Poll

Under what circumstances is it OK to go caving now?

Not at all.
With members of your household and trips are well within own ability.
So long as social distancing is respected and trips are well within own ability.
So long as social distancing is respected.
Any time, anywhere.

Author Topic: Is it OK to go caving?  (Read 20158 times)

Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2020, 04:11:00 pm »
I'm relieved to report that the so-called 'vaccine refusal protest picnics' planned by the UK Freedom Movement for my two local parks today didn't happen after all - no-one turned up and Norfolk Park was 'deserted', which is ironic, as it always is - in fact I may as well go up there now and enjoy the tranquility:

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/uk-freedom-movement-lockdown-protests-18262672

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2020, 05:47:22 pm »
Well, apart from lockdown 2 - the bigger, badder version...

I thought you said bigger bladder, Mike. A cunning way to stop folk going anywhere is to shut all of the toilets. Does anyone know if the toilets are open at Lyme Regis ?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2020, 06:08:54 pm »
Well, apart from lockdown 2 - the bigger, badder version...

I thought you said bigger bladder, Mike. A cunning way to stop folk going anywhere is to shut all of the toilets. Does anyone know if the toilets are open at Lyme Regis ?

I had to make a trip across the country a few weeks ago. I avoided public toilets like the plague (literally) and found a convenient field gate instead. Motorway services are bad enough at the best of times, definitely not worth visiting now!
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Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2020, 09:32:44 am »
A prediction.

We will all be caving in July.   :beer2:

Offline owd git

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2020, 10:02:19 am »
Well, apart from lockdown 2 - the bigger, badder version...

I thought you said bigger bladder, Mike. A cunning way to stop folk going anywhere is to shut all of the toilets. Does anyone know if the toilets are open at Lyme Regis ?

More important in Bognor. ( the gateway to the incontinent!)  :shrug:
 keep well. O.G.
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Offline owd git

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2020, 10:04:11 am »
A prediction.

We will all be caving in July.   :beer2:
Wot? all with our own wooden caving suit? Shhhhhh!
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Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2020, 10:32:42 am »

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2020, 05:30:51 pm »
https://www.rt.com/uk/488867-derbyshire-police-man-kiss/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email

Take are if you want to go caving in Matlock.

That news source still includes that piece of fake news about police dying a pool black to stop people swimming in it during the lock-down.  The nice blue pool near Bixton takes the runoff from a limestone processing plant so it would be like taking a swim in strong bleach!  Hence it is regularly dyed black as a safety measure to prevent the local idiots from doing themselves serious harm.

Offline tony from suffolk

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2020, 05:36:41 pm »
BREAKING - Huge lockdown protest in Hyde Park, with further gatherings expected in intensive care units across the UK next week.
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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2020, 11:08:48 am »
Well, it seems we're fairly divided, though the % split has remained fairly consistent as the numbers have increased.

Currently, numbers as follows:
37.9% - Not at all.
20.7% - With members of your household and trips are well within own ability.
34.5% - So long as social distancing is respected and trips are well within own ability.
5.7%   - So long as social distancing is respected.
1.1%   - Any time, anywhere.

The key issues seem to be:
 - Risk to rescue team in the event of a rescue
 - Public perception

Risk to the NHS or personal risk of infection seem to be much less contentious issues.

Personally, I believe the risk to rescue can be mitigated by reducing the likelihood and complexity of any potential rescue, through choice of trip. This is consistent with advice from various caving and other outdoor bodies to keep well within your own ability.

Public perception is a much softer issue and harder to quantify the severity of the issue, or possible mitigation. Ultimately, this must be considered on a very local basis and will need a good dose of common sense. I believe that the key things will be location and time. Specifically, anybody choosing to go caving would do well to choose a cave away from where people live and away from honey pot sites. I think it would also be wise to go at non-peak times, such as evenings, when locals and visitors are less likely to be out and about in the countryside.
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Offline Simon Beck

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #60 on: May 21, 2020, 11:39:26 am »
I was out yesterday and bumped into a group of three, obviously all from separate households, who'd been down the same cave. It wasn't till afterwards that I thought much about it, but when I reached the surface they were all huddled getting changed. It's not an easy cave to self isolate a group of three in either, and with my bag in attendance in the entry slot they knew others were down the cave as well.
Personally I don't give a damn whether people do or don't follow the rules, based on the fact I'm not that concerned about catching it, but if I was in the same age group as these three cavers I probably would be, so no sympathy offered if they do catch it.
I also hope these same people weren't the ones criticising tourists who were visiting their villages some weeks back. And there's me trying to stay on the right side of the gamekeeper by going alone.
 
