The news over the past couple of days has proven that there is an insane number of people taking to the countryside in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Here in the Swiss Alps, all of the cable cars and mountain stations are closed, and even the essential trains are running on a reduced service.
In Britain, the call for people to work from home seems to have inspired thousands to take a little holiday and to get some recommended fresh air by going precisely where everyone else is. Not for them the local countryside; they’d much rather be on Snowdon or in the Lake District, rubbing shoulders with all the other idiots, putting themselves, their families and everyone else at risk, and over-stretching the local health services.
Think of it this way: what happens if someone with the virus passes it on to the mountain rescue team, and the whole team gets sick? There will then be no-one available to help the next unfortunate who breaks a leg whilst adventuring in the mountains. What happens if someone is seriously injured on the mountain, but there is no-one available to help them at the local hospitals?
The local tourism organisations in Britain are doing their best to encourage people not to come, but I can’t imagine that there’s any other solution than the one which countries like Spain and Italy have enforced: complete lock-down and a continual police presence. The police presence has finally been stepped up in Switzerland, where the authorities in Zurich have been battling to keep people away from one another. The police have, at last, started issuing fines to people breaching the recommended policies.
One thing I’m not sure about is the policy of sharing photos of these beautiful destinations to keep people’s spirits up. I’m partly convinced that these photos are proving too tempting for those who don’t care about their actions, and encouraging them to visit places instead of encouraging them to stay away.
What do you think? Does the act of showing photos of beautiful places encourage people to visit when they should be keeping away?