/ How long is a walk / cycle / run

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yorkshire_lad2 24 Mar 2020

How long is a walk / cycle / run

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-23-march-2020
one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;

What does the group think?
On one hand, I don't want to take the piss so that the authorities clamp down further, but on the other, my favourite regular walk is 12 miles in 4hrs; and it's in the hills cos that's where I live (Yorks Dales).

What are group members thinking for their favourite activity (walk / cycle / run)??

I'm intrigued to gauge the opinion of the group to see what the norm might be.

Suggested format for answers:

activity and distance and/or time (with optional location if you wish)

you can vote 1, 2 or 3 activities (but obviously can only do one per day!) e.g.

walk 2 miles
cycle 2 hours

(I could only post into one forum, and wasn't going to/couldn't x-post into others, so plumped for walking but applies equally to cycling and running fora).

Post edited at 11:07
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toad 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Ask the Proclaimers

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cragtyke 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

But does walking/ cycling to the shop for food count as your one a day?

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Tom V 24 Mar 2020
In reply to cragtyke:

Why not?

If you can incorporate the exercise with the necessity of shopping everyone benefits .

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steveb2006 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I would say a long walk / cycle / run is ok (as long as not risky) - if you are on your own or someone you live with and you dont drive.

Im currently planning some cycle options from home. 

Steve

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SteveX 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I live in East Lancashire, and it's all hills here. 

I think it reasonable to walk from our house, within 10 mins we are in open country, and then keeping to footpaths go for an 8 or 10 mile walk on the Moors.

I think this is within the spirit, but like you wonder what other people think.

It is easy to justify ones own actions.

Interesting, 2 dislikes, but not much help really in my quandary, if people think I am doing something wrong, have the backbone to say why, just a quick dislike indicates nothing.

Post edited at 11:50
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aln 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

How is the once a day thing going to be policed? Before I get jumped on I'm not advocating breaking the guidelines, I've actually only been out the house 7 times in the last 3 weeks.

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Stuart (aka brt) 24 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

> How is the once a day thing going to be policed? Before I get jumped on I'm not advocating breaking the guidelines, I've actually only been out the house 7 times in the last 3 weeks.

I think only Boris knows that. Problem is if its not adhered to we face Italy style restrictions. (We should arguably be there already). 

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mrphilipoldham 24 Mar 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Same here just outside New Mills. When you see footage from London of people cramming on reduced Tube services, and see all the international travel still taking place it does seem incredibly hard to justify limiting my daily exercise to the few km surrounding my house where in the unlikely event that I do see someone, I’ve also got all the space in the world to socially distance. 

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elsewhere 24 Mar 2020
In reply to SteveX:

If the spirit of the thing is "stay home" then 30-60 minutes away from home is within the spirit and a few hours or a day out isn't.

Note of my hypocrisy:
car booked for MoT tomorrow so I'll be stuck near garage for whole day hoping it passes without needing any repairs or drop off car & get taxi home and later back to garage with lots of close proximity.

MoT testing suspended for some vehicles but not cars.

I'd much rather "stay home".

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Run_Ross_Run 24 Mar 2020
In reply to cragtyke:

I was mulling that too. Technically I could do 3 bouts of exercise a day. 

Cycling to work. 

Cycling to the shops to get food (ok won't be needed every day)

Cycle for proper exercise/fitness (long distance, higher heart rate etc).

Tbh I'd rather cycle than use the car as the weather allows it more atm. But is it safer from a CV basis for me to driver to work and food shopping????? 🤔 

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Tom V 24 Mar 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I see people doing wrong things all the time- using phones when driving, fly-tipping, letting their dogs shit on the pavement- but it never makes me think that I should lower my own standards of behaviour just because they seem to be getting away with it.

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mrphilipoldham 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Indeed, and that’s not to say that I was planning on jumping in the car and going for a run along Stanage (or insert other ‘unnecessary’). But without set rules, what’s one to do? A run from my front doorstep to Kinder Downfall and back would be considered a normality, is that still in? The rules laid down say yes, but my head says no. Is staying low and just going round the reservoir ok? Or should I turn around at the campsite? Or the village? 

Post edited at 12:09
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Mac fae Stirling 24 Mar 2020
In reply to SteveX:

I'm in a similar quandary. A very short walk from my house and I am in the Ochil Hills with an option of hours/miles of easy wandering around very familiar hills if I want. But I am not sure it is the right thing to do. I can't discount the possibility, however unlikely, that, say, 6 miles from home and 1500ft up a hill I fall and break a leg. I guess I could crawl back home but I would probably phone for help.. so for that reason I am not going to do it.  I can see the hills out of my window, so it isn't easy..

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cpowell 24 Mar 2020
In reply to elsewhere:

Could you chuck a bike in the car and cycle home?

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Garethza 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Sounds like you are all sweating the details too much. 

It's within reason.. so if you want to go for a run for an hour fair enough, nobody is going to be out with a stop watch timing you but now is not the time to go for that marathon or 3 hour tempo ride. Use your common sense.. it's really simple!

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Tom V 24 Mar 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

It sounds like you know the answer and that you don't need it written down in bold black and white. 

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syv_k 24 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

> How is the once a day thing going to be policed? Before I get jumped on I'm not advocating breaking the guidelines, I've actually only been out the house 7 times in the last 3 weeks.

I suspect it is a way of getting people mooching around in public to go home. Otherwise anyone could just say “I am exercising” whenever challenged, whereas the copper can now say “you said that this morning mate now sling yer hook and don’t come back”

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Neil Williams 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

My opinion would be:

- Be out of the house for no more than roughly one hour in total

- No use of any form of mechanised transport to reach where you are going to do it, unless that mechanised transport is a bicycle AND cycling is the exercise.

And morally

- Avoid any known honeypots - go to places where you wouldn't expect to see people

- Minimise risk, so a fell-run is probably not ideal, stick to roads and low lying non-technical trails

I don't think a French style distance restriction is sensible because e.g. for me it would mean running laps of the block where there are more people rather than going out to do a loop around a very quiet area where I won't see another person.  However I think a clear principle is that you should be exercising from the point you leave the house to the point you get back to it, not going off for a jolly.

Post edited at 12:36
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elsewhere 24 Mar 2020
In reply to cpowell:

> Could you chuck a bike in the car and cycle home?

Very easily could but I've got conflicting medical advice for cycling after surgery.

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TobyA 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Mac fae Stirling:

On Saturday I went for an 8 km walk from my front door. I'm not far from the boundary of the Peak District NP, so there is lots of nice countryside around here, the footpaths I use start literally across the road from my house. I reckon I saw about 10 other walkers in the 90 minutes I was out - most of them where I went down towards the Sheffield suburbs, taking dogs out etc. Most people said hello and I made a few lame comments trying to be friendly like "I guess we have to pass 2 mtrs apart, ha ha!" people laughed and we did that. It was weird though, a couple of runners came past me where the path was probably only a metre or so wide and I found I was holding my breath as they went past! The last little bit is a long a road, just a few hundred metres - its a narrow pavement, I only saw 2 people there and each time I walked out into the road to give them a wide berth - a very weird feeling but one was an elderly man walking his dog.

I saw a barn owl, a buzzard being mobbed by crows, lots of smaller birds singing and something I first thought was a kestrel from its hovering but when I got my binos on it, it seemed much bigger than a kestrel (any ornithologists please suggest possibles!). That was great and good for my head after saying goodbye to some of the kids I teach on friday, with some of them not knowing when or if I'll see them again. But at the same time I'm in contact with friends and family in London - my cousin, a senior nurse working in pediatric ICU is home with her family probably with Covid 19 (they can't even test senior healthcare staff currently) and a mate in another part of London was saying it had felt "edgy" and he had needed to go to 6 shops just to find some basics. I ended up not going out at all on Sunday or Monday. One of his friends' grandfather has recently died from Covid 19. And then there were so many posts here, stuff in the news, all over social media about people filling up the Peak, N Wales, the seaside resorts etc. it just felt better to stay at home in solidarity with people in the big cities as much as anything else. 