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 12:05:58 pm by Simon Beck »

Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #61 on: May 21, 2020, 04:14:38 pm »
Based on my (admittedly limited in range) observations walking about, I would hazard a guess that about a third of the people I see have stopped observing social distancing completely. Builders, road-workers, shop staff and takeway staff, not to mention groups of teenagers, who clearly don't all live together. If I go to shop at Waitrose or Tesco it's more regimented, Sainsbury less so. But I am trying to avoid peak hours if possible. I wish I could go out to the countryside beyond walking range as I'm really missing it, but it looks like it's busy out there. I still can't see most of the caving I want to do being tolerated for a while yet. Doing caves 'well within my ability' (i.e. really easy) in Castleton is quite difficult as they're mostly not easy.

Personally I'm less worried by transmission by contact as I always wear gloves etc., but it's the shared air-space that makes me more concerned, and masks are just not happening, frankly.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2020, 04:19:46 pm »
There is mounting evidence that the epidemic in the UK is burning itself out - and the risk of caving therefore low, even without social distancing. That's why I voted "any time, anywhere". Meanwhile, the NHS is underused as new cases fall daily, so you don't need to worry about diverting resourc es away from Covid-19 patients if you get into trouble. 

Read this article and watch the video:

https://unherd.com/2020/05/oxford-doubles-down-sunetra-gupta-interview/

Offline CavefestUK

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2020, 04:29:07 pm »
My only thoughts are, if people go caving, did they consider that even though social distancing could be observed,  you are still sharing the air in close proximity?  Not to mention touching, crawling and generally brushing against everything.
Did the person before me have gloves or a mask?  Did the person before me wash their hands and observe other social distancing rules elsewhere?
Lots of questions, and all that before you've considered the cave rescuers who may have to come get you. ( God forbid)

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2020, 04:35:38 pm »
There is mounting evidence that the epidemic in the UK is burning itself out - and the risk of caving therefore low, even without social distancing. That's why I voted "any time, anywhere". Meanwhile, the NHS is underused as new cases fall daily, so you don't need to worry about diverting resourc es away from Covid-19 patients if you get into trouble. 

Read this article and watch the video:

https://unherd.com/2020/05/oxford-doubles-down-sunetra-gupta-interview/

Very interesting

Quote
“In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork. Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that’s a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect.”
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Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2020, 04:40:02 pm »
There is mounting evidence that the epidemic in the UK is burning itself out

I really hope so! We know so little about this virus that the evidence seems to point in multiple directions. Is the reduction in new cases due to herd immunity or due to lockdown? But our gov has done a deal with Roche to give us a few million free antibody tests so we will know soon enough.

There is some very good news from the (south) Korean Centre for Disease Control: they did a study where they looked at a few hundred people who had tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks after recovering. Obviously this was alarming as it looked like you might not get immunity after all. However, these people didn't catch the virus a second time, the test was triggered by harmless left-over fragments of SARS-CoV-2 RNA that were still floating about in their bodies. It also appears that the virus is mutating slowly enough that it won't outpace immunity.

The study hasn't been translated into English yet but a youtube nurse has discussed it and there are some reports of it in the English language media:




http://m.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20200429000724

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-reinfections-were-false-positives.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coronavirus-south-korea-patients-infected-twice-test-a9491986.html

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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2020, 04:45:14 pm »
My only thoughts are, if people go caving, did they consider that even though social distancing could be observed,  you are still sharing the air in close proximity?  Not to mention touching, crawling and generally brushing against everything.
Did the person before me have gloves or a mask?  Did the person before me wash their hands and observe other social distancing rules elsewhere?
Lots of questions, and all that before you've considered the cave rescuers who may have to come get you. ( God forbid)

I refer you to my opening post on this thread. The chance of contracting Coronavirus in a cave is practically zero. With or without a rescue.

Even under usual circumstances, the number of actual cave rescues is tiny. Reduce your frequency of caving and the number of rescues will reduce proportionately. Reduce the number of people caving (due to vulnerable folks self-isolating etc) and the number of rescues will reduce proportionately. Reduce the length and complexity of trips and the likelihood, and complexity of rescues will reduce. Combine this with the probability of catching Coronavirus off an asymptomatic caver and the risk of anyone contracting Coronavirus during a cave rescue is also practically zero.

With a few additional precautions, you are safer now, than you are normally (without those extra precautions) and you are definitely safer caving than going out on your bike, or going to a crowded beach, or even going shopping.
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2020, 05:15:22 pm »
" There have been no newly confirmed cases in Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton or South Somerset in the last 24 hours. "

Deaths in Somerset are just %2 above normal levels in Somerset over the past five years.

