s try this one. It was as if I was completely invisible, I got off gathered my things and one of them said “why not join us” , I thought “why not have some manners” but said nothing and went elsewhere. So rude and also COVID-19 risk to me

I think this is a problem with this situation, in that when people assess risk, they often only seem to do it from a personal perspective, rather than appreciating that the risk to some people is different than it is to themselves, and that some people have different perception of risk, and that this should be appreciated.

These people were probably being thoughtless in the truest sense of the word, in that they just did not give thought that you may have different view of the world.

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 graeme jackson 08 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I haven't been to a wall since my carpal tunnel op in 2011. Does that count?

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 SteveX 08 Oct 2020
In reply to graeme jackson:

> I haven't been to a wall since my carpal tunnel op in 2011. Does that count?

No, clear off

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 Rod_Vortex 08 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've not been back yet (not sure if I will) but I do miss it when my pals post stuff on social media. I've never really been that big on climbing inside (I mostly climb because I like being outside), but I think I am missing feeling in good knick. 

The past week or so of rain has been harder, so winter is going to suck. I have a little wall in the garden but find the holds a bit greasy if it's been wet. 

I really don't want all the breathy problems and I'm hit hard by colds so at the minute I just can't consider going inside. 

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 SteveX 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Rod_Vortex:

> I've not been back yet (not sure if I will) but I do miss it when my pals post stuff on social media.

>

Yes this can make you feel the odd one out.

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 slab_happy 08 Oct 2020
In reply to JimR:

It definitely seems to be true that the risk of transmission outdoors is much much lower -- which is not the same as saying there's no risk, which is how some people seem to be interpreting it.

It's very possible that the youths in question weren't intending to be rude but were thinking of it as a no-risk or minimal-risk situation, and it hadn't occurred to them that you might be operating by different rules.

In similar situations, I do have the tendency to be stereotypically British about it and leave while judging them silently, but on occasions when I have managed to say "Excuse me, I'm trying to stay socially distanced", people have responded positively and been fine about it.

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 Iamgregp 08 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I’ve been quite a bit since they reopened.


It’s up to each individual to make their own decisions and, as long as we all follow the rules, we ought not to criticise others for coming to different conclusions than we have.

Peace.

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 JLS 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

>"Sorry, not going to happen."

That's just what I expected to hear from a route hogging top roper.  

People just aren't prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.

Heaven help us if we ever end up in a proper war again...

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In reply to Iamgregp:

> It’s up to each individual to make their own decisions and, as long as we all follow the rules, we ought not to criticise others for coming to different conclusions than we have.

I completely agree. I'm 65 but I've decided I'm quite happy going to the wall, whether on a quiet morning like today or a much busier wet weekend. But I've got mates of a similar fine vintage who are much more cautious. I'd be very interested in seeing what data there is on  where transmissions are actually occurring  - eg what percentage occur in indoor leisure facilities. But given that the govt appears unable to provide any statistical justification for its pub curfew, I wonder if such data exists. Is it out there and I've just missed it? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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 Andy Gamisou 08 Oct 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I have not been yet and I am not keen. Heavy breathing and the widely ignored issue of rope in mouth plus the indoor nature/close contact put me off. 

Sure you're talking about climbing?

Post edited at 16:59
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 Andy Gamisou 08 Oct 2020
In reply to graeme jackson:

> I haven't been to a wall since my carpal tunnel op in 2011. Does that count?

I haven't been to a wall for yonks because where I live it hasn't rained for 4 months, doesn't look like it's going to start antime soon, and I have lots of decent unfinished projects to go at outside that are easily accessible (I can feel the hate from 2000 miles away!)  <Smug-mode-off>

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 slab_happy 08 Oct 2020
In reply to slab_happy:

Also I think people may tend to give me a wider berth when I'm wearing my "Plague Doctor Says: Social Distancing Saves Lives" t-shirt.

Whether that's because it serves as a silent indicator that I am trying to socially distance or because people find it really creepy, I do not know.

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 ceejaysix 08 Oct 2020
In reply to slab_happy:

Ta, will take a look.

EDIT: very informative, thanks, and pleased to see I haven't been inadvertently killing people any more so than anyone else. Though it sounds like the best common solution is a surgical mask with a pair of tights over your head, I think I'll stick to the doubled-up buff.

Post edited at 18:48
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In reply to SteveX:

Most people on this thread seem to be saying they aren't going. I suspect that's a bit of a self selecting sample, partly because of the thread title - you asked who else is *not* going. Clearly there are a lot of people who aren't going but, at a guess, I doubt this is more than half of climbers who regularly climb outside. I think what this thread shows is, as with most Covid related things the answer is 'it depends'. Where you are in the country, who 'vulnerable' you and your close contacts are, local wall facilities (how busy / what measures are in place), attitude of other local wall users and so on. Plus the risk profile will change over time as the second wave grows.

