UKC

The five day winter season.

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No doubt conditions will be rubbish but still a far better option than inadvertently killing one's relatives.

2
 Bob Bennett 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

One`s relatives may well be killed by this 5 days of permitted family gatherings

Post edited at 20:24
3
In reply to Bob Bennett:

> One`s relatives may well be killed by this 5 days of permitted family gatherings

Yes, some peoples' certainly will be.

1
 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Bob Bennett:

Of all the government's decisions, this has got to be the most idiotic considering that the outcome is not so much predictable as guaranteed. With the inevitable spike in infections and resultant further restrictions, if I was in the hospitality sector (or similar) I would be seriously pissed off since the message seems to be that 5 days of irresponsible non-social-distancing in homes (festivities) is more important than people's livelihoods. 

6
 Andypeak 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon

I assume the theory is that millions of people are going to do it anyway regardless of what the government say so they may as well allow it rather than criminalise them all. 

1
 Grahame N 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

If conditions are half decent then the crags will be packed with folk desperate to get some climbing before the inevitable January Lockdown, particularly early season venues like the Northern Corries, and I predict a big spike in cases of climbers requiring the services of mountain rescue.

Post edited at 09:38
5
 S Ramsay 25 Nov 2020

I’m not normally one to argue that the medicine is worse than the disease in a Coronavirus context but, on this occasion, I think that could easily be plenty of people for whom this is the case if the three bubble rule wasn’t there. Take, for example, an early 20s worker living away from the family home, possibly on their own or possibly with housemates, who works largely from home and can therefore be fairly confident that they don’t have coronavirus. Work will stop for approximately 10 days leaving them with little to do and if they don’t have housemates or don’t like their housemates then they will experience a loneliness far in excess of anything that they have experienced before. If they are early 20s then their parents could easily only be late 40s or early 50s so not particularly at risk from coronavirus. People who already live with their family saying that this section of society shouldn’t spend the Christmas period with their family is a bit rich. BTW, this isn’t me, but it would have been me not too many years ago. The Scottish versions of the rules are particularly harsh here as they stipulate the house sharers can’t all go their separate ways. Presumably though, few will pay attention to that particular rule.

1
 Kevin Woods 25 Nov 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

Absolutely agree. 

In reply to S Ramsay:

To give credit where it is due, I actually think the governments have probably got it about right. If they had not allowed some household mixing it would have happened anyway, and so officially allowing a limited amount of it might hopefully keep a lid on the carnage. Johnson's "Jolly careful Christmas" does, I think, for once, strike a sensible tone and the message that just becaue households can mix doesn't mean they have to is the correct one to give along with the scientists making it clear that mixing is definitely going to result in more deaths (and presumably more restrictions and economic woe) in the New Year.

Yes, I think you are right that it is good that those who are going to have an unbearable Christmas otherwise can mix without breaking restrictions, but I very much hope that most of the majority who will be absolutely fine without household mixing choose to be responsible and not do so. Things could be bad enough in the New Year because of the  idiots who will ignore any restrictions over New Year and Hogmanay without the rest of us making it worse.

Much better to have a jolly careful time in the mountains than to go visiting relatives.

baron 25 Nov 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

I’m presuming that your 20 year old’s parents don’t have their own parents or if they do then they (the grandparents) won’t also be invited to Christmas dinner?

Many people are going to die because some people can’t, or more likely won’t, deal with what is admittedly a difficult situation and insist upon gathering at Christmas.

11
 Graeme G 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

> Many people are going to die because some people can’t, or more likely won’t, deal with what is admittedly a difficult situation and insist upon gathering at Christmas.

A grim thought, but I wonder if projected figures might ‘sober’ the mood?

Post edited at 14:21
Monkeydoo 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

Bit harsh , that's like saying everyone who died of the flue the last 20,30,40,50 years was killed by others not staying at home 24/7 ! 

5
 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> To give credit where it is due, I actually think the governments have probably got it about right. If they had not allowed some household mixing it would have happened anyway, and so officially allowing a limited amount of it might hopefully keep a lid on the carnage. Johnson's "Jolly careful Christmas" does, I think, for once, strike a sensible tone and the message that just becaue households can mix doesn't mean they have to is the correct one to give along with the scientists making it clear that mixing is definitely going to result in more deaths (and presumably more restrictions and economic woe) in the New Year.> 

I agree that there is some logic in the thinking, but I think they've got it badly wrong here. Legality or otherwise makes a big difference to what people choose to do, and this unchanging 3 household thing is pretty much unenforcable, as is social distancing within homes. All along the science has told us that mixing in homes creates the greatest risk of transmission, not for example, a regulated hospitality environment. In combating loneliness they could have continued to prohibit meeting in homes, but allowed meeting outdoors and perhaps in hospitality venues with a substantial meal, and thus helped the economy as well. Businesses are going to fold as a direct result of this decision.

