Day Twenty-One of ORCA in Switzerland – A Morning Walk

By richard | 05/04/2020

I had a morning walk this morning because I found that there are too many people to avoid during my afternoon walks. During my morning walk I took images of flowering plants, bees collecting pollen from flowers, roses budding and Apple orchards getting ready to blossom.

During the walk I also listened to two Echo Der Zeit episodes in a row. I like to listen during my walks because I’m taking the opportunity to get used to hearing German, and as I become more fluent, so I can understand a bigger proportion of the podcast.

In Switzerland the discussion about whether to close tourism sites continues although for me the answer is simple. During a pandemic you should entertain yourself as close to home as possible. Every one of my walks starts at home and reaches as far as I can walk in an hour. The trip back might bring it to two hours but I’m within a radius of five kilometres of my home and i am staying local.

Video of traffic at lunchtime at the Nyon motorway bridge.

The motorway is almost empty. At the same time of day in normal conditions both lanes would be filled and you would struggle to see decent gaps between cars. Now the gaps are large and it would be a pleasure to drive.

In normal times this road would be full of traffic

Normally this road is filled with traffic on a Sunday as people head to and from Nyon and it’s surroundings. Today we see large gaps in traffic as so few people are getting into their cars for activities. Traffic, at least on weekends has declined.

In Grens you can see a sign from around this time still pinned to a notice board.

I followed the link because i was afraid that there was a new pandemic rule forbidding us from using vehicles on Sunday. Luckily it’s from a century ago.

Now that we’re entering week four of the pandemic it’s appropriate to mention this open letter. In the last three days I’ve seen two different neighbours have guests over three times. Tomorrow will be the fourth week from self-isolation where we have not been able to socialise in person and it does have a cost. We can’t shake hands, we can’t have a conversation from a normal speaking distance.

“Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn’t much different than if there was no measure in place.”

Open Letter from Jonothan Smith, Epidemologist, yale University.

Apathetic and selfish people, who continue to socialise, and continue to see different people are making it so that those of us taking the pandemic will need to sacrifice for longer before the end of the pandemic. It does feel interminable. We chose to start self-isolating as individuals six weeks ago and now we’re in week four of forced self-isolation, and because people are not respecting the rules, it feels as if there is no end in sight for this pandemic.

In England those who like to spend time outdoors for walks, for runs and for bike rides are afraid that the selfishness of some will result in the removing of their last freedom. Enforced solitude and the ensuing loneliness is detrimental to people’s well being. Having the freedom to go for a walk, a bike ride or a run is beneficial because for half an hour to two hours we can spend time with our thoughts, but also distracted by the landscape in which we find ourselves.

The worst thing about losing the freedom to go for walks, runs or bike rides is that we lose the safety valve that enables us to cope with isolation. It also takes away our access to sunshine and daylight. If we’re stuck indoors without our daily walks we will see a deterioration in health. That in turn will lead to more preventable deaths.

See if you can spot the bee.

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