Corona Virus – Covid 19 Update 15th March 2020
Hello Nordic Walking family,
As they say, ‘we live in interesting times!’ My individual and collective aim is to think of ways in which we can make ourselves and others as safe as possible whilst trying to live our life as this virus journeys through the UK for what seems likely to be a long period of time. My intention, unless advised otherwise by GOV UK, is to continue to get out in the fresh air and Nordic Walk and below are some thoughts about how that may be possible whilst we are able to do so.
Preparing to attend – If we are well and do not have any symptoms of a cough, cold or fever we can decide if we wish or should attend Nordic Walking that is each person’s individual decision. If we have any symptoms of unwellness we must not attend. If we are well and want to attend, we should wash our hands thoroughly as we leave our homes. Do bring with you a pack of tissues and some of your own hand gel or wipes in case you need them. It is your choice if you arrange to travel with someone who doesn’t ordinarily live with you, but please do ask if they have been observing WHO guidance and social distancing.
Arriving – we are a sociable bunch and it is lovely to greet each other warmly but we should observe good hygiene protocols so please don’t hug, handshake or kiss (spouses exempt in the interests of harmony!) and as practically as possible keep the GOV UK advised 2 metre distance between us. Please don’t be upset if people do keep their distance from you, this isn’t rejection, this may be that they have a vulnerable person at home who they are protecting, are in a sensitive age group bracket or have an additional health need themselves. We CAN do the tapping of the bottom ends of the Nordic Walking poles to greet each other or tapping of our hearts with our hands and then waving this at the person they are greeting. Elbows tapping may now be too close a contact.
Nordic Walking Poles Collection – If you have your own poles do bring them. The GOV advice is that the virus lasts about 14 hours on some surfaces so all poles will have been in the boot of my car for over that time for each 0930 start as most walks finish at 1300 the previous day. I will still bring antibacterial spray to clean them before you borrow them as an additional protection. Do feel free to bring your own wipes or wear gloves. For the 1100 Nordic Fitness group I will separate out some poles for you from the 0930 – but if you did need to use the same poles as the 0930 group we will antibacterial them.
Warming Up / Mobilising – let us just gather in a circle but observing the 2 m distance apart.
Walks – I am thinking that it is best if we declare our distance needs for the actual walk at the warm-up. What I mean by that statement is – we all have different approaches to risk, health needs, people who depend on us or who may have additional health needs within our family and therefore making allowances for how a person wishes to be looked after on a walk must be respected. For example when we didn’t have this viral risk we sometimes would walk in small groups or intimate twos or threes, chattering away and it may be that someone would like to do that where the terrain is wide and you can keep your distance and still chat but when the paths are narrower they may wish to go ahead or drop back to not walk in close proximity. Please feel free to declare your own distance needs and please respect others if they are different to yours.
Whilst on the walk we will encounter styles and gates and these may have been used by other walkers that day. For gates – I will suggest that a gloved person (maybe a hand in plastic bag and most likely me) will open the gate for all to go through unencumbered and then close it. For styles – you may wish to keep your gloves on, put your hands in a plastic bag you’ve brought with you for that purpose, use your own hand gel afterwards or see if you can nimbly manage it hands free? For any photographs you take please only use your own phone or camera and don’t ask others to use them to take photos of you unless you live with that person too,
First Aid – I do carry with me at all times a small first aid kit, an ice pack you can activate, and a foil blanket etc. If any of these were required I would use the plastic gloves I have with me in the kit.
Nordic Fitness – Similar to the walks – let us declare our distance needs at the beginning whilst we are warming up and respect these for each person. I’ve covered pole use above but within Nordic Fitness we also use some other apparatus but most of this is on the floor so touching can be avoided and is not used for two or three days between uses so well over the 14 hours shelf life of the virus. For elastic bands, hula hoop and Smovey’s these will be antibacterial sprayed and wiped at the start of the activity. Where practical (class numbers) they will be issued at the start of the session and are not used by anyone else that session. (I am going to put numbers on them to identify them)
The stretching at the end – again let us gather for this giving people 2 m of space
Handing in borrowed Nordic Walking Poles – Please spray and wipe down and pair up the gloves and poles so that they are put back together. Put the gloves into the ziplock bag and then I will wash these after use.
Car Park Café time – This is always a great time to socialise and chat and It is up to you if you participate in the Car Park Café. But for anyone that does, do feel free to bring your own Keep Cup and use the coffee/tea and hot water on offer to fill this yourself making sure the cup lid, that will go to your lips, you have kept separate or bring your own flask. I will have put the cups through the dishwasher after previous use and you are welcome to use these too. No one pouring the hot water will have touched the actual water and again no one will have touched the actual coffee or milk. I will bring power balls and these can be handed out on a spoon so lots of hands aren’t in the container.
Exercising out in the fresh air is so good for our wellbeing as well as socially meeting up with Nordic Walking friends so I am happy to continue, whilst we are able to, as long as we have some protocols to keep us all a bit safer. However, I fully understand if you feel the risk to you or your loved ones is too large and you need to pause for a while. If you do please do keep in touch – as a community we need to look after each other and it will be good to know that others are thinking of you. For those of us that do meet I will monitor the virus situation daily and amend these considerations and let you know of any changes.
With the very best wishes,
Do get in touch privately if you wish to talk through any of this messaging 🙂