I don't know what I'll do today. We have teenagers then a little one, not yet 3. All of them could do with getting out and using some energy up, but again I feel very conflicted over whether going for a bike ride for instance is in the spirit of the request, even if it is clearly within the letter of the law. 

It's very difficult deciding what to do and depressing.

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GrahamD 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

My view is that it clearly isn't a one size fits all answer.  The key as far as I can see is the don't drive anywhere and be sensible.

Very, very few people will be doing 20 mile walks from their front door.

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TobyA 24 Mar 2020
In reply to syv_k:

Reports through my work that a number of teachers going in to work in Rotherham (neighbouring area to my work) today were challenged by the police as to where they were going. Police were happy to accept their school IDs but we've been told to make sure we have our on us when we need to come into school.

So it does sound the police are already doing something.

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girlymonkey 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I think it's a case of sticking to the spirit of the rules. If i stick to 30 mins running, I stick to the busy streets around my house. If I go for an hour, I can leave the housing area quickly and do a loop in quieter areas. Similar with cycling. Interestingly, yesterday I was finding that many people headed to the roads that I normally ride which are deserted, so I found it better sticking to the more main roads. If an hour of running would take you through an hour of busy pavements and passing even more people, then it would be better to keep it short. You just have to look at what we are trying to achieve and stick to that.

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Pursued by a bear 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Half an hour.  An hour less frequently.  If you plan on being out long enough to need food or something to drink, then I'd say that's against the spirit of the restrictions and is too long.

And even if the great outdoors is accessible from your home, I'd argue it makes no difference.

T.

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wercat 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Tom V:

do you think putting up an aerial and taking it down an hour later in a secluded spot by a country road could be a form of exercise?  It allows me to keep in touch with a couple of groups of geographically separated friends on a weekly basis.  Definitely social distancing by hundreds of miles.

If not then I'll lose that contact because of BT WhiteNoiseReach

Post edited at 12:58
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Richard Horn 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> I think only Boris knows that. Problem is if its not adhered to we face Italy style restrictions. (We should arguably be there already). 

The problem with Italy is that the lockdown is breaking down because people are too restricted. Any solution has to be pragmatic - it is better to have a 90% situation that leaves people a little wiggle room to make their lives acceptable, than a totalitarian scenario which people quickly tire and start to disobey. 

For me personally, I am WFH and have only seen two people face to face in the last 2 weeks (outside my family), but have been exercising solo. Some exercise each day and I can keep this up for weeks. Take that away and I will be going up the wall within a few days - in fact I wont I will just be waiting until after dark to disappear into the countryside around where I live. 

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olddirtydoggy 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

We are doing a 40 min bike ride from home on some quiet back lanes. We should be able to do that daily, shifts permitting but other than that we are staying in. I work in construction and could argue that I fall into exemptions but I'm shutting shop along with many of my suppliers.

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Stuart (aka brt) 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> The problem with Italy is that the lockdown is breaking down because people are too restricted. Any solution has to be pragmatic - it is better to have a 90% situation that leaves people a little wiggle room to make their lives acceptable, than a totalitarian scenario which people quickly tire and start to disobey. 

Agreed. However in fairness to the Italians they were fairly unique in that they got hit sooner than we did. We shouldn't be making those same mistakes at a State or individual level when we've had at least two weeks notice. But we are. We most definitely are. Twitter is chock full (I'm not normally a user but friends overseas are) of people ruing not taking heed and they're beyond disbelief at what we're not doing. 

> For me personally, I am WFH and have only seen two people face to face in the last 2 weeks (outside my family), but have been exercising solo. Some exercise each day and I can keep this up for weeks. Take that away and I will be going up the wall within a few days - in fact I wont I will just be waiting until after dark to disappear into the countryside around where I live. 

It'll only get taken away because some people don't get it. 

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mrphilipoldham 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Tom V:

It's not me that's the problem though, my quandary is of little importance. It's all those workers being made to travel today because their office or construction site remain open and who are without a shadow of a doubt far, far more likely to spread the virus who are being put in that awkward situation because of the lack of clarity. My own situation is a mere demonstration of that.

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Neil Williams 24 Mar 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Yes, that needs to stop, and the best way to stop it is to get something in place for the self employed.

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mrphilipoldham 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Indeed, I'm self employed but my work was one of the first 'casualties' of the outbreak nearly two weeks ago. There is a package being debated today I believe and hopefully an announcement in the next couple. 

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PaulJepson 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Surely best to err on the side of caution in situations like this, no? 

e.g. if it feels wrong, it probably is. If you have to ask, it's probably too much. 

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Neil Williams 24 Mar 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

> e.g. if it feels wrong, it probably is. If you have to ask, it's probably too much. 

I'd go with that.

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Climbing Pieman 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Someone on BBC news today (missed who it was, sorry) answered a question about being able to drive to exercise, that he saw no reason why you would not be allowed to drive to get exercise. 

Personally, I thought that that general bland answer was extremely unhelpful and just opens the door to those seeking to justify getting out. Goes against the overriding thrust of the principal rule to stay at home unless ...

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Pedro50 24 Mar 2020

Note to all runners, please give all us walkers respect and space. You appear rapidly, are breathing heavily and may be slobbering. Thanks. 

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Neil Williams 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

I can't see a massive issue with driving to a layby in the middle of nowhere and running around deserted footpaths, but we all know people will just go to the honeypots as Mr Average doesn't know how to read an OS map and find somewhere suitable.

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Lankyman 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Use your common sense and good judgment (sadly lacking with some of society it would seem). The government haven't set out any time limits. I've been out for a few hours walking the easy field paths round here and met no-one. I'm on 'holiday' just now but next Monday I'll be back at work (supermarket) mixing it with dozens of potentially infected customers. They are at home largely, emerging for short periods to get essentials/exercise. I'm exposed for hours each day. Where do you reckon the greatest danger lies (for me personally and the public) - keeping healthy and sane in a very low-risk environment or at work? I've always been healthy and put this down to an active lifestyle - I'm hoping that this will be in my favour for when I inevitably get the virus. My mother has told me this morning that she is very high risk and she will have to stay indoors at all times for months. I feel awful about this but no amount of hand-wringing or limiting myself to a 'reasonable' amount of time outside will change her situation one jot - or anyone else's come to that.

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wercat 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

we need a thread on tips for fieldcraft and stealth exercising

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baron 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Pedro50:

> Note to all runners, please give all us walkers respect and space. You appear rapidly, are breathing heavily and may be slobbering. Thanks. 

You’ve just described my running ‘style’.

Except for the rapid bit.

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Lankyman 24 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> we need a thread on tips for fieldcraft

Bob Fleming's your main man .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoufWpddk_A

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petemeads 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Yesterday I ran 18 laps of the farmer's field behind our house for 10.4km - soft going but not too soggy, and nobody else about, even the recent dog-walkers kept clear. Today's group bike ride became solo efforts, which was good because I did the 24 miles I could enjoy rather than be dragged around the 35 miles we did last week en masse. Plenty of bikers out on otherwise quiet roads. Also walked to Aldi for essentials, logged as 2.4 km Shopping on Garmin rather than exercise... 

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colinakmc 24 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Walk as far as you want but (1) it’s selfish and irresponsible to travel to a different community to do so (2) keep the wick turned right down on the risk.. .thats why the consensus is that “The hills is closed” - both to avoid MRT’s being exposed to possible infection and to avoid additional burden for the NHS.

So no, a half hours drive is not appropriate. And 4 hours across the moors isn’t really, either

Please. I have friends in the NHS front line who are getting genuinely scared.

Post edited at 21:25
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Jon Stewart 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I can't see a massive issue with driving to a layby in the middle of nowhere and running around deserted footpaths, but we all know people will just go to the honeypots as Mr Average doesn't know how to read an OS map and find somewhere suitable.