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In reply to Howard J:

The guidance should probably be more detailed but it can't cover every situation and circumstance. The government can use blunt instruments like closing pubs or walls but they can't tell every business and every person in minute detail how they should be operating and living their lives. So using common sense and going with your own risk assessment has to be the way forward in most situations, the key point being not doing anything blatantly irresponsible such as ignoring SD or established rules like wearing face masks where required.

As climbers, we are familiar with risk assessing potentially dangerous situations and making decisions which could have serious consequences if the decision is wrong. It's not a perfect analogy in that with Covid it's not just about your own safety but there are certainly parallels. One of the similarities is that what's ok for one person would be too risky for another person. Both decisions are right for the individual involved. At the extremes, there are things which are almost certainly fine for most people and almost certainly not fine for most people. Covid is more complex of course but I think there are similar issues involved.

Post edited at 00:20
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In reply to JimR:

To be fair, with their Covid risk perception being completely different, they might not have even thought about it. They probably said they were being friendly and helpful, given their comment! After all, more pads, spotters and beter is generally a good idea with bouldering. You could have said "would love to but I'm getting on a bit so have to be careful about Covid". You could have even asked them to go somewhere else. It might have educated them. Or not... I suspect this was a case of both parties being unable to see things from the perspective of the other party. Of course I wasn't there so I'm just going by your description.

Post edited at 00:26
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 SteveX 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Most people on this thread seem to be saying they aren't going. I suspect that's a bit of a self selecting sample, partly because of the thread title - you asked who else is *not* going.

Yes, let’s stop there, I do not care who is going, I am not interested in why. 

I started the thread because I most people I know are going, and it’s never nice to feel the odd man out. It would appear that many others are taking my approach.

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 SteveX 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> To be fair, with their Covid risk perception being completely different, they might not have even thought about it. They probably said they were being friendly and helpful, given their comment! After all, more pads, spotters and beter is generally a good idea with bouldering.

No they were being thoughtless, selfish and rude, only a totally f*ckwit can be unaware of social distancing.

You could have said "would love to but I'm getting on a bit so have to be careful about Covid

That is not easy, and very uncomfortable thing to do, and quite a few people will respond negatively at what they see as criticism of their actions and their right to do as they please.

You are trying to justify the unjustifiable, because you are a really nice bloke and because you strongly identify with climbers. Not all people are as nice as you.

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 Si dH 09 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

It's also a bit self selecting because regular users of ukc are generally aged mid thirties and above. Very few people in their teens and twenties use the forums regularly now. But that's the main demographic at modern bouldering walls (maybe not lead walls). My experience was most of them are still going, as our local walls are at full capacity every day.

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 SteveX 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Si dH:

That’s interesting about the demographic.

Like I said, the reason for the thread was I felt the odd man out, not going, it’s been nice to see others are taking a similar approach.

Moving on, it is interesting to note that some people seem to consider that if you do not do the same as them it’s criticism. 

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In reply to Si dH:

> It's also a bit self selecting because regular users of ukc are generally aged mid thirties and above. Very few people in their teens and twenties use the forums regularly now. But that's the main demographic at modern bouldering walls (maybe not lead walls). My experience was most of them are still going, as our local walls are at full capacity every day.

Last night Ratho wasn't too far short of being as busy as I have ever known it. I counted about 120 or so people at the peak (the maximum allowed capacity just now is 180, which I imagine is unlikely ever to be reached) and probably only about 15 of them were bouldering. Seemed like the usual wide age spread. So I reckon most people are going. 

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 Garethza 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I was there as well and I had also never seen it that busy before in the two years i have lived in Edinburgh. They definitely need to restrict the numbers down further as it was becoming tricky to just move around with people all over the place.. 

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In reply to Garethza:

> I was there as well and I had also never seen it that busy before in the two years i have lived in Edinburgh. They definitely need to restrict the numbers down further as it was becoming tricky to just move around with people all over the place.. 

I didn't think it was too bad. Moving around isn't really an issue I would have thought because you never need be near anyonev more than A few seconds. I'm happy as long as I can be a couple of metres from others when belaying.

Given that Ratho last night was only at 2/3 capacity and must be the best ventilated climbing wall anywhere, I can imagine that some more airless walls operating at full capacity might be a problem. 

My biggest personal fear for the coming winter is that Ratho gets shut down again in a blanket climbing wall closure because other walls are deemed too risky.

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 dabble 09 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Went down my local wall last night and it was rammed. Went back to reception and asked for a refund as I didn't feel comfortable being in there with no chance of distancing. This is the first time since the wall reopened that I've felt this way after having gone a couple times a week since they reopened.

Maybe I'm getting sensible in my old age, or it was just an excuse as I wasn't feeling totally motivated to climb. Either way, my grain de sel. 

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 Flinticus 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

> (I can feel the hate from 2000 miles away!) 

It was 2,000 when I started to hunt you down...

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 Garethza 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes its not short of ventilation as its basically outside.. with a tarp to keep the rain out!