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Monkeydoo:

> Bit harsh , that's like saying everyone who died of the flue the last 20,30,40,50 years was killed by others not staying at home 24/7 ! 

The difference is that the current situation is not permanent. It is hopefully only temporary until vaccines are rolled out. And the problem is not people going outside their own homes, but mixing within each other's homes. 

4
 Red Rover 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Monkeydoo:

People who died of the flue shouldn't have been going up chimneys so much! 

 Graeme G 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> In combating loneliness they could have continued to prohibit meeting in homes, but allowed meeting outdoors and perhaps in hospitality venues with a substantial meal

Thats a really good point. The main issue being that people (no idea what proportion though) will be travelling from far and wide to get together at Xmas. Therefore likely staying over in houses anyway. 

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> The main issue being that people (no idea what proportion though) will be travelling from far and wide to get together at Xmas. Therefore likely staying over in houses anyway. 

I think it could have been discouraged. Folk could have met up with friends locally if no family nearby. I admit there is no silver bullet solution. 

 Rob Parsons 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> ... Businesses are going to fold as a direct result of this decision.

I doubt that this particular decision would be the deciding factor in whether or not any business is forced to close.

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Perhaps I should have said "indirect result". It depends how large the resultant spike in infections is, and how tough the combating measures taken to deal with it need to be.  

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I agree that there is some logic in the thinking, but I think they've got it badly wrong here. 

You may be right. In an ideal world it would have been possible to ban all indoor household mixing at Christmas and enforce it but that is simply not practicable and I suspect an attempt to do it might be counterproductive. There is a baffling mania about Christmas which cannot be legislated against unfortunately. Asking people (to you and me quite reasonably) to wait to meet up until Easter would go down very badly with alot of people.

baron 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> A grim thought, but I wonder if projected figures might ‘sober’ the mood?

It seems mental to allow people to mix at home when it’s supposedly the best way to spread the virus.

Infected people will meet with their loved ones and as a result more people will become infected, more people will become ill and more people will die than necessary.

How one lives with the knowledge that you might have killed somebody when it was realistically avoidable I don’t know.
Having said all that, my 84 year old mother who has self isolated for months has decided that she’d like to celebrate Christmas with her children and grandchildren. That’s seven of us, including her, from three households. We’ve discussed the possible consequences and she’s willing to accept the risks.
If I had my way we’d cancel Christmas.

In our case we don’t have a religious excuse to celebrate nor is it like we can’t eat and drink ourselves silly on any day of the year. Nor are their young children to consider.
I understand that other people’s circumstances are different and accept that they have their reasons for wanting to gather together.

As long as in January they don’t start whinging when hospitals are full and people are getting sick and dying in their droves.

 Martin W 25 Nov 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

> Work will stop for approximately 10 days

I think you exaggerate this rather.  There are only two public holidays over Christmas.  Not everyone keeps a chunk of their annual leave back to use at Christmas, and I doubt many employers actually shut up shop for ten days.  Some call centres may not even close on Christmas Day, and many shops open on Boxing Day (if they're allowed to open at all).

That said, I understand what you're getting at, and I have some sympathy with it.

In reply to Andypeak:

> I assume the theory is that millions of people are going to do it anyway regardless of what the government say so they may as well allow it rather than criminalise them all.

By that logic you could argue for abolishing the national speed limit...

 Graeme G 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

Are you my doppelgänger? My circumstances are virtually identical. 7 people, 3 households, 85 year old mother and no young kids......

 Rob Parsons 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

> Having said all that, my 84 year old mother who has self isolated for months has decided that she’d like to celebrate Christmas with her children and grandchildren. That’s seven of us, including her, from three households. We’ve discussed the possible consequences and she’s willing to accept the risks.

> If I had my way we’d cancel Christmas.

You don't have to go. After all, you could be the asymptomatic carrier that kills her.

baron 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> You don't have to go. After all, you could be the asymptomatic carrier that kills her.

Very true.

I’m in her bubble already as I’m her carer.

It’s the two grandchildren who I’m worried about as they both work in large supermarkets where contact with customers is unavoidable.

I’ve been busy working out a seating plan for the 12 foot dinner table so nobody sits directly opposite anyone else, there won’t be any present swopping, windows will be open and time spent together will be as short as I can get away with. Not ideal but the best that I can do.