I went for my single dose of exercise today and walked on the paths from home. Unsurprisingly, that's exactly what everyone else, with their dogs who don't tend to respect the 2m rule, was doing. There's no doubt about it - as far as safety is concerned, I'd have been better off driving for 10 mins and walking somewhere much quieter.

I see the problem though: you can't advise people that they can drive to go out for a nice walk, but they have to drive the minimum distance they judge to be necessary, to a successfully predicted spot that other people haven't thought of as well. There is the paradoxical temptation to get in the car to do something safer, but be looking over my shoulder for the cops! I may be deluged with hate for this (bring it on!) but I think there needs to a little bit of pragmatism/flexibility in how we interpret and respect the rules, so that we can all do the best thing to stop spreading the virus (and maybe even sniff a tiny whiff of enjoyment of the spring sunshine while we're at it - no sorry, I never said it, I never, honest...no enjoyment, I promise, none at all).

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Ridge 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Agree completely. I'm running with the dog from the door, and agree with the view that leaving it too open to interpretation will mean lots of people will take the piss and travel miles.

However it seems to have brought out a real puritanical streak in some people. Social media in my neck of the woods is full of people peering from behind their curtains and eagerly posting details of people they believe aren't obeying their personal interpretation of the ''law'.

One old lady asked the question if it was ok to drive half a mile to walk her dog on an empty beach rather than round the streets in proximity to other people. Cue loads of abuse about travelling to ''our beach" from inbreds in a village the same distance away.

Post edited at 23:00
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Dave Ferguson 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Ridge:

I agree some on social media are being really judgemental. I'm really lucky living in a rural area of east cumbria. I'm not going to post on here what I did today or what I think is reasonable as someone will no doubt have a go and tell me how irresponsible I'm being, suffice to say I didn't drive anywhere, I didn't go above 1500m, I didn't put my rock boots on and I didn't see a soul all day.

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Wainers44 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

There is a real opportunity here. My reasonably regular running route include one big hill and two small and two small. It times at 35ish mins for me. Running it once a day now I can see an obvious target to aim at....

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girlymonkey 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My dog is very good at enforcing social distancing! Those of us with reactive dogs are now the socially responsible ones! 😃

The driving point is interesting though. We have a local (less than 10 mins drive) dog field which you book by the half hour for exclusive use. It's great when you have a dog who can't be offlead normally. And as it's exclusive use, logically it seems like a good place to be. Just need to wipe down the code lock before and after use. Not sure if I will be stopped from going there though 😕

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DubyaJamesDubya 25 Mar 2020
In reply to aln:

You're next door neighbour will note what you are doing and then report you. This will keep them busy as they have so much time on their hands. The police will then ignore them as they are busy doing real work.

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mountain.martin 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

 >I'm really lucky living in a rural area of east cumbria. I'm not going to post on here what I did today or what I think is reasonable as someone will no doubt have a go and tell me how irresponsible I'm being, suffice to say I didn't drive anywhere, I didn't go above 1500m

Too right I'm going to have a go at you!! Getting anywhere near 1500m means you where either paragliding or you broke the world record for the pole vault by a considerable margin. 

Either of these activities is surely unacceptably risky during the current crisis.

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Neil Williams 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Closing honeypot car parks is probably the way to go here, that way people have to distribute.

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GrahamD 25 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Anyone driving are making the roads more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, often families with kids taking their daily exercise.

Anyone arguing that we can't climb or ride a bike because of the risk of needing AandE really shouldn't be contemplating driving an air polluting 2 ton projectile anywhere.

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Tom V 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Flexibility would be ideal in a world of sensible people but I suspect it would just lead to the Roaches and the Pass being chock a block again.

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Tom V 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

They would probably distribute along the verges at the side of the car park and see it as a moral victory.

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Neil Williams 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Tom V:

I'm inclined to say they should come up with something like "out of the house for one hour maximum for exercise", that makes the general point and doesn't preclude driving to somewhere nearby but more rural for half an hour's walk or run.

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wercat 25 Mar 2020
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

yes, I have friends who experienced talking to relatives on the other side of the wall with the Stasi listening

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girlymonkey 25 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Have you been driving to the shops for your essential supplies? Most people have. That has to be a bigger problem, surely? I cycle there, so can I take my van to the dog field instead?!! :-P

The park behind our house is now much busier as people stop going so far to walk their dogs and themselves, so by spreading out to an empty field, which will definitely be empty, it helps to add some space to a potentially busy area. There are no cut and dry solutions. People all went to parks on mass at the weekend and got told off for it, people then go to an empty place and get told they shouldn't drive!! You can't win! The dog needs to go out, it will be less stressful for all involved if he is not in the busy park behind our house. My husband took him running late last night but its starting to get too warm for him to run (he has to be onlead so he runs canicross. This has to be done in cooler conditions as he is hauling our carcasses around!!). I think we probably will just go for the dog field at some point as it seems to me to fit with the distancing rules which have been laid out for us. 

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RX-78 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Well, My favourite activity that I can still do is running, and one hour around the streets of my area in London is about my normal run anyway, I will just do my winter routes which do not use parks (closed in the winter evenings). I will probably combine with some shopping, so run with a small backpack.

Yesterday I cycled to donate blood and on the way back visited the veg shop (no problem with supplies), so managed 3 in 1 activities.

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Tom V 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Already happening in the White Peak according to another post

Post edited at 12:38
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GrahamD 25 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Of course we can't win and most people have to drive to get essential supplies and many people choose to drive to get to open spaces. Doesn't alter the fact that every car journey endangers pedestrians and cyclists and therefore increases the probability of needing an e.ergency call out.

Just dont be like the wanker we saw today gunning his Porsche away from a footpath start point on an otherwise quiet lane.

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girlymonkey 25 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

My fiat scudo couldn't "gun" anywhere even if it tried!! I still maintain that driving to the shops would endanger a cyclist more than the route to the dog field! And walking my dog closer to other people is worse for all concerned! We all just need to take it easy and rather than getting bogged down in details, we need to think about where we, in our own circumstances, are going to be most isolated and help limit spread

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wercat 25 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

being a cyclist I try never to endanger cyclists, actively.

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wercat 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

in reply to any argument about rules for exercise and driving.  I think we now know the answer.  As off licences are now "essential" shops and it is OK to drive to the off licence then I have no qualms at all about driving for exercise, in moderation, and without MATERIALLY increasing my risk of passing infection or being infected.

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Wingeing Old Git 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Mac fae Stirling:

> I'm in a similar quandary. A very short walk from my house and I am in the Ochil Hills with an option of hours/miles of easy wandering around very familiar hills if I want. But I am not sure it is the right thing to do. I can't discount the possibility, however unlikely, that, say, 6 miles from home and 1500ft up a hill I fall and break a leg. I guess I could crawl back home but I would probably phone for help.. so for that reason I am not going to do it.  I can see the hills out of my window, so it isn't easy..

I usually drive from Stirling to Menstrie and go up Dumyat 2/3 times a week. I've also decided to stop this. Don't know if you are within walking distance of Stirling Golf Club but the course is shut and there are loads of walks up and down the fairways without being within 100's of yards of anybody else. Hilly enough to get heart pumping. Great views of hills when it is not cloudy.

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Pyreneenemec 25 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

The French authorities have issued a new, self printed permit to justify, in a number of cases, an absence from your place of residence. You now have to state the  time, as well as the date. For exercise purposes , the absence is limited to 1 hour and no more than 1 km from your home.

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mondite 25 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I saw a barn owl, a buzzard being mobbed by crows, lots of smaller birds singing and something I first thought was a kestrel from its hovering but when I got my binos on it, it seemed much bigger than a kestrel (any ornithologists please suggest possibles!).

Pretty certain in the UK its only the kestrel that can properly hover. Although some others can fake it by flying into the wind so could be a buzzard?

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Roadrunner6 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I don’t think it matters, it’s interactions which matter. I ran for 90 minutes yesterday and saw nobody. We’re under a shelter in place here which is less restrictive than a lock down.

i wouldn’t get bent out of shape. Just be careful and be considerate. Avoid people. Don’t meet others outside of your household and go local. For me I’m using a 20-25 minute drive so I can get quiet trails.