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 Sam Beaton 09 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've been avoiding walls until yesterday, partly because I'm being relatively cautious about covid, partly because I'd rather be outside in my free time in summer anyway; walking, swimming, scrambling if it's too wet to climb. Yesterday I went to the Freeklime bouldering wall in Huddersfield and it was great and I felt totally relaxed. They have an online booking system now to avoid overcrowding and plenty of other good covid related practices in place and I will definitely be going back frequently over the winter if it's allowed to stay open

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 SteveX 09 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Yes, a friend has suggested there as an option. 

He said it felt covid safe.

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 Sam Beaton 09 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I think a bouldering wall has advantages over a leading wall in that there are no issues around sharing ropes, and if you are bouldering it is easier to keep out of people's way who come too close to you compared to being stuck on the spot whilst belaying

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 neilh 09 Oct 2020
In reply to dabble:

Which wall was that?

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 SteveX 09 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Which wall was that?

Possibly its not on to name them. They could have had an issue which has been resolved. This is someone's livelihood, and as its legal to open a wall and during these difficult times its hard enough as it is, .they can do without a naming and shaming

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In reply to Robert Durran:

> Last night Ratho wasn't too far short of being as busy as I have ever known it. I counted about 120 or so people at the peak (the maximum allowed capacity just now is 180, which I imagine is unlikely ever to be reached) and probably only about 15 of them were bouldering. Seemed like the usual wide age spread. So I reckon most people are going. 

The infection rates in the student districts of Edinburgh are pretty scary just now.  Some look to be not much less than 1% of population with positive Covid test.   Just hope the students aren't going climbing.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/phs.covid.19#!/vizhome/COVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The infection rates in the student districts of Edinburgh are pretty scary just now.  Some look to be not much less than 1% of population with positive Covid test.   Just hope the students aren't going climbing.

There were certainly quite a few of studenty looking age. Maybe best be particularly wary of them, but if it's fair to go on the rule of not being within 2m of someone for 5 or 10mins, then I think the risk is manageable.

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In reply to SteveX:

Obviously people are aware of SD but younger people are more relaxed about it. In fact a lot of climbers generally are, from what I've seen. It's an outdoors activity after all. It's also a relatively young, fairly middle class and very white activity, so the average Covid risk profile of the climbing population is a fair bit lower compared to the UK as a whole. People get used to that and a lot of people assume that everyone is chill about it. I think this will start to change as the second wave grows but at the moment I suspect a lot of people are still guided by memories of the halcyon days of summer when Covid wasn't particularly prevalent anywhere. So for all of these reasons, a significant proportion of the climbing population won't be particularly focused on SD.

However most climber are reasonable people, so if someone is a lot more risk averse and explains this, I'm sure most people would respect that - and they might think twice next time before intruding on someone's space without asking.

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 SteveX 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> However most climber are reasonable people, so if someone is a lot more risk averse and explains this, I'm sure most people would respect that - and they might think twice next time before intruding on someone's space without asking.

Sadly I see I climbers in a different light, whilst most a very pleasant, they are also one of the most self centred groups of people I have ever met and will always seek to justify the actions that they want to take. 

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 kevin stephens 10 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Unfortunately the current second wave in many cities seems to be primarily driven by large influx and mixing of students and these students make up a large proportion of wall users.

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 WVRox 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

My experience in the last few weeks is somewhat different. I've been back to the wall a few times and have been struck by the obvious social distancing which seems to have now become almost sub-conscious norm. I see the same at the local crags  - but the reasons are pretty obvious to me. Climbers are by definition very risk aware.  There are no school groups at the wall now, so during the day the demographic is certainly white middle class, but at 60, I'm probably at around the average age. SD is not that hard!! The wall certainly felt safer than Asda, and critically, I felt like you were amongst people who had the intelligence to assess the risks, a make sensible judgements so as to be able to get on with life whilst not putting themselves or others in danger. 

I've not been to a bouldering wall since re-opening  - and won't be doing so  - I suspect the points you make about behaviour are more prevalent there? 

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 Blanche DuBois 10 Oct 2020
In reply to WVRox:

Ah - people like you are the "chosen" ones huh?  As I alluded to in some other thread, people of your age are, in mine and others experiences, the most stubborn at shunning mask wearing and social distancing.  So for you to suggest that your lead walls are safe by dint of them mostly being mostly used by folks in their 60s is deluded in the extreme.  And as for your implication that you won't use bouldering walls because they're mobbed by unintelligent youths - well good!  I don't want some mouth breathing pensioner standing right next to me at the wall.

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 WVRox 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

Come to Kendal wall and see for yourself.......on second thoughts ....

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In reply to Eric9Points:

Interesting view given your sport of choice 😜

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In reply to WVRox:

I was thinking about outdoors but the same mindset applies at bouldering walls from what I’ve seen. Most people are distancing more than they would have done previously but not rigorously observing 2m+ at all times. This may be changing now - haven’t been for a couple of weeks (not due to Covid) so will be interesting to see what it’s like next time I go (unless Brum gets out in the red category and the walls get shut down again!). As you say, the demographic at lead walls, especially during the day, will be different. I think this goes to show that a lot depends on the exact demographic. 

