Outdoor Sports and Pandemics

In theory, pandemics are terrible for your social life because you go from socialising in bars, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and cafés to having to stay home like an indoor cat or a fish in an aquarium.

For people like me, the thought of not being in crowds of 50 people is not worrying in the least. I love summer sports where we’re never more than 20 or so people anyway. The biggest hit to my social life comes in Autumn and winter when we shift from outdoor sports like cycling, climbing via Ferrata and others to indoor sports like drinking in a crowd and other less vibrant activities.

Events are being canceled left and right. The Geneva traffic jam show (Salon de L’auto, officially) is canceled. Polymanga has been shifted to August, the Giro D’italia is suspended, and more. Schools are out. Office workers are finally allowed to work from home. Pollution levels in China and Italy are going down.

À cela s’ajoute la fermeture des lieux de divertissements (cinémas, théâtres, musées, centres de jeunesse, centres sportifs, centres de fitness, piscines, centres de bien-être, discothèques, pianos-bars, boîtes de nuit, clubs érotiques).


The debate people were having about whether indoor climbing was safe or not is now moot in Switzerland. The answer is “nowhere is open”. It’s going to be an interesting month. I should go out and gather footage with the 360 camera. This is a historic moment. It’s worth documenting.

SARS was a memorable event and COVID19 will be more memorable. I think it’s the first time I’ve lived through a serious pandemic.

Cycling, hiking and other less sociable sports are still possible. In theory, so is swimming in the lake. We can enjoy these sports.

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