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Neil Williams 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> i wouldn’t get bent out of shape. Just be careful and be considerate. Avoid people. Don’t meet others outside of your household and go local. For me I’m using a 20-25 minute drive so I can get quiet trails.

I do see the point in this.  It's the honeypotting that's causing issues.  If I lived further into MK, for example, it'd make sense for me to drive to the outskirts to run avoiding people.  I do however have a local route on which I typically encounter single figures of people (often none at all if I go in the evening), so that'll do.

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Roadrunner6 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yeah I went to my local mountain last week. Just 30 minutes from my house and it was packed. Similar to Burbage Bridge in the summer for those who know the Peak District. I’m also going at unsociable times a bit more. The honey pots are certainly an issue and here they’ve started to close the most popular ones here, the busy rail trails etc.

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TobyA 25 Mar 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Pretty certain in the UK its only the kestrel that can properly hover. Although some others can fake it by flying into the wind so could be a buzzard?

I was thinking that, but do Red Kites sometimes hover?  It wasn't a red kite, I know what they're like. It was facing the wind though, but I see buzzards all the time and it definitely wasn't one of them. I've watched Kestrels all my life, that's why it just 'felt' too big for a kestrel. I've seen two (I'm about 90% certain) Hen Harriers this year already, one on the North York Moors and one in Derbyshire on the edge of the Peak (where I live) so perhaps that's why I was getting over excited and thinking it was wrong for a Kestrel...

Anyway, two barn owl sightings in two weeks whilst out about in my area have been splendid!

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Tom V 25 Mar 2020
In reply to mondite:

seen buzzards do it but as you say they make very heavy weather of it even in a stiff wind

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Jim233 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Me and the mrs have been going out for a 3 to 4 mile run or a 20 mile bike ride. We're in Glasgow but live 3 minutes from the canal path, so limited number of people to come into contact with, which surprised us, we thought it would be mobbed, same as the local park.

I reckon if you can keep your distance from people for the duration of the exercise, it can be as long as you like. A mate of mine lives in the arse end of nowhere and can happily walk ten miles without seeing a soul, so is doing exactly that.

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Neil Williams 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Jim233:

I'd personally avoid canal paths as they're so narrow that it's impossible to keep 2m distance while passing someone.

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Roadrunner6 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

The problem here is 40% of the population do not think there’s an issue. I had one guy laugh at me as I ran off the trail to stay 2m away from him and say how I was scared of a virus. It’s why I’m just avoiding town trails and narrow areas like rail trails.

luckily we’ve loads of unofficial town/landowner made trails here that most don’t know about so it’s not hard to find solitude even in a populated state. 

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mbh 25 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

It's early days yet and we are all working this out. I have been driving for 10 minutes to some deserted woods and doing a three mile walk, specifically to avoid people. On the way home I have done the shopping (twice) and the allotment (once), then stayed in for the rest of the day. In three outings so far I have met one horse rider. From my door step I would likely meet far more, and likely too in places where giving them a wide birth would be difficult.

If the woods become crowded, I can go very early or choose other footpaths nearby that are bound to empty.

 If told not to, then of course I wouldn't.

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wercat 25 Mar 2020
In reply to mbh:

it seems to me that the only activity we should be preventing/proscribing is that which Materially (and that is a Most important qualification) increases our likelihood of coming close to other people or of putting us in need of medical treatment.

Sitting at home frustrated might be comparable in risk to running in leading to medical treatment.  Also reasonable hillwalking.  I'd cut out scrambling or soloing the Inn Pin for now personally but moderate hillwalking with good footwear in favourable conditions and avoiding other people "like the plague" I cannot see as harmful.   By moderate I mean such as is unlikely to cause a given individual to get into trouble and need help - ie this is not a time, in the name of that great 80s extreme sports video, for "Pushing the Limits"

My view and my rule at this time

I remind you of the value of walking poles if not for use routinely but as a tool for self rescue in the event of minor injury as I have experienced on Skye.

ps - to give you an idea of my mentality I was in the Swirls Carpark with a friend with full winter climbing kit in February 2001 ready for a great day out when we found out, on arrival that the voluntary ban was coming into force that morning.  We went for a coffee and all my Lake District walking that spring and summer, despite living near Penrith, was on roads.  I propose to be as responsible now but not using interpretations from UKC as the law.

Post edited at 17:25
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nufkin 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

>  I had one guy laugh at me as I ran off the trail to stay 2m away from him and say how I was scared of a virus.

How transmittable is a virus through breath? I assume the virus - any virus - will be contained in body-sourced fluids it has replicated in, but can/would it be found in a volume of air expelled from the lungs without coughing/sneezing/otherwise incorporating body cells? 

(This is not to question sensible precaution, by the way, RR6's post just got me wondering)

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captain paranoia 25 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Just dont be like the wanker we saw today gunning his Porsche away from a footpath start point on an otherwise quiet lane.

I've seen a lot of dickheads taking advantage of the clear roads to drive around like f*cking lunatics. And that was just on my walk to the shops today.

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Tom V 25 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

You forgot to include BMC in your final sentence.

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captain paranoia 25 Mar 2020
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

> The French authorities have issued a new, self printed permit to justify,

What do you do if you don't have a printer?

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captain paranoia 25 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I was thinking that, but do Red Kites sometimes hover?

I don't think you'd mistake a kite for a kestrel. A peregrine, possibly, and they do hover in winds. They're 'not supposed' to actively hover like a kestrel, but I'm pretty sure I've seen things that looked like peregrines doing just that, albeit briefly.

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Neil Williams 25 Mar 2020
In reply to nufkin:

> How transmittable is a virus through breath? I assume the virus - any virus - will be contained in body-sourced fluids it has replicated in, but can/would it be found in a volume of air expelled from the lungs without coughing/sneezing/otherwise incorporating body cells? 

> (This is not to question sensible precaution, by the way, RR6's post just got me wondering)

Aerosolised droplets.  It's how most colds spread, and colds are also coronaviruses.

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marsbar 25 Mar 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

You have to hand write out the whole document to the prescribed wording.  

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GrahamD 25 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

>...... or of putting us in need of medical treatment.

Or others.  Hence the need to absolutely minimise car journeys.

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GrahamD 25 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> My fiat scudo couldn't "gun" anywhere even if it tried!! I still maintain that driving to the shops would endanger a cyclist more than the route to the dog field!

About the same, really.  Personally I don't have a problem with responsible driving but anyone driving should not be blind to the fact that piloting a 2 ton lump of metal is not without danger to others.

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TobyA 25 Mar 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

> I don't think you'd mistake a kite for a kestrel.

Which is why I wrote "It wasn't a red kite," ;-)

> A peregrine, possibly, and they do hover in winds. They're 'not supposed' to actively hover like a kestrel,

That did cross my mind, although I haven't seen one over this side of the Peak though. I have seen them flying around in the White Peak Dales where they nest on some of the big limestone cliffs. But don't they just smack the hell out of pigeons from high speed dives to get their food? Not hover over open fields.

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mbh 26 Mar 2020
In reply to mbh:

> It's early days yet and we are all working this out. I have been driving for 10 minutes to some deserted woods and doing a three mile walk, specifically to avoid people.

>  If told not to, then of course I wouldn't.

These are Forestry England woods. Yesterday the web site for the woods I have been going to read 

"the facilities (including the car park) are shut, but the woods are open"

today it says

"Help stop the spread of coronavirus. Stay home, stay safe – please do not come to our forests."

So that's that, then.

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wercat 26 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

it's dangerous just crossing the road in this village!  Few people take any notice of the speed limit

in some ways perhaps the urban environment is safer for exercise

country roads without footways particularly!

Post edited at 09:55
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Harry Ellis 26 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Could it have been a merlin?