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In reply to Blanche DuBois:

That’s a bit harsh. It’s interesting you say this because from what I’ve seen in the few shops I go to (supermarkets, that’s about it), it’s younger people, especially men, who aren’t wearing face coverings. This might partly be due to the fact that my local area has a relatively young population and I usually go to the supermarket quite late, so there aren’t that many older people there.

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 dabble 10 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

I'd rather not name them. As I said this is the first time since lockdown "ended" that I've felt this way there, previously I've felt happy about the level of distancing and sanitation stations that are provided.

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In reply to SteveX:

> Sadly I see I climbers in a different light, whilst most a very pleasant, they are also one of the most self centred groups of people I have ever met and will always seek to justify the actions that they want to take. 

Very much so. You are closely involved in the climbing community and see this, as do I. I am not closely involved in, say, the golfing or football communities. I suspect someone who is would make similar judgements about them. 

Climbers like to think of themselves as "special". We aren't, we are just people. 

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

I think human nature is always going to be a bit selfish. We have evolved that way. Climbers are no better or worse than other groups of people. 

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In reply to SteveX:

Went to the Depot today for the first time in about 4 weeks (not due to Covid). Masks or buffs are mandatory now except when actually climbing and almost everyone was wearing them (a couple of people weren’t, may be they were exempt). I suppose it makes sense. I actually found it was fine to boulder in a mask so didn’t bother pulling it down, except on harder problems. Not sure it made me feel safer as such but it makes sense and acts as a visual reminder that there’s shit happening so we need to SD etc.

For me, SD is key and that was fine - it wasn’t busy for the size of the wall and easy to find empty sections. Most of the clientele looked like students. I don’t usually go at weekends so don’t know if that’s normal.

Hope they stay open... find out tomorrow if West Mids is tier 3 (probably not) and if tier 3 entails wall closure (quite possibly, which is probably right...). 

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 jelllytrad 11 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm honestly super curious if there been any cases connected to any indoor walls? has anyone on here suspected they picked up covid from one?

I definitely thought walls could be a big spreader - considering amount of contact with surfaces and kids and groups going, but I would've thought if the virus liked transmitting in climbing walls wouldn't they ALL have had cases and staff sickness etc by now? 

e.g. think of all the uni students who use bouldering walls and all the student cases in major cities , wouldn't we be hearing about multiple cases connected to climbing by now? Which makes me think that the chalk at walls is somehow genuinely stopping it from transmitting, but obviously just my opinion, but could be wrong if there have been many cases suspected connected from climbing

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 mik82 11 Oct 2020
In reply to jelllytrad:

It's too early to tell really. My thought would be that there's not that many climbing walls, but there's loads of pubs and bars.

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In reply to jelllytrad:

The trouble is it's hard to tell where people picked up from, especially students - at the wall, at the gym, at the pub, in the lecture theatre? I'm sure it's possible by looking at cases very closes but there are so many cases now and track & trace is such a shambles that I doubt they have the resources for that. Track & trace seems to be focused on identifying contacts once someone is infected rather than figuring out where they caught it in the first place. Both aspects are important.

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 Andy Gamisou 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> ... Masks or buffs are mandatory now ..

Buffs?  Pretty sure I've seen multiple reports on research into the efficacy of the various types of face coverings that concluded that this sort of neck based fabric garment  actually promotes the dispersal of droplets.

[Edit] There's this Forbes article, for example:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/08/09/study-14-face-masks-here-are-the-best-worst-for-covid-19-coronavirus/#44be3ff31e13

[Edit 2] I have heard that being buff will help you recover if you get C19, but I wouldn't know anything about that....

Post edited at 06:18
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 Si dH 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Track & trace seems to be focused on identifying contacts once someone is infected rather than figuring out where they caught it in the first place. Both aspects are important.

That's right, the UK system has only ever tried to determine who might have been infected by the positive individual, not who that person was infected by.

This article gives some interesting reasons why it would be better to do both:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/09/k-overlooked-variable-driving-pandemic/616548/

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 jelllytrad 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

I guess. but then again wouldn't it also be pretty clear - people tend to climb in specific social groups and in uni clubs and it at least would spread to staff who work there, I would've thought by now at least one person on ukc would've reported an outbreak at a climbing wall or within climbers. I too thought climbing walls would be a breeding ground for the virus at first but I'm surprised that none have had to shut. Walls have been open for over 3 months, people have been outdoor climbing in groups for even longer. And not heard of a single outbreak? unless we're all asymptomatic is the other explanation. I feel safer climbing than going to a pub for sure. And it's a lot better for my mental health.

Post edited at 07:35
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 Dave Cundy 12 Oct 2020
In reply to jelllytrad:

I visited UCR in Bristol, one Friday evening back in March.  By Sunday evening  both me and my partner had a sore throat and a cough on the Monday.  So yes, I'm convinced you can catch a virus at your local wall.

