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Since 60% alcohol is effective against the virus I'm stocking up on cask strength whisky - and chocolate - in case I have to self isolate!
More seriously, I think the odds are on the Challenge being cancelled, so I'm trying to keep cheerful by planning a few lone camping circuits from the car.
The danger is even greater for those of us who come from across the pond, or as in my case, a small rock in the pond.
If I were to catch the virus while in the UK what would I do? It is unlikely that any B&B would want me. My family in Kent are +70 so that would not be an option.
The only option would be to get 2 weeks of supplies and camp out somewhere in the hills with a good supply water. And a good book.
I have not written off the event yet and hope that it will still be possible to hold it. If not, I have a route ready and approved if I am selected for 2021!
The virus has not been confirmed as yet but it is expected to arrive any day. The government is doing the best it can to contain it. We have testing facilities and tests are being carried out on suspected cases but so far all have proved negative.
Take care and stay safe
Just think about the following scenario:
1. An infected but symptomless Challenger gets on the train in Glasgow to Mallaig.
2. He/she infects some number of people (it doesn't matter how many)
3. Over the next two weeks, those infected infect others
4. Challengers start having respiratory problems in various remote places during the two weeks of the Challenge and need emergency evacuation.
5. They pass the virus on the the MR teams and helicopter crew that rescue them.
You may think it unlikely but it is not impossible. If it happened it would be a PR disaster for the TGO Magazine.
It is my opinion that it is completely unrealistic to think that the event is sustainable this year and that it is irresponsible for people to participate (unless of course they have had and have recovered from COVID-19).
Yesterday, TGO Magazine issued A Hiker's Guide to the Coronavirus Outbreak. A very informative piece it is too, with the nugget that "camping – particularly wild camping – is probably the best way to go". But not a single reference to the Challenge itself!
My guess is that the Challenge organisers are holding off a bit to see how things go. After all the situation in May will be very different than now. The general fear would though be that things will be worse. As mentioned above: transport to the Highlands - I'm coming up on the sleeper - might be curtailed or inadvisable; if Challengers introduced the virus to small Highland communities, the Challenge might not be so welcome in future years; and developing symptoms while a couple of days' walk from any settlement would be nightmarish for both the sufferer and those called on to aid them.
At the moment, I'm still coming. Indeed, ten days of food supplies arrived at my door today. But I'm glad it's all well dated.
Also not Peter the vetter btw.
I agree with your concerns Ian!
Down south here I am battling with the bravado of older volunteers who are lying about their age because they want to continue to run support groups with vulnerable people against what I regard as common sense and government advice.
And contrast that with the tweets (twitter) of medics in Italy who are beside themselves as they watch people come to their modern hospital and just wait there to die because there is not enough equipment to help them.
I am hoping we can carry over our TGO ticket until next year!