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 6559 times)

Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #100 on: May 22, 2020, 11:41:45 am »
It's a very large step! Especially compared to what we have now (sod-all).
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #101 on: May 22, 2020, 12:06:50 pm »
I just got back from 'Gin Alley', better known as The Moor shopping street in Sheffield. There was a group of around 20 drunks, all drunk, congregating outside Sainsbury, whilst two 'City Centre Ambassadors' (council sub-police in hi-viz) walked past them, practically holding hands, saying and doing nothing. Fat guys in wheelchairs (plural) mingling with them, old grannies shouting at each other. Virtually no-one apart from people in shop queues was observing any social distancing at all. I think I'll have to stop going to town until all these have died.

When I got home I found three guys from the water company digging up the road, pretty much on top of each other. Two policemen got out of a car and walked into a kebab shop together across the road with no masks. I assume these two aren't cohabiting normally

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #102 on: May 22, 2020, 12:25:49 pm »
Never try to reason with drunks.   ;)

Online mrodoc

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #103 on: May 22, 2020, 12:30:10 pm »
You will need to wait a couple of weeks to find out if this is a problem

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #104 on: May 22, 2020, 12:49:34 pm »
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.
Using gloves doesn't really affect the chances of transmission, having one pair that you wear all the time actually increases the risk, washing your hands is more effective at reduction. So gloves should only be put on at entrance to cave & removed on exit, with a different pair used if handling anything else (there is no need to throw them away, as can be used again after appropriate cleaning or quarantine).
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 01:08:23 pm by mikem »

Online royfellows

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #105 on: May 22, 2020, 01:22:24 pm »
I just got back from 'Gin Alley', ....etc

I used to live in a place called "Blakenall", living in a toilet one eventually gets used to the smell.
I moved.

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Offline JAA

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #106 on: May 22, 2020, 01:50:02 pm »
Just briefly with reference to pwhole and the police contractors etc. I work for the fire service. The risk I have to accept is that I can’t do my job and social distance. Neither can the police ambulance or highways workers for that matter.
So rather than knock them for it, why not consider that actually they are risking their health for you. Not all of us have luxury of being able to social distance.

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #107 on: May 22, 2020, 01:51:18 pm »
I think it's more the fact that some of them aren't even trying...

Offline JasonC

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #108 on: May 22, 2020, 05:06:58 pm »
You would not mind if all scientists agreed.

" A leading scientist has called for lockdown rules to be loosened more quickly, saying the coronavirus pandemic has already infected half of Britain’s population and is “on its way out”.

Prominent Oxford epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta told unherd.com that the UK had based its handling of the crisis on the worst-case scenario and called for a ‘more rapid exit from lockdown’.
..."

Alas, "the science" isn't a single infallible opinion as our leaders tend to suggest.  The interview that David posted with Prof Gupta demonstrated that - her group and Imperial looked at the same set of evidence and came to different conclusions - simply because the evidence isn't yet conclusive.

She also suggested that people might be immune from the virus without testing positive for Covid antibodies - if they had been exposed to a sufficiently similar virus to have resistance.

So even if the antibody test does turn out to be remarkably accurate, we still won't know with certainty where we are.  The only (fairly) reliable figure is the body count (and even that is fuzzy - did someone die of Covid or with it?).

So guess what? - we'll just have to take what advice there is and then come to a decision using our own best judgement.

Online Speleotron

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #109 on: May 22, 2020, 05:19:22 pm »
One thing you mention is dying with the virus verses of it. We can be sure that those dying of it are in a significant majority. This is because most of the important co-morbidities that make you vulnerable to the virus take years or decades to kill (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, COPD etc) whereas this virus kills in 2 to 4 weeks so what are the chances these people got Covid in the last 2 weeks of a decades long illness? This question at least is easy to anwser.

Another thing we do know is that our death toll is shockingly high, 35 k to 55 k depending on how you count it. What's shocking is that we have had this with a lockdown, even if we're going with the lower limit of 35 k. The initial estimates of 200 k to 500 k without one seem reasonable.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:28:28 pm by Speleotron »
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Online paul

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #110 on: May 23, 2020, 09:02:36 am »
Global Moderator Comment Posts about Weather Forecasting, Science and Hurricanes have been split to a new Topic: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26533.0
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Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #111 on: May 23, 2020, 02:46:05 pm »
If you decide to go caving, make sure you take Dominic Cummings with you. You'll be untouchable if challenged as to whether it was appropriate or responsible 🤣
You see that Taxus baccata.........that's Yew that is........

Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #112 on: May 23, 2020, 04:47:36 pm »
Indeed. I was quite surprised to see that Downing Street's statement about them 'only caring for a poor child' when they were really ill didn't also have the regulation tinkling piano music behind it for added effect. Clap for Cummings. I think we may be approaching heads-on-sticks time soon.

Offline Fjell

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #113 on: May 23, 2020, 07:24:19 pm »
I’ve been delivering papers every morning to the old dears for the past few months so I get to see a selection, and I really don’t think the current farrago has the mileage of the last one for the red tops:


Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #114 on: May 23, 2020, 09:15:25 pm »
Who needs the red tops when the black tops and the bishops are happily piling in? Sex for a scientist is a relatively comforting moral tale compared to this, and is far easier to forgive than political cynicism of this magnitude. Everyone who's single is missing a cuddle big-time, so I can't blame them, despite the risk they took. Unfortunately for Cummings and his happy-clappy 'supporters' in the cabinet, the Observer chose to save its trump card for after the desperate defences had been unleashed. Now they really are screwed, and are all implicated in a cover-up. No matter how they try to brazen their way out of this, everyone (even me) has an equivalent sob-story to tell about the personal, social and career sacrifices we've had to make as Cummings and his 'extended family' (whatever that means) have. We've all had a shit time for the greater good - except them.