I went to TCA last week and was shocked at the number of people there, mid evening.  They might be adhering to guidelines but that doesn't mean climbers are spread uniformly throughout the building.  With a low ceiling and probably 'poor' ventilation and lots of twentysomethings, i shalln't be going again anytime soon. It's a shame but inevitable.

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 Dave Cundy 12 Oct 2020
In reply to jelllytrad:

Being asymptomatic may be the second biggest threat from this virus.  I read in the Grauniad last week that some institution had done a load of random testing and concluded that only 15% of infected people had the three 'official' symptoms and that only another 15% had any other symptoms.  So 70% of people had no reason at all to make them think they should stay at home, or self isolate.

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 neilh 12 Oct 2020
In reply to jelllytrad:

There was a rumour that a number of staff members at depot in Manchester were hit 2 weeks ago. Interestingly they have I think tightened up requirements  since then. 
 

I can easily be corrected as the info was third hand. 

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 galpinos 12 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

The staff at Manchester are very good at mask wearing, they also have face shields and are behind plexiglass screens.

People in general at the wall don't seem to care about masks or social distancing. Mask are worn to walk in to the wall, then taken off straight away on not put back on until checking out. Rare to see anyone bouldering in a mask. Very little social distancing on the mats, lots of multi household groups climbing together and socialising.

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 neilh 12 Oct 2020
In reply to galpinos:

Its why I have no intention of going peak times......

The biggest risk in these places is probably to staff members.

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 kevin stephens 12 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

This morning's scientific briefing on TV has dissuaded me from visiting any walls for the foreseeable future. 

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In reply to kevin stephens:

> This morning's scientific briefing on TV has dissuaded me from visiting any walls for the foreseeable future. 

Alternatively, go while you still can

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In reply to kevin stephens:

Presumably because they're usually populated with lots of younger people?

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 kevin stephens 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Its up to you, but being in my early 60's I would like to live, preferably without long covid

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In reply to neilh:

Hi Neil,

just back from the Depot in Manchester. They have tightened up mask wearing requirements, you now have to wear a mask at all times except when climbing though the majority of people were bouldering with their masks on today.

Chris

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 LastBoyScout 12 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm not visiting my local climbing walls.

I was going to take my daughters for their first session, as a treat, as one of my local walls is generally pretty quiet anyway and has a nice system where you book out the kiddy part for your exclusive use for an hour. It's mainly time/times that canned that idea - for now - but I can't say I'm in a rush to book in the current situation.

We did do a bit of outdoor climbing in Yorkshire a couple of months ago, but it was pretty easy stuff on relatively unused bits of crag, in open air and crag well washed by recent rain, so minimal risk.

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 neilh 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Christheclimber:

Thanks Chris. Take care. 

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 gazhbo 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave Cundy:

> I went to TCA last week and was shocked at the number of people there, mid evening.  

The number of people there included you.  TCA has a well publicised maximum capacity as well as a live counter on line, so it should’ve have come as a surprise.  
 

If you want to go to TCA you have to anticipate that it may, at some point during your visit, reach capacity.  If that makes you uncomfortable, don’t go.

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 Andy Farnell 12 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Anyone in Merseyside after Wednesday. Thanks to Boris the Bungler.

Andy F

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 S Ramsay 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

And what should Boris have done? Shut everything else down but had a special exemption for climbing walls? Let hospitalisations reach a point where hospitals run out of beds? If the answer that you are looking for is for the virus to have been fully eradicated earlier in the year then that would have involved a much longer shutting down of climbing walls, in all likelihood they still wouldn't have reopened.

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 Andy Farnell 12 Oct 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

A coherent plan for the country, with a working track and trace system not run by a pal with a CSE grade 3 in computing would be a start.

Andy F

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 Iamgregp 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

That's outrageous, I won't have you say that! 

Dido Harding does not have a CSE grade 3 in computing ;)

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 BuzyG 12 Oct 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I've not been to my regular wall once since COVID hit.  Leaving it to younger folk to support and hopefully stay lucky.  It's meant plenty of outdoor climbing this summer.  But now the autumn weather has hit, I'm back to hill walking until either Covid is beat, or I can get climbing out doors again.

Post edited at 23:00
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 BuzyG 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

I bumbled into Dido once, randomly sat on a pile of suit cases at Heathrow airport.  good singer that lass.

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In reply to S Ramsay:

> And what should Boris have done? Shut everything else down but had a special exemption for climbing walls? Let hospitalisations reach a point where hospitals run out of beds? If the answer that you are looking for is for the virus to have been fully eradicated earlier in the year then that would have involved a much longer shutting down of climbing walls, in all likelihood they still wouldn't have reopened.

Either that, or not making the initial monumental f*ck-up of ignoring it until it had spread f*cking everywhere. If we're talking hypotheticals, that is...

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In reply to Andy Gamisou:

Well, face coverings of some sort. Only one person had a buff. Everyone else had masks.

The small wall I went to today didn’t require masks. That felt ok to me because there weren’t many people there. It’s one of those things, it probably make sense sense for everyone to wear one but no one will until they’re told to...