As for not actually going - Christmas is going to be in my house as it’s the largest one of the three households.

I’m also not sure how I’d explain that to my other.

She might be old but she’s not daft, she knows the risks and she’s decided that this might be her last Christmas so she’s going to make the best of it.

Hard to argue with when she’s recently lost four of her friends from non Covid age related illnesses.

Fingers crossed.

baron 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Are you my doppelgänger? My circumstances are virtually identical. 7 people, 3 households, 85 year old mother and no young kids......

Are you getting together at Christmas?

 Rob Parsons 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

> I’m in her bubble already as I’m her carer. ...

If you're her carer, then that puts a slightly different complexion on it. However, it seems a bit odd and inconsistent to be vigorously arguing against the idea - "Many people are going to die because some people can’t, or more likely won’t, deal with what is admittedly a difficult situation and insist upon gathering at Christmas" - when you are intending to do exactly the same thing yourself.

baron 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I said it was a mental idea to allow people to gather together.

I realise that by doing exactly that I am being a hypocrite.

It shows the complexities of the issue and I’m not trying to justify my actions but that doesn’t make it any less mental.

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> However, it seems a bit odd and inconsistent to be vigorously arguing against the idea... when you are intending to do exactly the same thing yourself.

I can understand people wanting the same tough rules for everybody, as that would actually make a significant difference to case numbers, unlike personal decisions however laudable they may be. If 'baron' decided to take a tough stance with his nearest and dearest it would make bugger all difference to the number of cases country-wide.

 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

I really hope for a super cold snap over Xmas as otherwise condition dependent turf routes will get a right battering. I think the BMC and Mountaineering Scotland need a clear Xmas eco message on the subject.

On people mixing, I think the combined governments realised a common solution close to what is proposed was inevitable: if they tried to be stricter too many in the population would say stuff rules and go anyhow in even larger gatherings.

 TheGeneralist 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Bob Bennett:

> One`s relatives may well be killed by this 5 days of permitted family gatherings

I'm confused. Isn't that just what the OP said?

In reply to Robert Durran:

It all sounded promising at first - me and the Mrs live down south and would travel to the north-west in order to ‘Christmas Bubble’ at my mum’s with my sisters’ family.

I’ve since found out they’ve slipped in my cousin, a 20-something secondary school teacher, as she’ll be alone. Up to 4 households, but it doesn’t really count as she’s one person and will be lonely.

After speaking to my sister; she’s seeing her mother and father-in law one day, and sister-in law’s family a separate day. Up to 6 known households, but this doesn’t count either as it’s on separate days.

In addition, my parents are divorced and the rules allow me and my sister to visit my dad. Up to 7 known households, but his wife has a family that will be visiting over the 5 days which bumped it up to 9 households.

Up to now, everyone involved has followed restrictions to the letter. However, there’s something about Christmas which makes usually law-abiding people feel entitled to take it on risk.

I cancelled our trip before I found Kevin Bacon, but he can’t be far off.

Post edited at 17:16
 Dave Hewitt 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> I really hope for a super cold snap over Xmas as otherwise condition dependent turf routes will get a right battering.

No real sign of winter as yet - I was up Stuc a' Chroin today from the Braeleny side in very autumnal conditions. Tiny patch of snow just below the summit - duly stepped in - but it was mild and could easily have passed for a mid-October day rather than a month before Christmas. Talk of colder conditions these next few days but still autumnal rather than wintry.

 Graeme G 25 Nov 2020
In reply to baron:

> Are you getting together at Christmas?

Yes. Military planning to reduce risk. But I am wary.

 Rob Parsons 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Yes. Military planning to reduce risk.

I can just picture it: "Mother-in-laws to be stationed here, here, and here ..." Etc. etc.

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Liam P:

That's a scary example of what is going to happen this festive period. Give people an inch rule and they'll bend it into a mile. Multiply that many many times across the land...

In reply to Liam P:

Those gatherings are not within the rules, as I understand them. I thought the rules allowed for 3 households to meet up indoors, with no further meetings (indoors) outwith that circle. And that is at any point over those 5 days, - that is, the slate isn't wiped clean at the end of each day. That's certainly what I understand of the situation here in Scotland, anyway.  Or have I got this wrong?

In reply to Offwidth:

> I really hope for a super cold snap over Xmas as otherwise condition dependent turf routes will get a right battering. 

It might also have the benefit of making travel problematical and so deter people from visiting relatives. 

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

A rail strike could come in handy for once!

 Fat Bumbly2 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:Nelly in the corner is trumpeting...... Hogmanay! That is going to be interesting 

 Rob Parsons 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Graham Briffett:

> Those gatherings are not within the rules, as I understand them. ... Or have I got this wrong?

