Stay Home: No Climbing, No Hillwalking
Now is not the time to go climbing or hillwalking.
With the astounding number of people heading away from their place of residence to the hills last weekend to go hillwalking and climbing, paying scant regard to social distancing, there has been an unprecedented call from 35 national recreation organisations to stay local, followed by a plea from the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) today for people to halt climbing and hillwalking at this time.
Why should I?
Thousands of people have already made the right choice to stay local and stay home, distancing themselves physically from others.
Climbers and hillwalkers have been putting other people at risk, in ways that we may not recognise. However small the chance, by travelling to outdoor places we risk spreading the virus, or causing injury to ourselves unexpectedly, or even being involved in a car accident. Our behaviours might have a devastating impact and we each have a social responsibility to minimise this risk at this moment. You don’t (currently) have to follow this guidance. (It feels unpleasant to have other people dictate that we shouldn’t do something, we feel this too, very strongly). But, this is only temporary and it is important.
But it's only me and I didn't touch anything...
Consider this: People who choose to still go out and climb or walk send a message to other people watching and this results in many hundreds of thousands of people not following guidance. It’s not just about you, and it isn’t only you, it’s about the influence you have on other people – people who you don’t know and will never meet.
Just a single person not following the guidance could have a wide impact. In a wider sense, if we choose to defy the advice, the UK is at serious risk of going into lockdown. Or, we can pull together now, in solidarity, leaving our ego at the door, and avoid lockdown, meaning that we retain some of our civil liberties, like being able to use local parks and open spaces.
What happens now is down to you – every individual making the choice to stay home will help us all.
At Womenclimb we recognise how hard this situation is for some people, particularly in terms of mental health, and that it may continue to be so for some time. Being asked to sit at home and do nothing can be hard in so many ways.
We are working to find ways to support you, so do take a look at our Facebook page and join our Facebook group ‘Womenclimb Find a Climbing Partner‘, where we will be connecting with you and posting regularly in the coming weeks. We have taken the decision to open this group up to non-members, so that we can provide better support to more people when it’s really needed. So…. join us, talk to us, share with us.
For Womenclimb Members we have a dedicated group on Facebook, where will provide more tailored support. Members will receive an invitation in the next 48 hours.
You can find two mental health information sheets at the end of the following post: Womenclimb Coronavirus Response