Anyway, I’m not optimistic on walls staying open beyond the end of November. 

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In reply to jelllytrad:

Yeah not heard of any outbreaks and it could be because it’s not they higher risk (walls are pretty spacious after all) or the walls hush it up or the contact tracing doesn’t really work or any of the above... especially the latter!

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In reply to Dave Cundy:

I went to TCA Bristol once (rained off the crag) and thought it was claustrophobic. Wouldn’t be my idea of a Covid safe environment, if there is such a thing...

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In reply to galpinos:

Is that still the case? I’d be surprised if they’ve mandated masks in Brum but not Mancs. 

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Either that, or not making the initial monumental f*ck-up of ignoring it until it had spread f*cking everywhere. If we're talking hypotheticals, that is...

I don’t blame them for that. Early days and all that. My issue is with the failure to anticipate the second wave and deal with it properly by having an effective test and trace, providing financial support for people to actually self isolate (what’s the point of track and trace otherwise?) and introducing restrictions early enough. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems we’ll have to have a hard lockdown. 

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 Blanche DuBois 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Presumably because they're usually populated with lots of younger people?

Really - in my experience the blue rinse (or Ron Hill) brigade are always well represented, and often in the majority.  Usually least mask wearing too.  

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 Andy Gamisou 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Well, face coverings of some sort. Only one person had a buff. Everyone else had masks.

Whatever happened to Buffy the Virus Slayer?

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 Si dH 13 Oct 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

> And what should Boris have done? Shut everything else down but had a special exemption for climbing walls? Let hospitalisations reach a point where hospitals run out of beds? If the answer that you are looking for is for the virus to have been fully eradicated earlier in the year then that would have involved a much longer shutting down of climbing walls, in all likelihood they still wouldn't have reopened.

Following the advice of the scientists three weeks ago would have been a start. See the news this morning. It seems SAGE were completely ignored, which is unforgivable in the situation we were in.

Apparently they recommended that we shut down for a couple of weeks and then started again (maybe repeated a couple more times before spring.) Or otherwise a more strict set of closures than we have actually got, begun 2-3 weeks ago. Now instead we will be under a strict set of restrictions for many months, as there is no way they are going to bring rates down like the spring lockdown did. And many more people will die as a result.

I hope the local walls survive. Fortunately I get the impression those in Liverpool are all pretty commercially successful and they have expanded to other areas of the country.

Post edited at 07:11
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 galpinos 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Is that still the case? I’d be surprised if they’ve mandated masks in Brum but not Mancs. 

I'll see when I go tonight. It was mandated and signs were everywhere but no one seemed to care.

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 Iamgregp 13 Oct 2020
In reply to BuzyG:

Did you know her brother was in Faithless?   Not a lot of people know that.

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In reply to galpinos:

Interesting. The Birmingham one had almost total compliance. Just a couple of people without masks, may be they were exempt. And a few people were slow to put them back on after getting off the wall but on the whole the vast majority were wearing them the vast majority of the time when off the wall and quite a few while on the wall as well. It's one of those things, if people are asked they will generally do as requested.

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 galpinos 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

I stand corrected. Totally different his evening. Everyone wearing masks whether on or off the mats. Most climbing in masks as well. Change of attitude, well done Depot Manchester.

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In reply to galpinos:

I went to the Brum Depot again last night. Mask wearing compliance was high again. Lots of people though at 8pm, probably double the number at the weekend, mostly looked like students. Still possible to find quiet areas as most people seemed to just be standing around next to the mats. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable about the numbers though. The circuits area on the mezzanine, which is what I came for, was deserted as usual however.

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 BuzyG 19:30 Fri
In reply to Iamgregp:

I didn't even know she had a brother. 

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 galpinos 06:44 Sat
In reply to Misha:

Manchester Depot have reduced their allowed capacity as well. Meant queues to get in due to one in one out but, again, total step change in attitude for the better. 

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In reply to galpinos:

Not seen queues yet but tend to go at the end of the day. I can imagine an hour or two earlier would be busy enough for one in one out. Sensible policy, though I fear all the big cities will be tier 3 soon enough and the walls will get closed - which would probably be right.  

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 Fiona Reid 20:08 Sun
In reply to SteveX:

I have no issues going to my local wall.  Face masks have to be worn at all times unless actually climbing which means many myself included just wear them throughout.  

I won't set foot in a pub or restaurant or anywhere serving alcohol as once the beers in common sense and any attempt to stay 2m apart goes out the window and even if you make efforts to stay apart from others you can't control others idiocy. I've not been in a bar or restaurant since February and won't go back until such point as I don't need to provide contact details. 

I would like places like walls and gyms to remain in business. I believe they are very important to physical and mental health. If we all boycott them that won't happen thus I'm going as long as I can. I consider them more important than getting rat faced. I can do that in my own house without contact with other humans! 

Aside from the wall I have no contact with other humans these days (I climb with my husband and he's the same). At the wall yes I touch holds others have touched but I clean or sanitise my hands regularly and we have to be at least one line apart thus I feel my risk is a lot less than going to a pub,  more than going to the supermarket which I do once a week but I don't believe the risk to be enough to justify the benefits - my sanity and health.