You're correct.

 kevin stephens 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Martin W:

> I think you exaggerate this rather.  There are only two public holidays over Christmas.  Not everyone keeps a chunk of their annual leave back to use at Christmas, and I doubt many employers actually shut up shop for ten days.  

On the contrary, many employers (mine included) will insist on taking a big chunk of leave over the holiday period to enable them to save costs by a complete shutdown while business is slack, and to avoid leave taking towards the end of the financial year when many hope that business picks up again

In reply to Graham Briffett:

No, you’re absolutely correct.

It just shows that small rule-breaks, spread over three households, have led to a network of 25 people.

Speaking to a few of my mates this seems like a common occurrence. Add the families who will ignore all restrictions completely and we’ll be in a bad place again.

I don’t think anyone will realise this until January, when people they know start dropping dead, and they’re wondering if the Turkey and Sprouts were really worth it.

In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

> Nelly in the corner is trumpeting...... Hogmanay! That is going to be interesting 

Yes, alcohol and household mixing is going to be deadly enough round the Christmas dinner table. Hogmanay could be worse.

 Michael Gordon 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

> Nelly in the corner is trumpeting...... Hogmanay! That is going to be interesting 

I think the government line is that they are giving folk a christmas 'present' and that as far as they're concerned, people can make do with christmas and hogmanay is cancelled. Fine by me - a good decision! Police are surely going to have to be on continuous standby over new year, breaking up all the illegal house parties. At least they should be used to it by now.

 Martin W 25 Nov 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

I think we could argue forever about the precise meaning of "many".  No employer that I ever worked for (ten in all) has required any more than the public holidays to be taken, and I've known a number of people (my wife included) who had to work Boxing Day.  I'm certainly not aware that it's general practice across the majority of employers to enforce the taking of more than the statutory number of days off, though if you can provide reliable evidence of that being the case then of course I'd accept it.

I do know that some employers, in particular the IT departments of large financial institutions, "furlough" their contract staff over the festive period*, when they have a change freeze lasting several weeks over the peak commercial period.  But as a permanent member of staff of one such department, I was free to choose which days to take off, if any.  One year I ran a bit short of leave at the end of the year so 'worked' i.e. went in to the office on 27th December.  It was quiet, but there were other people around (mostly busying themselves on web sites akin to this one until the clock ticked round to a time when they felt comfortable going home).

* Though the contractors don't get paid for the days they don't work, so it's not like the lockdown furlough.

 Michael Gordon 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Martin W:

A small company (like 3 people including the boss) will often try and take the same days off, and if the boss wants the christmas period off then that means everyone's off. But I think the general point being made was about people living on their own with the only other option being to sit at home alone for a week or so. I'm sure a sort of middle ground could have been chosen like a single extended household where if someone lives alone they may visit one other household.

 S Ramsay 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Martin W:

Every employer, barring part time university jobs, that I have worked has required that the period between Christmas and New Year is taken off and while this is only three companies two of them were huge, thousands of UK employees at one of them and 10s of thousands at the other*. The practice may vary from industry to industry but I would suggest that a significant proportion of the UK workforce will have to take the whole week off whether they like it or not. *I can't swear that all sites had the same Ts+Cs but it seems likely

 groovejunkie 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> That's a scary example of what is going to happen this festive period. Give people an inch rule and they'll bend it into a mile. Multiply that many many times across the land...

Then chuck in thousands of returning students arriving from all over the country back into the household and you may well have the perfect storm (especially if they break the household bubble by hanging out with their mates who they haven't seen for 3 months). Yes I know there's proposals for a testing regime before they return, but our govt says a lot of things that never happen. Hopefully this will. 

 Euge 26 Nov 2020
In reply to Graham Briffett:

> Those gatherings are not within the rules, as I understand them. I thought the rules allowed for 3 households to meet up indoors, with no further meetings (indoors) outwith that circle. And that is at any point over those 5 days, - that is, the slate isn't wiped clean at the end of each day. That's certainly what I understand of the situation here in Scotland, anyway.  Or have I got this wrong?

I think that was Liam P's point

Cheers

 wercat 04 Dec 2020
In reply to S Ramsay:

My eldest is now in his 20s at university and has parents in 50s and 60s (me) while the younest is 18.  TMoreover they are coming back into a homw where there will be no chance of social distancing and they have to travel fresh from their communal accommodation for some hours in the car with us. The government has not considered the large number of parents of students who would fit the bill of grandparents in some families.  Moreover the two of them. This will be a dangerous Christmas, seems a bit daft to relax with the vaccine coming into view.