If I did my own risk assessment I would find that it would be safe enough to go caving here in Somerset.

Offline Alex

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2020, 05:28:50 pm »
Yep I would agree based on the above.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2020, 05:35:48 pm »
There is mounting evidence that the epidemic in the UK is burning itself out - and the risk of caving therefore low, even without social distancing. That's why I voted "any time, anywhere". Meanwhile, the NHS is underused as new cases fall daily, so you don't need to worry about diverting resourc es away from Covid-19 patients if you get into trouble. 

Read this article and watch the video:

https://unherd.com/2020/05/oxford-doubles-down-sunetra-gupta-interview/

I read it.
No evidence was offered, just opinion.

The only thing that seemed sensible was
"the number of cases should not even be presented as it is so reliant on the amount of testing being done."

There was real humour though
"Effectively we used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100 years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”
Describing a time of the greatest mass movement of people in the first part of the 20th century (divisions of US doughboys being shipped across the atlantic, refugees everywhere, hundreds of thousands of Russian Pows going back home from Germany after the revolution, wounded being shipped home from all the fronts..) as "approximating lockdown" tickled me a bit.

I looked at what these UnHerd people said about their aims. One thing was
"UnHerd aims to do two things: to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people and places."

Fair enough. Before t'interweb came along I am sure that there were many deserving people & ideas that never got a platform. That has changed for the better, but it all now relies on people being able to sift out the truth for themselves. The majority of the time it doesn't matter at all, but I think it does here.

I have watched the way people's behaviour has changed over the last week or so, and I think by 1st June we will have a much better idea about the reality of starting caving again. I try to be optimistic, but I do fear the worst.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2020, 05:42:09 pm »
In fact there is evidence that a large number of people who have antibodies from coronavirus type common colds have immunity to Covid, and she cites this. And as for the Ferguson megadeath model: it was far too pessimistic. Applied to Sweden, where there has been no lockdown, it suggested there should have been 100,000 deaths there by May 1. There were in fact fewer than 3,000 at that point.

Also consider this. The proportion of people found to be infected who need hospital admissions or intensive care have been falling steeply, as has the proportion of those infected who die.

Does this mean the virus plucks the "low-hanging fruit" and then becomes a much less scary proposition? A caving doctor mate with wide epidemiological experience has suggested to that it does.

Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2020, 05:45:54 pm »
I don't think the Fergussen model was pessimistic. In the UK we have had between 35 k and 55 k deaths depending on how you count them, in 8 weeks of lockdown. Given this, 200 k to 500 k for the full outbreak without lockdown seems like a reasonable estimate. And Sweden has had a lockdown, people just chose to do it themselves to some extent. They also are a very different country with different population density, urbanisation, demographics, general health, better diet, better hospitals etc.

Bear in mind that Sweden are still the second hardest-hit country in the world in deaths per million, at least out of the countries that haven't been making the numbers up.
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Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2020, 05:53:16 pm »
The British Diving Safety Group has recommended a cautious start to diving.

" The working group has cautiously welcomed a mindful, progressive return to shore diving, because it naturally lends itself to social distancing above the surface. It is worth noting that below the surface divers routinely dive in full personal protective equipment (PPE).

The BDSG has today issued clear guidance for diving in England. When the devolved Government advice changes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the BDSG will also amend its advice. The Republic of Ireland resumed limited diving activities on Monday 18 May, eg recreational non-training shore diving to 12 metres. "

Offline Duck ditch

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2020, 06:09:05 pm »
All this optimism is useful even just for psychological reasons.   A second spike will be awful.   If you can get it again even more.  I’m listening intently on these two questions.
I do get perturbed when people think about it all being an overreaction because only so many 1000 have died.  If we have squashed it, it will be a roaring success.

I remember a surge in hiv aids cases in the mid nineties.  Government and Councils through money into sexual health education resources,  free condoms etc.  After a year  The epidemic didn’t materialise so the outreach workers etc got disbanded.  Fair enough but maybe they stopped the epidemic from occurring and saved the country billions of pounds it wasn’t a waste of money. There is an awful lot of people with hiv in this country controlled by drugs.

Let’s keep safe.  Slowly open up.  I think opening up slowly the great outdoors is good.  Caving is an outdoor sport so it fares well here compared to many other sports. 



Offline Jenny P

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2020, 06:17:31 pm »
Well worth reading the most recent BMC Newsletter on the issue of whether to go climbing/walking again.  I know it isn't entirely the same issues we're concerned about in caving but the BMC approach and their advice are, as usual, very sensible.

 

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