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AJM79 26 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I've seen buzzards hovering fairly often (but not true hovering like a kestrel), kites and harriers have longer thinner wings and generally flap around (harriers fly close to the ground to flush out prey). Merlins are even smaller than kestrels and are aerial hunters. Sparrowhawks often display at this time of year and can be mistaken for kestrels (similar size) but I've never seen one hover, peregrines are larger but usually circle high up. So probably a kestrel or buzzard, buzzards may look different if they're angling their wings toward the wind in order to initiate the hover.

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Soapbox Scholar 26 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Running is a 
Very important thing
Walks are slicker
But running is quicker.
 

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TobyA 26 Mar 2020
In reply to Harry Ellis:

I don't honestly know - I've loved spotting birds of prey since I was kid, but where I grew up that generally meant kestrels or buzzards, so I think I always worked on the assumption that everything bird of prey-looking was a buzzard if biggish and a kestrel if smallish!

But then as a student I moved to Scotland so started spotting the occasional golden eagle and peregrine whilst out in the Highlands. Then I lived much of my adult life in Finland so would sometimes see white tailed eagles and osprey and various harriers (not sure which ones I actually saw) and often eagle owls, so had to add those to my repertoire! Now back living in England I realise that there are other raptors around where I live (Derbyshire) beyond buzzards and kestrels. I saw peregrines around Beeston Tor when I climbed there a couple of summers ago. But I'm not sure I'd recognise a merlin or a sparrowhawk - I'd probably just presume it was a kestrel! I will take my book of birds out with me on my next exercise walk along with my binoculars!

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Roadrunner6 26 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

In an open air setting they think that’s low risk. It’s why viruses go around more in winter months but viruses are bloody hard to study.

we still don’t know if one viral particle is enough to cause disease but there’s data in flies to suggest so.

its the same with contact transmission. It’s just so hard to study we don’t know if it is a major pathway. 
 

It’s most likely Largely transferred in larger droplets from coughs and sneezes. 

there’s been some false narratives pushed out there to save on the use of masks but typical surgical masks do make a significant difference. My wife’s an MD and it’s what they are using for standard patient interactions. Far from 100% effective but lower the risk from large droplets.

i wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how airline travel starts again. Use of thermometers at check in/security and simple masks.

Post edited at 15:57
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wercat 26 Mar 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

thank you, I suspected/thought so as much re masks for a long time.  Hence why they have been used by doctors and nurses for so long

the idea of them not being at all effective did not seem consistent with droplet dispersion

Of course it is true that they will not be effective if not used effectively and carefully by people who do not understand the risks and mechanisms for transfer

Post edited at 17:30
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Neil Williams 26 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

Masks are useful for not spreading it if you have it.  They are potentially negative if you haven't got it.  However, there is some sense in them if we are working, as we are, on the assumption that everybody has it but is also vulnerable to it.

The reason Asians wear them is altruism - if you see an Asian person wearing one in public it is because *they* have a cold or similar.

Anyway, back to running, it was made very clear on today's conference that going out to run/walk/cycle (nothing said about where, but "from your home" clearly the intent I'd say) is actively ENCOURAGED to try to take advantage of the situation to improve the country's fitness and mental health.  Dr Jennie Harries *specifically* said that.  So those saying we should not run at all (and there are a few) are taking their own line, not the Government's.

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wercat 26 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

yes - I understand that one of the problems with masks is they have to be used with proper hygeine and not worn with "blind faith" and not changed as required or mishandled as they could then carry infection.

I'm sure running is absolutely fine.  However, today awas yet another day when being outside at home caused chest tightness because of village pollution - I thnk people in a rural setting get away with polluting, particularly in winter, that would not be acceptable in town.

Hence my wish to find somewhere quiet and asthma friendly to exercise.

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Neil Williams 26 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

Even in an urban area I've noticed a lot of wood burners kicking in.  Because COVID19 causes breathing difficulties, I'd actually take the view that there should be a temporary ban on these unless your home has no other heating facility, as it could well cause deaths

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Roadrunner6 27 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

The papers are largely supportive of the view masks stop virus particles.

interestingly a friend is a Singaporean epidemiologist, she thinks the standard use of masks of public transport is why Covid has spread so slowly in Japan compared to other areas.

London tubes are still packed and people are freaking out over people running twice a day or driving 10 minutes to a local woods..

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Pefa 28 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Stay in and exercise in the house or garden at this important time for the NHS. 

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girlymonkey 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Pefa:

No, go out and get fresh air and exercise properly as it is good for you both mentally and physically! Just stay away from other people! If done properly, exercise is the safest thing we can do and the best for us. Vigorous exercise boosts your immune system and fresh air, sunshine and a change of scenery does wonders for your mental health!

Shopping in a supermarket is the worst thing we can do and should be done at an absolute minimum!!

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Pefa 28 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Is that what they did in Wuhan to contain the virus? Or SK and Singapore? Are the government telling us to go outside and exercise vigorously to boost our immune systems? 

You can exercise in the house vigorously. 

From my window I look onto a cycle path which must be about 7 or 8' wide and it is pretty busy with cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, mothers pushing prams/with kids, dog walkers and ordinary walkers going both ways at varying speeds and states of exhaustion(joggers & cyclists) and practically none are wearing a face mask. 

Imo this is very irresponsible as all we need to do is knuckle down for a few weeks time in order to give the NHS some breathing space and time to get more supplies in and to do this we should be staying in to exercise and not mixing with others for anything other than essential food procurement. 

Or what is the point in trying to kill this virus if instead of not allowing it to spread through contact, we compromise just because I want to. I'm not having a go at you here because as far as I know you could be out jogging where you come into no contact with others but this is not what I see everyday from my window. 

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girlymonkey 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Pefa:

We are not in Wuhan or Singapore. We are less densely populated so we have safe outdoor spaces. But the thing that really made a difference there was early and extensive testing and early social distancing.

Yes, the government is actively encouraging us to go out to exercise. It is one that they keep listing along side food shopping and buying medication as the reasons to leave your home. Medics are saying we should do it too.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52076856

Exercise at home is never as vigorous, and with it being so intensely dull, many just wouldn't do it. I currently can't run due to tendon inflammation, so cycling is my only option. My garden is not big enough to cycle in!!

I wholeheartedly agree that some people are not thinking about the spaces they are using, but being too close outside is still likely to be safer than going to the supermarket! We need to be choosing routes appropriately, I now avoid certain sections of cycle path which aren't wide enough and use the road there instead. But that doesn't mean the message needs to be not to go out, it means we need to learn to do it safely!

Exercise isn't just about me enjoying it (although that does have a huge mental well-being attached), but it is about keeping my body as strong as I can to fight it if I do get it. It also keeps me away from dangerous garden and household tools which I could (and have already this week) injure myself with! Lol

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Pefa 28 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> We are not in Wuhan or Singapore. We are less densely populated so we have safe outdoor spaces. But the thing that really made a difference there was early and extensive testing and early social distancing.

Where I live in the heart of the city is all tenements and high rises so how is that not as densely populated as anywhere else? And just as easy to come into contact with people? And are we now not in the phase of social distancing? 

> Yes, the government is actively encouraging us to go out to exercise. It is one that they keep listing along side food shopping and buying medication as the reasons to leave your home. Medics are saying we should do it too.

Thanks for the link but tell me how unfit are you or anyone else going to get by exercising in the house for 3 weeks rather than outside? It's not forever just 3 weeks. 

> Exercise at home is never as vigorous, and with it being so intensely dull, many just wouldn't do it. I currently can't run due to tendon inflammation, so cycling is my only option. My garden is not big enough to cycle in!!

> I wholeheartedly agree that some people are not thinking about the spaces they are using, but being too close outside is still likely to be safer than going to the supermarket! We need to be choosing routes appropriately, I now avoid certain sections of cycle path which aren't wide enough and use the road there instead. But that doesn't mean the message needs to be not to go out, it means we need to learn to do it safely. 

I'm sure you are very safe and responsible. Yet most people I see outside are not. 

If it was up to me I'd clear the streets and everywhere else and no one other than essential workers would be allowed out for 3 weeks. 

