Day 62 of Self-Isolation in Switzerland – A Bee In My Helmet

Today I was going to go for a walk but when I saw how beautiful the conditions were and how empty the roads seemed it felt like it would be a shame not to take advantage so eventually I got a bee in my helmet. Usually, you’d think of them as being in bonnets, but not today.

When I passed by the border in Crassier it was completely closed and when I passed by another border people were speaking across the barriers. During weekends they still close borders.

During this bike ride I had fun trying to chase down cyclists I saw ahead of me and it encouraged me to go faster than I would otherwise be going. I didn’t go into Geneva or Versoix because when I go through either I regret it. One of these reason is people walking side by side.

During the pandemic I see hundreds or even thousands of posts about how every single one of us should wear masks when we’re out and about but I think there is a more pressing issue. People walking side by side on roads, trails, paths and more. By walking two or three abreast it becomes impossible for those walking fast, or those walking in the opposite direction to avoid one of the walkers.

I mention it in this post about cycling because I encountered it on the bike too, with pedestrians walking on main roads side by side. In one case a family was all across the road on an uphill segment. The family were trying to keep their children safe so they were justified but other situations were not.

Masks are pushed as the miracle cure, the miracle solution for each of us to be safe but in the grand scheme of things I would be safer, and so would others, if people walked in single file when encountering others.

This isn’t a new problem. Londoners and fast walkers have complained about tourists and groups of people walking two or three abreast, and being forced onto roads, into rivers, or into the mud for years, if not decades.

The issue, during a pandemic, is that if we walk into people, then we’re pushing social norms to breaking point. During the COVID-19 Pandemic walking two abreast is akin to walking into people. It shows a lack of respect for others.

Society could learn something from hikers, and to some extent cyclists. Hikers, cyclists and cross country skiers move in single file. In some portions of society being single file while doing exercise is normal. If we’re in this for several more weeks or months then a greater percentage of people exercising should pick up the habit.

It’s time for me to get back into normal clothes, see you tomorrow.

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