Nobody I know directly has got seriously ill yet, but about 50,000 families have gone way beyond that - so far. So it'll be interesting to see just how far tolerance stretches in this generally mellow country this time.

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #115 on: May 23, 2020, 09:42:46 pm »
Would depend on there being a viable alternative...

Offline al

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #116 on: May 23, 2020, 10:26:40 pm »
It's all just another diversion. Where d'you think Johnson's gone on his latest holiday?

(If you can't remember what a holiday is, look it up.)
Old ... but not old enough to know any better

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #117 on: May 24, 2020, 08:33:08 am »
Whilst I have no time at all for the "Wormtongue" (ref LOTR) in the cabinet, are we drifting off topic here? I keep checking this topic for convincing arguments that caving might be viable again. Generally speaking, I've yet to be convinced. Of some concern though is an evident lack of attention to the public relations aspect and a possible tendency towards short termism. That's not a criticism of anybody - I know we're all keen as mustard to get back into action. But it should always be borne in mind.

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #118 on: May 24, 2020, 09:01:36 am »
The fact that it's drifting off topic suggests that nobody categorically can say it's acceptable yet.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #119 on: May 24, 2020, 09:49:42 am »
As has been noted a number of times,  public perception/ relations is the single biggest issue at the moment. This is clearly a very grey area,  so there can be no categoric answer to this and never will be.

This is something that has to be approached on a case by case basis at a very local level. A number of landowners have expressed their wish for cavers to stay away for now, orhers have said it's ok to visit. Many have said nothing, perhaps because they don't want to be the only place to give a categoric yes, and then get inundated.

Many caving regions have seen a huge influx of cyclists, mountain bikers and walkers recently,  these are all during the day. In the evening, after they have all gone home, in many cases, a few cavers will hardly be noticed. I had thought that sticking a load of mountain biking stickers and a bike rack on the car would be a good disguise  ;D

Joking aside, a bit of common sense and respect will go a long way I think.
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Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #120 on: May 24, 2020, 01:00:17 pm »
Many Mendip caves will not be opened until the caving HQ's are free to open. Perhaps that is a reasonable yardstick.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #121 on: May 24, 2020, 01:33:37 pm »
I'm still struggling to see a justification for it starting up again, if we're sticking to the 'policy' of avoiding caving primarily to protect rescuers/landowners/country folk from any inadvertent issues from our actions. That said, it's easy to see many others all enjoying their outdoor hobby, which is frustrating in the extreme, but arguably problems are easier to resolve outdoors. Though a guy was killed climbing at Stoney Middleton the other day, and the Edale MRT had to pick his body off and lower him to the road in full PPE - it was reported as 'challenging' with those restrictions. I was surprised it hadn't been mentioned up here. However, I haven't seen anyone being told off for climbing at the present time, even after this incident:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-52729804

Personally I was a bit confused reading the recent BMC guidance about climbers avoiding particularly sensitive sites, as it seemed to be suggesting ways of getting round the rules where possible, or using other approaches to sites that would be contentious if the regular routes were used. In some places it advised 'going somewhere else', but I didn't see anywhere it said 'do something else'. So if climbers can drive or cycle to a non-contentious but difficult route, fall off and get injured or stuck or maybe even die, get their body recovered (with full PPE by an at-risk team) and then everyone just carries on climbing the next day as though nothing happened, what does this mean? Other than that we're saintly, obviously.

Most climbers will be visiting the countryside from a city, where I guess they would previously have been able to use indoor climbing centres, which are closed. Personally, I think living in the city puts me at far greater risk of infection than someone living in the country, but I would never suggest that country dwellers don't visit the city to avoid them infecting me. We have bigger hospitals for one thing, though that's not much consolation.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 01:49:50 pm by pwhole »

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #122 on: May 24, 2020, 03:37:20 pm »
Body recovery is somewhat easier than a casualty, although less pleasant. Whilst a caving rescue is usually going to involve more people, in closer proximity.

Offline JasonC

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #123 on: May 24, 2020, 11:02:32 pm »
The fact that it's drifting off topic suggests that nobody categorically can say it's acceptable yet.

But nobody ever will say it's acceptable - at least not until everyone's back at work, probably months away.
Particularly if we're using an ill-defined quantity like public opinion amongst locals in caving areas as a yardstick (I'm not saying this is to be ignored, just that it's not measurable).

Personally, I see no reason not to do some caving provided
a) it's a small party, travelling separately, going back home afterwards 
b) it avoids challenging trips, thereby reducing the already small chance of needing rescue to (virtually) zero
c) it avoids parking in a village or walking past a farmhouse to get to,
d) preferably in the evening for increased discretion

- all of which cuts down the options, but surely leaves some chances for responsible caving?

Offline mikem

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Re: Is it OK to go caving?
« Reply #124 on: May 24, 2020, 11:45:24 pm »
& I expect people are, they just aren't making any noise about it.

 

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