I'm not prepared to live what might be the rest of my life in my house as if there's no vaccine we're going round in the current circles for all eternity. Right now I'm nearly 47, my risk of snuffing it from covid is low, a few more years and it will be higher along with the missed smear tests and breast scans I should have had but now won't get because covid stopped the NHS in Scotland, frankly I'll take my chances down the wall.

Post edited at 20:21
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 SteveX 12:13 Mon
In reply to Fiona Reid:

> I have no issues going to my local wall.  Face masks have to be worn at all times unless actually climbing which means many myself included just wear them throughout.  

Excellent

> I won't set foot in a pub or restaurant or anywhere serving alcohol as once the beers in common sense and any attempt to stay 2m apart goes out the window and even if you make efforts to stay apart from others you can't control others idiocy. I've not been in a bar or restaurant since February and won't go back until such point as I don't need to provide contact details. 

That sounds very depressing, we have had the occasional meal out, not really pub people though.

> I would like places like walls and gyms to remain in business. I believe they are very important to physical and mental health. If we all boycott them that won't happen thus I'm going as long as I can. I consider them more important than getting rat faced. I can do that in my own house without contact with other humans! 

Thats rather judgemental, people go to the pub without getting rat faced, though obviously if this is what you do, better to avoid.

> Aside from the wall I have no contact with other humans these days (I climb with my husband and he's the same). 

This sounds rather dreary.

> I'm not prepared to live what might be the rest of my life in my house as if there's no vaccine we're going round in the current circles for all eternity. 

Well I will be living my life as if there is no vaccine, because there is currently no vaccine, I am climbing regularly outside, go for the odd meal out, have flown and will again, just climbing walls are not that important to me, but as winter proceeds I may reassess. 

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In reply to SteveX:

Your final comment is key - walls aren’t that important to you but they are to other people. Whereas many people are perfectly happy to forego pubs, restaurants and general social contact outside indoor and outdoor climbing. I’m certainly in that category. Having said that, the main difference for me has been not going into the office. Don’t tend to go to pubs much or have non-climbing social contact outside work anyway...

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In reply to Fiona Reid:

> I won't set foot in a pub or restaurant or anywhere serving alcohol as once the beers in common sense and any attempt to stay 2m apart goes out the window 

Do what you like of course, but no one's going to slobber all over you and give you covid in a restaurant. I'm sure there are some pubs that haven't managed (or that can't be arsed) to work within the restrictions, but all my experiences in pubs have been sitting for table service in pleasant quiet places. Not felt remotely covidy compared to the wall, which does seem a bit risky to me.

> I would like places like walls and gyms to remain in business.

Me too. The wall is the one thing that I'd really miss if there's more restrictions or another lockdown.

> I consider them more important than getting rat faced. 

Not everyone gets arseholed when they go out for dinner...

> Aside from the wall I have no contact with other humans these days 

All depends what keeps you sane, but I think most would agree it's a good idea to have a bit social interaction, just in case you and your fella are starting to develop some really odd habits but not noticing it in the absence of feedback. When you do see other people, it could be awkward ;)

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Depends where you are. I imagine Kendal pubs are quiet. Having said that, I went for an evening walk which took me past a few city centre bars and they were all largely empty. Felt very quiet even for a Monday night.

Walls are certainly risky but it’s easy to move around and socially distance. Can’t really do that in a pub now that you have to be seated - so if a group arrives and sits next to you (some of those tables are uncomfortably close), what do you?

Someone on my local club’s mailing list suggested going to the pub after the wall tomorrow because it’s ok to sit in the pub garden in a group of up to six. We are tier 2 so yes it’s allowed but really, if people think they can sit with someone at the same table for an hour and not have a decent chance of getting infected, they are deluded. 

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In reply to Misha:

> Walls are certainly risky but it’s easy to move around and socially distance. Can’t really do that in a pub now that you have to be seated - so if a group arrives and sits next to you (some of those tables are uncomfortably close), what do you?

Not possible in the pubs I've been in. You're at a table, and no one else can sit there. You stand at the door, you're seated, and you stay with who you came in with. Staff wear a mask. When you get up for a piss, you wear a mask. It really is fine.

Post edited at 00:11
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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Some of the tables are a bit close from what I’ve seen... Still, the risk of transmission between groups is probably not high with those measures. Within groups is a different matter.

I actually thought about going into one of the pubs I went past as there was a large area empty but then I thought - why take the risk? Guess I’m just too risk averse with this thing and I’ve got beer in the fridge anyway. If it was warmer, I’d be ok sitting outside if it wasn’t busy.

Thing is, I’ve done a fair bit of serious climbing which many people wouldn’t go anywhere near. Those were calculated risks though and I felt in control. With this thing I don’t feel in control, I feel powerless. 