Boris' complete misunderstanding of the WW2 analogy is that in reality people got far more jumpy and frightened as the end of hostilities approached as the chance of not surviving was increasingly compared with a chance of surviving.  For infantry in 1944 it wasn't an expectation to survive the war, and the change in expectations  made people very jumpy by the following spring.  It wasn't a time to relax and die and so it is not now.

Post edited at 17:40
 Michael Gordon 04 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

> My eldest is now in his 20s at university and has parents in 50s and 60s (me) while the youngest is 18.  Moreover they are coming back into a home where there will be no chance of social distancing and they have to travel fresh from their communal accommodation for some hours in the car with us. The government has not considered the large number of parents of students who would fit the bill of grandparents in some families.  Moreover the two of them. This will be a dangerous Christmas, seems a bit daft to relax with the vaccine coming into view.> 

Will they not be tested prior to them leaving?

 Dave the Rave 04 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

Spot on. 

 Rob Parsons 04 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

> My eldest is now in his 20s at university and has parents in 50s and 60s (me) while the youngest is 18.  Moreover they are coming back ... (etc.)

Rather than blame 'Boris' for this, have you or your children considered exercising personal responsibility and free will?

If you think it's a bad idea, don't do it. Whingeing about it after the fact seems, well, rather lame.

3
 wercat 05 Dec 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

we don't really have any alternative short of telling them they can't come home.  With all of the brains available in Universities you would think this might have been foreseen and they should not be washing their hands of students for Christmas.

I've been exercising Fucking Responsibility all year your royal sarkiness

Post edited at 15:17
6
 Rob Parsons 05 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

> we don't really have any alternative short of telling them they can't come home.

Many students are staying in their accommodation over Christmas. You are making a conscious choice.

> I've been exercising F*cking Responsibility all year

So have I.

1
 Offwidth 06 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

It was foreseen. Independent SAGE and UCU were arguing against government policy from the beginning, policy that inevitably led to students returning to University this September en masses. They also argued against all unnecessary face-to-face teaching. Universities ignored this as they explicitly would have no financial backing from government from fee and hall income losses if they recommended students studied at home and on face-to face teaching put a minority of student complaints above their H&S duties of care. 

On Rob's point I'm yet to see any evidence that a significant percentage of students are staying in halls who would have gone home if not for covid. The vast majority seem to be going home.

 Michael Gordon 06 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

> With all of the brains available in Universities you would think this might have been foreseen and they should not be washing their hands of students for Christmas.> 

Are you saying it's compulsory for them to leave the halls? 

 kevin stephens 06 Dec 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Meanwhile back on topic 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55179603

Meanwhile back on topic.........

I'm not sure whether I missed this when the Christmas rules were announced or whether they have been changed, but the rules in Scotland now say that it is only possible to travel to or from tiers 3 and 4 for the purposes of visiting other households in a Christmas bubble. So there is no general relaxation of travel restrictions which would allow access to the hills.

Fortunately I have a fair number of imaginary friends scattered around the north of Scotland, all of whom would be happy to bubble with me at the last minute if the weather looks nice. And of  course bubbling with imaginary friends is obviously far more responsible than bubbling with real ones.

4
 ScraggyGoat 07 Dec 2020
2
 Michael Gordon 08 Dec 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

The idiocy continues. I'm not sure how anyone could think there would be more chance of catching coronavirus from travelling for exercise/leisure than for having a christmas get together indoors!

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> The idiocy continues. I'm not sure how anyone could think there would be more chance of catching coronavirus from travelling for exercise/leisure than for having a christmas get together indoors!

If the general restrictions on mixing households and travel were to continue over Christmas I would accept that, but I'm afraid that I am at the end of my patience when I am restricted to my home patch and responsibly avoiding household mixing (as actually suggested by politicians and urged by the scientists) while others are travelling around the country and inevitably spreading the virus so that restrictions will probably be extended further for all of us. 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'm not sure whether I missed this when the Christmas rules were announced or whether they have been changed, but the rules in Scotland now say that it is only possible to travel to or from tiers 3 and 4 for the purposes of visiting other households in a Christmas bubble. So there is no general relaxation of travel restrictions which would allow access to the hills.

Indeed. If anyone wants to form a virtual bubble with me for five days feel free to drop me a line.

In reply to planetmarshall:

> Indeed. If anyone wants to form a virtual bubble with me for five days feel free to drop me a line.

... Peak District it is then.

In reply to planetmarshall:

Better hope that those smears on Combs Moss suddenly come into condition then 😜


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