De-Confinement, In Name Only.

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Until recently every time Switzerland moved from one phase to another the number of new cases per day increased slightly but with the latest phase the number of cases has increased by four or five times the number of new cases.

From March until mid June we could go to the shops with the recommendation that we should wear a mask but not the obligation. I wore a mask anyway. From Wednesday onwards masks will become obligatory for people visiting the shops, and on public transport. In theory the change is not that big. Wearing a mask to the shops and on publlic transport is not a dramatic change.

Until you consider outdoor sports, in the mountains, where car sharing is an integral part of event organisation. If a shop, with tens of thousands of litres of air is deemed to put people at risk of being infected by the virus then sharing a car with people not in your household becomes impossible.

The summer social season is now impossible. The Swiss government missed three or four opportunities to wait an extra two weeks for the disease to be eradicated from wild transmission before moving on to the next stage. Now, not only is the virus making a comeback, but the measures are stricter than at the peak of new infections in Vaud and Geneva.

Although the virus was almost eradicated from wild transmission in Switzerland the latest phase as ensured that the virus will be around until the end of summer.

For single people, like me, who do almost all of their socialising during the summer months, through summer sports this mistake in policy means that some of us will have another solitary summer, waiting until next summer to socialise.

I’m tired of getting hopeful that we will be able to do outdoor group activities, only to see the progress being nullified and voided, again, and again by the government saying “let’s open up more.”

The truth is that if I’m not driving to the mountains to socialise through climbing, via ferrata, hiking or other outdoor sports then I am not spending much money. I’m not buying petrol. I’m not buying drinks at café at the end of the activity, I’m not buying new gear.

When I walk locally I’m not using the car, I’m not going to cafés, I’m not buying new sporting equipment. I’m not buying snacks and I’m not buying funiculaire tickets.

The notion that we need to risk a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases to restart the economy is a deeply flawed one and we have seen, with every phase, that it makes things worse, at least temporarily. With the latest phase change months of sacrifice have been undone.

We’ve gone from 0-20 new cases a day to 160+ a day.

The graph is steepening again
We have gone from a moving average of 13 new cases per day to a moving average of 77 new cases a day.

For a brief window the virus no longer seemed to be out in the wild but “Le COVID-19 regagne du terrain” and now we’re back to anti-social pandemic mode. Socialising this summer is no longer worth considering.

In conclusion although we’re not in “confinement” we are confined. Until the 21st of June we could live with the hope that the pandemic would almost be over, and that we could socialise with people who like the same sports as us. Due to the government’s policy decisions those plans are destroyed, and we might as well continue studying new skills at home, and going for solitary walks, because nothing else is possible for as long as “economic recovery” gives the virus new opportunities to become virulent again.


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