I still cannot believe people are wandering around out there with no masks on in Cz people are making their own as it is now illegal to be outside without wearing one and they only have 9 deaths. That is the very least we should have. 

Post edited at 23:05
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girlymonkey 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> Where I live in the heart of the city is all tenements and high rises so how is that not as densely populated as anywhere else? And just as easy to come into contact with people? And are we now not in the phase of social distancing? 

Well if you don't feel you can go out safely, then don't. If others can, great! It's not about following some arbitrary rules, its about slowing the spread of a virus! If you understand how it is spread, then you can work out if going out will contribute to that or not. Are you still going to supermarkets? That has to be the worst place for it. 

> Thanks for the link but tell me how unfit are you or anyone else going to get by exercising in the house for 3 weeks rather than outside? It's not forever just 3 weeks. 

It's not about getting unfit in 3 weeks, but how much can I (or others) improve fitness over 3 weeks? Quite a lot. Those less fit will get even more benefit but I all of us can improve. After vigorous exercise your body actually sends immune cells to your lungs - surely that has to be of huge benefit during a respiratory virus pandemic?! 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180420122807.htm

> If it was up to me I'd clear the streets and everywhere else and no one other than essential workers would be allowed out for 3 weeks. 

How are you going to eat? Many can't afford to buy 3 weeks food in one go, let alone try to store that.

The problem isn't people going running or cycling, it's a government which was too slow to close pubs, restaurants, climbing walls etc and the fact that we still need to go to supermarkets to eat. Keeping a 2m distance when outside will help, but it is still less relevant than a trip to tesco!

> I still cannot believe people are wandering around out there with no masks on in Cz people are making their own as it is now illegal to be outside without wearing one and they only have 9 deaths. That is the very least we should have. 

Evidence seems to suggest that masks are of very limited use and potentially can make things worse if you don't know about proper protocol of wearing them. Our country doesn't have enough to give them to NHS, where they are of use, so we certainly shouldn't be hoarding them if not working in a hospital. Just keep at least 2m away from people and wash your hands regularly and there is no need for masks. If you need a mask, you also need eye protection and gloves I believe.

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Neil Williams 28 Mar 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> Is that what they did in Wuhan to contain the virus? Or SK and Singapore? Are the government telling us to go outside and exercise vigorously to boost our immune systems? 

Yes, the deputy Chief Medical Officer near enough said that on either Wednesday or Thursday (I forget which), they're on the iPlayer if you'd like to review them.

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FactorXXX 29 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Yes, the deputy Chief Medical Officer near enough said that on either Wednesday or Thursday (I forget which), they're on the iPlayer if you'd like to review them.

Someone needs to tell certain Police Forces because from what I can tell they've taken it upon themselves to declare total lockdown complete with road blocks, etc.
I seem to be lucky in that I live in an area where the Police are dedicating their resources to monitoring queues at supermarkets as opposed to arbitrarily stopping people from partaking in exercise in a safe environment.

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Pefa 29 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Well if you don't feel you can go out safely, then don't. If others can, great! It's not about following some arbitrary rules, its about slowing the spread of a virus! If you understand how it is spread, then you can work out if going out will contribute to that or not. Are you still going to supermarkets? That has to be the worst place for it. 

I haven't been to a supermarket in 6 days but I am due a visit soon which will be a 3M mask, full goggles in and out ASAP number. I live in a flat like most people probably do so as soon as I leave my door I could be walking right into someone's expelled mist droplets from 10 minutes ago hence a mask and goggles for me on every trip outside and I haven't been out for 6 days. 

> It's not about getting unfit in 3 weeks, but how much can I (or others) improve fitness over 3 weeks? Quite a lot. Those less fit will get even more benefit but I all of us can improve. After vigorous exercise your body actually sends immune cells to your lungs - surely that has to be of huge benefit during a respiratory virus pandemic?! 

Thanks I didn't know about this important information which is making me reconsider going out for a quick jog now in a totally isolated place. 

> How are you going to eat? Many can't afford to buy 3 weeks food in one go, let alone try to store that.

I don't eat that much but if wearing masks was made mandatory then if you do have it then it is much less likely to spread which would make shopping easier no? 

> The problem isn't people going running or cycling, it's a government which was too slow to close pubs, restaurants, climbing walls etc and the fact that we still need to go to supermarkets to eat. Keeping a 2m distance when outside will help, but it is still less relevant than a trip to tesco!

> Evidence seems to suggest that masks are of very limited use and potentially can make things worse if you don't know about proper protocol of wearing them. Our country doesn't have enough to give them to NHS, where they are of use, so we certainly shouldn't be hoarding them if not working in a hospital. Just keep at least 2m away from people and wash your hands regularly and there is no need for masks. If you need a mask, you also need eye protection and gloves I believe.

Obviously eyewear is as important as a mask and no one is saying let's hoard masks but what I am saying is the government should have seen this coming or be converting other factories into mask making ones and churning these things out 24/7 and people can also make them themselves as there are sites to show you how. 

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-czechs-facing-up-to-covid-19-crisis-by-making-masks-mandatory

Exercising outside is obviously fine if people keep well away from each other at all times but that is not what I am seeing. Anyway stay safe hun and thanks again for the important info x

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Neil Williams 29 Mar 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Someone needs to tell certain Police Forces because from what I can tell they've taken it upon themselves to declare total lockdown complete with road blocks, etc.

I think there may be some element of a publicity thing there to dissuade the honeypotting going on last week.  I doubt they will have a go at you if you're running along the top of Stanage alone if, when stopped, you point out that you live in Hathersage and have run there from your front door, even less so if you show e.g. your driving licence to prove that.

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kevin stephens 29 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Michael Gove was asked this on TV this morning. He said it depends on fitness but as a rough guide up to 30 minutes for a walk, an hour for a run, maybe something in between for a bike ride. Using the “depending on fitness “ caveat I’m happy with my 90 minute road bike loop

Post edited at 10:52
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toad 29 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

Other way round. He said  An hours walk, 30 minutes run

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Neil Williams 29 Mar 2020
In reply to toad:

I thought that seemed a weird way round!

Does back up the principle I was going with of "something small and local like you usually would" not "a massive day expedition".  For running sort of 5K ish sounds about right.

Post edited at 10:56
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wercat 29 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

interestingly it seems the Germans are reporting that human faeces carry the virus.   There is a major "slurrying" campaign going on at the moment with the high speed tractors rushing around the village (2 in the last minute) and surrounding areas spreading sewage, mainly on the fields but also the roads outside the house - one hopes the air is safe! 

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/covid-19-concerns-raised-over-sewage-spreading-virus-27-03-2020/

is it really unreasonable to find a little healthy place to exercise?  btw the woods round here are noted as having a serious tick problem - I've had a number from walking there

Post edited at 12:23
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girlymonkey 29 Mar 2020
In reply to Pefa:

> I haven't been to a supermarket in 6 days but I am due a visit soon which will be a 3M mask, full goggles in and out ASAP number. I live in a flat like most people probably do so as soon as I leave my door I could be walking right into someone's expelled mist droplets from 10 minutes ago hence a mask and goggles for me on every trip outside and I haven't been out for 6 days. 

Do most people live in flats? I don't know the figures. It's a real city thing, I know very few people who live in flats. 

Does the stairwell have windows which could be opened, at least for some time each day to air it out?

I would say though that while our frontline staff don't have enough PPE, please don't go buying masks etc. They have to be priority for them.

> Thanks I didn't know about this important information which is making me reconsider going out for a quick jog now in a totally isolated place. 

Good plan. I find evenings around our way are deserted. I took the dog out around 9.30 last night and saw just one person (who also had a dog so our distancing is very well adhered to - our dog is very socially responsible in that respect! Lol)

> I don't eat that much but if wearing masks was made mandatory then if you do have it then it is much less likely to spread which would make shopping easier no? 