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In reply to Misha:

Another thing that probably makes a difference is how much covid risk you get through work. If like you, you work at home, then you've got control over all the risk. But I've been seeing a clinic full of patients every day since June so I'm pretty blase these days.

Immaterial for me - I've caught the f*cker now anyway!

Post edited at 00:44
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 Ian Parsons 01:02 Tue
In reply to Misha:

> and I’ve got beer in the fridge anyway.

I suspect that this distinction is key; unless of course you like ice climbing, and have a really - really - big fridge!

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

Sorry to hear that. Hope it hasn’t spread to your local pub! Can’t be having the beer infected. 

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 slab_happy 08:00 Tue
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Not possible in the pubs I've been in. You're at a table, and no one else can sit there.

The problem is that current evidence seems to suggest that in an enclosed indoor space where people are un-masked and talking, 2 metres is not a magic impermeable barrier, even if the tables are spaced by that much.

See: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223

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 SteveX 08:41 Tue
In reply to Misha:

> Your final comment is key - walls aren’t that important to you but they are to other people. 

Misha tovarish , this thread, for me at least, and I am the OP, is not an argument or even a debate, I started it because most of my mates are going to climbing walls, and I felt the odd one out, which is never nice. I was just interested if other people where taking another approach. It has not been a criticism of other peoples actions however many people seem to consider that if one makes a different decision to them, that one is criticising their actions, and very often this is not the case and certainly not here. I have examined the information and my own circumstances and concluded that currently I do not think walls are right for me, however I have stated more than once that this may change.

However, back to your comment, which is interesting from a Social Sciences point of view in that the people in a climbing wall have very different views on what it is for.

  1. for me its mainly a place for socialising, which makes covid difficult, and a bit of feeding the rat whilst the weather is poo, and a bit of training.
  2. for some its the only climbing they do, its exceptionally important.
  3. for others who climb outside its way of keeping fit for the next season.
  4. for some its just a way of keeping fit, the climbing is incidental.
  5. for others its their business, their entire financial future is invested in it, just like pub owners and taxi drivers.
  6. for others its a job they passionately enjoy.
  7. for others its just a boring job.

I do think we could find other reasons why people are there, and as a person interested in the Social Sciences next time I go I may not even climb, just observe, over a coffee and brownie, at last a reason to go and not piss about climbing

Post edited at 08:53
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 slab_happy 09:39 Tue
In reply to SteveX:

> I was just interested if other people where taking another approach. It has not been a criticism of other peoples actions however many people seem to consider that if one makes a different decision to them, that one is criticising their actions, and very often this is not the case and certainly not here.

You commented on how "dreary" and "depressing" you thought Fiona's choices were. It may not be what you intended, but that certainly comes across as criticism.

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 SteveX 09:55 Tue
In reply to slab_happy:

Oh thats was, absolutely, I considered most of her posting very judgemental.

I consider that way she is doing things is very dreary, though obviously she is free to make that choice, it does not impact me.

I considered her comments regarding pubs and bars very judgemental of other peoples choices, and ignored the fact that many people go to a pub for a quiet drink, sometimes not even to socialise but to get some solitude. Not everyone in a pub is rat arsed.

Also her reasons for going to walls were purely selfish, in that its what she wants and she supports them so they will be there for her, no mention of the owners who must be frantic with worry and the workers, some whom of have to go, to put bread on the table, they do not have the choice to work from home, and would perhaps rather not be in that environment.

So yes I was, but thats one reply out of a very long thread, and as this not a troll I did reply, and the thread title was "Who is not going to climbing walls" so not really clear why she felt the need to intervene, but hey ho its a free world and a public forum.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Not possible in the pubs I've been in. You're at a table, and no one else can sit there. You stand at the door, you're seated, and you stay with who you came in with. Staff wear a mask. When you get up for a piss, you wear a mask. It really is fine.

Although your food and drink will generally be prepared and served by the same youngsters who will out socialising as normal when not working!   

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In reply to slab_happy:

> The problem is that current evidence seems to suggest that in an enclosed indoor space where people are un-masked and talking, 2 metres is not a magic impermeable barrier, even if the tables are spaced by that much.

Nothing's foolproof.

It became obvious some time ago that we're going to be living through the pandemic for a long time yet. So, whatever I feel I want to avoid I'm going to be avoiding basically permanently - we're not going to eliminate the virus, we just need to keep case numbers and therefore hospital admissions at a level we can cope with.

My view is that it's unnecessary for everyone to try to do everything they can to avoid catching it - that's overkill and has too many side effects. For me, the right balance is going to the wall as normal (that's important to me) and having the occasional meal or drink out. I want to support the businesses, and I've enjoyed myself when I've been out.

Very similar to the way I assess risk in climbing. I don't eliminate it (far from it, I go out soloing on mountain crags all the time!) but I reduce it to what I think is a reasonable level (I don't solo routes anywhere near my limit, obviously).

Misha - cheers, I've got mild symptoms only, just hoping it doesn't drag. And I didn't get it at the wall or in the pub, I got exposed to it through someone with symptoms getting a false negative test...

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