To an extent. How many people have touched things in the shops though? Most people touch their face more when wearing a mask, so someone has touched your tin of beans which you put in your basket (also which has also been touched by others) then you fiddle with your mask as you are not used to wearing it and you are now more likely to be infected. Without a mask you are less likely to touch your face and you can clean your hands and shopping after.

And back to mask wearing depriving the frontline staff of them, we can't make them even recommend, let alone make them compulsory.

> Obviously eyewear is as important as a mask and no one is saying let's hoard masks but what I am saying is the government should have seen this coming or be converting other factories into mask making ones and churning these things out 24/7 and people can also make them themselves as there are sites to show you how. 

Homemade masks aren't suitably protective. Please don't do that!

I agree the government should have been WAY more proactive about many things in this crisis, but there's not much we can do about that.

> Exercising outside is obviously fine if people keep well away from each other at all times but that is not what I am seeing. Anyway stay safe hun and thanks again for the important info x

We can only lead by example and do our best to limit the spread of the virus as far as is in our power.

Enjoy your running

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Neil Williams 29 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> interestingly it seems the Germans are reporting that human faeces carry the virus.   There is a major "slurrying" campaign going on at the moment with the high speed tractors rushing around the village (2 in the last minute) and surrounding areas spreading sewage, mainly on the fields but also the roads outside the house - one hopes the air is safe! 

Slurrying is done using animal, not human, faeces.

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Neil Williams 29 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Good plan. I find evenings around our way are deserted. I took the dog out around 9.30 last night and saw just one person (who also had a dog so our distancing is very well adhered to - our dog is very socially responsible in that respect! Lol)

I've noticed a number of people walking dogs in that manner - having them on a 2m lead, if that's a problem you're too close.

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Roadrunner6 29 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> interestingly it seems the Germans are reporting that human faeces carry the virus.  

That was how SARS famously spread around an apartment complex. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539564/

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girlymonkey 29 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Oh 2m is way too close! We move to at least 50m when we see a dog, more is better! We are working on reducing the distance but we may never reach 2m! As I say, he is very socially responsible in the current times, making sure we are never even vaguely close!

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wercat 29 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

no they go to the local sewage works here, though I should perhaps not have used the word slurry, careless.  You can tell when they've done that in an obvious way, quite overpowering, never smelt anything like it before moving here 30 years ago

You see the farm tankers in convoys at certain times heading into the Penrith area and coming back splattering everything.  You can taste it in the house and putting washing outside is a biohazard!  Stay in till the NBC  threat has gone

https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2020/02/04/sewage-sludge-landspreading-environment-agency-report/

Breathtaking, Literally ...

Post edited at 17:39
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Neil Williams 29 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

Eww.

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timjones 30 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

He wasn't as proscriptive as that

He was asked about excercise and said that people could maintain their usual level of excercise, he was then asked what that might be timewise and provided some examples.

Unfortunately poor journalism and keyboard vigilantes are leading to it being taking rather too literally.

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ianstevens 30 Mar 2020
In reply to timjones:

Also note that no limits are specified in the legislation itself.

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wercat 30 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Lord Sumption has just condemned the Derbyshire police and has clearly stated that the police are not empowered to treat ministerial "preferences" not embodied in law as enforceable law.

He clearly stated that it is not the law that people cannot drive for exercise.  Lock Him Up!  Lock Him Up!

He si clearly just picking loopholes in the law like those of us on this forum

Post edited at 13:25
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Jon Stewart 30 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

Yes I heard that too. As well as some other chap on World at One on Friday who said that going out for a drive to sit somewhere nice and quiet with a sandwich and a flask of coffee was perfectly fine too.

It seems that it isn't only despicable, selfish arseholes who are more concerned about actually spreading the virus, rather than making absolutely sure they don't experience anything that feels like freedom or normality.

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The New NickB 30 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

My preference would be to walk and for one of the two trips a week to the shop that I make, I do walk; however we are currently supporting four households of self isolated family members. Three households of over 70s, plus my 18 year old stepdaughter, who has had heart issues from birth (open heart surgery four times including when she was 16), she is self isolated in her university flat, which is thankfully only the other side of Manchester. One of the households of over 70s was doing fine until Morrisons decided not to deliver the shopping that had been booked weeks ago. Anyway, I am now shopping for eight people rather than the usual two and really need to use the car for the big shop. We obviously have to go and deliver as well.

My wife is working full time for the NHS, walking the mile and a half to work. I'm working from home, so the car sits on the drive all day and gets driven once a week now. I'm pretty conscious that shopping trips and my wife's work are much greater risk than our daily exercise, which is either running or walking, always locally.

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mbh 30 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Every day last week I drove 5-7 miles or 10 minutes-ish to places where my wife and I could go for a walk hopefully without meeting anyone. We went to the arse end of nowhere, locally, and in 5 outings we met 3 people. And, in the last 5 minutes, 5 dogs.

Feeling the pressure not to do this, I have in the last two days run from my front door. Today I met 8 people. How is that better? 

The only way my 83 year old mother-in-law can get out is if she does drive somewhere quiet with a flask, just as the chap you listened to describes, and she wants to do just that. 

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timjones 30 Mar 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

Doing something as rational as actually checking the legislation will never catch on in this day and age ;)

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girlymonkey 30 Mar 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

Yeah, food seems to be the hardest thing in trying to be responsible and isolate. We have a real lack of delivery options. We are currently being supplied by a friend who is shopping for multiple households too as we had a family member arrive at ours last weekend from accross the world so we have another week of isolation. Still going out for exercise though.

I think it's the thing most people are struggling with. 

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wercat 30 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

sorry, I think you must have posted that in some haste - I'm not quite sure what you mean - could you clarify?

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Jon Stewart 30 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

There are numerous posters on here pushing the message that if you drive a short way to exercise somewhere nice, you're a terrible arsehole. I think they're wrong, and so do plenty of people in authority.

The lockdown has, I think brought out an unhelpful puritanical streak in people whose well-meaning instinct is to be the most upstanding and to be one of the "enforcers", while ignoring the actual consequences of different actions. I'm a card-carrying consequentialist and not deolontological in my moral outlook. So rule-enforcers tend to rub me up the wrong way a little, when I'm looking pragmatically at the consequences of my actions. E.g. when someone tells me it's wrong for me to eat some magic mushrooms that I picked, I think it's absolutely right to tell them to shove their idiotic law up their arse.

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Neil Williams 30 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

And generally speaking UK law enforcement when it comes to minor offences does follow that approach (unless you're unlucky to get caught doing something minor when they're having a purge on that thing, e.g. speeding, or you happen to rile the copper by e.g. being rude about having been caught).  It does seem that a couple of forces are doing this, but most aren't, e.g. Bedfordshire reportedly has issued 0 actual tickets so far.

That said, they do need to do something to prevent everyone going up Snowdon etc even if that's not *specifically* illegal.

Post edited at 21:58
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Jon Stewart 30 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> And generally speaking UK law enforcement when it comes to minor offences does follow that approach (unless you're unlucky to get caught doing something minor when they're having a purge on that thing, e.g. speeding, or you happen to rile the copper by e.g. being rude about having been caught).  It does seem that a couple of forces are doing this, but most aren't, e.g. Bedfordshire reportedly has issued 0 actual tickets so far.

I've no problem with the existence of the rules about social distancing, nor a general problem with the enforcement. From what I gather it has generally been sensible, although I don't really know. But I am 100% behind the consensus that the tossers playing with drones at Curbar Edge should've been in town where people were mingling - or doing something useful with with their publicly funded time. They deserve every bit of national humiliation they receive. And there is a related message to those on here who think that they're doing the right thing by attempting to shame those who admit to safely using their cars to go out quiet open spaces.

Post edited at 22:30
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kevin stephens 30 Mar 2020
EarlyBird 30 Mar 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

“trying to shame people in using their undoubted right to take exercise in the country and wrecking beauty spots in the fells”

He may be a very learned person but it's pushing it a bit to claim that the blue lagoon in Harpur Hill Quarry is a "beauty spot in the fells."

Post edited at 23:07
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TobyA 30 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

As a consequentialist then you should surely ignore the rather minor rights violation of a film of you with your face fuzzed out going for a stroll at Curbar ending up on Derbyshire police's twitter feed, in order to consider the consequences of more rigorously followed social distancing on lowering infection rates of coronavirus?

I think even Bentham might argue you're not doing your hedonistic calculus quite right!

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Jon Stewart 30 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> As a consequentialist then you should surely ignore the rather minor rights violation of a film of you with your face fuzzed out going for a stroll at Curbar ending up on Derbyshire police's twitter feed, in order to consider the consequences of more rigorously followed social distancing on lowering infection rates of coronavirus?

Nope. The harm caused by the "rights violation" doesn't come into the calculus. The police resources are useful to encourage (or indeed enforce if necessary) social distancing where people are behaving in ways most likely to spread the virus. I can reasonably assume that the behaviour in Derbyshire towns is pretty similar to the Cumbrian town I live in, where people are mingling on the streets and popping out for a loaf of bread (on a skateboard, in fact) or to buy flowers. I'm not a virologist, but it's blindingly obvious to me that where people are close together, the virus will be transmitted; where they are far apart, it will not.

Going for a walk by yourself in the countryside will have no impact infection rates - it doesn't need to be considered, let alone patrolled with drone-of-shame antics, when there are higher priorities, e.g. the behaviour of teenagers in urban areas. The consequentialist view is that the behaviour that a) most increases the transmission and b) will respond most to intervention should be tackled. People going for a walk alone do not fulfil these criteria.

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

thanks for clarifying - yes my feelings exactly, amplified by Lord Sumption's opinion about the police enforcing ministerial dictat rather than actual law

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

a time limit does not make any sense unless it materially increases risk of harm to anyone or diversion of NHS resources.  I am making sure that I only do one form of exercise a day, though I so far forgot myself yesterday as to lapse and alternately walk and run.

I had contact with 3 villages including the point of origin and covered about 5  miles or so in a lot less than your time limit for cycling

In Cumbria you take maximum advantage of a dry day as there will be many to come when stepping out of the door is no fun at all.

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

however, the air quality round here is bad for my health and travelling a small distance (less than 5 miles) gets me to a deserted spot where I can get good air and not come within several hundred metres of another human.

It also helps to keep my small vehicle in running order.  Whoever described it a projectile is  wrong in physics and also got its mass wrong by giving the square of its mass rather than the right value which is the square root of the silly figure he quoted.

Post edited at 12:44
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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

it probably is illegal if they persist in parking and going for a walk where they see lots of other vehicles already heaped together.

Last time I went to Borrowdale (before the great confinement) I went with the idea already in my head that if I found it busy I'd turn back and find somewhere else.  As it happened it was more or less deserted all day.  I had already avoided going at a weekend.

Going to anywhere popular at a weekend I would argue already carries a de facto presumption of a willingness or even an intention not to comply with regulations.

But that does not make someone else going away from the weekend and choosing a spot they know to be little frequented equally culpable.

For the record I have driven nowhere for exercise since the ban but have paused my morning exercise, in a remote spot,  to set up equipment to talk to friends at a distance of several hundred miles by skywave for a brief spell

though the exercise was less in distance there was a compensation in extra weight carried

Post edited at 12:55
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Neil Williams 31 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

The purpose of a time limit is the same as the purpose of "once a day" - to reduce the number of people out at any one time.  Probably not very important in the middle of nowhere, but definitely important in London (and in the much denser cities you typically get in countries that have imposed one).

It has nothing to do with risks to the individual (just as most of this hasn't).

Post edited at 12:50
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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

which is why I'm taking extreme care on the occasions when I do have to go into town, not jsut for myself but by changing gloves to avoid carrying any infection on them to another shop or place

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GrahamD 31 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

So you have a car that is less than 2 tons. That will be a great comfort to any walkers or cyclists you don't happen to see.

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TobyA 31 Mar 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My Derbyshire town seems pretty dead except for exercisers.

I just think that if you're idea of consequence is the possibility of being (or not being) in an infection chain, or the opportunity cost of a couple of coppers flying a drone and tweeting, you are massively underestimating how complex consequences are - and that's where utilitarian accounts always have trouble.

Intention don't matter at all for consequentialist accounts, so no matter what the intentions of the police were with the drone tweet, the fact that it has been seen and debated so much could have arguably have had huge positive consequences if it has got the message across to people. MRTs are reporting no call outs at all in Scotland last weekend and only a handful in rUK. Perhaps these debates have had that consequence?

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TobyA 31 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> yes my feelings exactly, amplified by Lord Sumption's opinion about the police enforcing ministerial dictat rather than actual law

The whole point of the argument that the Derbyshire police "shaming" people was that they have no enforcement powers. It seems Lancashire police have been giving out lots of fines, but lots of other police forces say they haven't issued any.

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

You are a clear danger to pedestrians, as you wilfully and  furiously ride around, riding without brakes.

You see if you treat everyone as equivalent then you too become equivalent to others doing what you do.

You've done a lot more miles than I have recently haven't you, 200 miles in only one trip mentioned on one thread.

And stop beating up women.   Some men do so must you, judged by your own logic.

Post edited at 15:47
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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I'm fairly pro police generally.  I was horrified by people calling them "pigs" in the 60s and 70s and "the filth" later on.

I also have a pretty conformist history unfortunately - it hasn't got me far in my 60+ years.  I should perhaps have been a bit more disobedient ..

Post edited at 15:46
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GrahamD 31 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

I think you must be confusing me with someone else.  What 200 miles trip ?  My car hasn't moved for over a week.  And don't play the beating up women card - I never looked at your profile so I didn't know you were a woman until you said.

In any case this isn't personal to .  I've got a bugbear about anyone who doesn't appear to see the danger inherent in driving, or recognise the irony in complaining about local air quality whilst going for short distance drives.

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

I'm not a woman.  I beat up women as does every man, as per my point!  Yes you're right about the wrong person, must be Alzheimers that we both suffer from.  apologies

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wercat 31 Mar 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Perhaps as I got my first car at 30 and had driven 6000 miles as a not so confident learner who never actually thought he'd get through the test my attitude to driving is not typical.  I'm not claiming to be a good driver but I believe I am always concerned about safety, whatever I'm doing.   Though perhaps not when dealing with high voltages ...

Post edited at 17:03
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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I just think that if you're idea of consequence is the possibility of being (or not being) in an infection chain, or the opportunity cost of a couple of coppers flying a drone and tweeting, you are massively underestimating how complex consequences are - and that's where utilitarian accounts always have trouble.

The idea of a consequentialist account is that *all* the consequences are considered *in principle*. It's obviously not possible to do this in practice, but it's usually not necessary because it can be very easy to intuit which world you think is best of two or more options.

In this case, the answer is bloody obvious: where is the virus spreading? In urban areas where people are close together? Who is most likely to ignore the rules? Teenagers. Have we got good reasons to think people going out into the countryside for a walk are causing a problem now? No.

> Intention don't matter at all for consequentialist accounts, so no matter what the intentions of the police were with the drone tweet, the fact that it has been seen and debated so much could have arguably have had huge positive consequences if it has got the message across to people. MRTs are reporting no call outs at all in Scotland last weekend and only a handful in rUK. Perhaps these debates have had that consequence?

I don't think that's remotely likely. I don't think that "huge positive consequences" are even there to be had in the sphere of people not going out to the countryside for a walk, because it's not a problem that's worth controlling. Look at the context and think about what contribution people exercising outdoors is having. I think that some small positive consequence will have come from the footage of hundreds of cars at Pen-y-Pass, because everyone who saw it will immediately recognise: these people are travelling around the country for leisure. With the drone footage, anyone with a brain just says "wtf?" - everyone I know thought it was hilarious and was sharing it on Whatsapp!

"Getting the message across" was not was what was achieved by the drone-of-shame antics: being derided as jobsworth dickheads by the national media was the over-arching consequence. It didn't work out well.

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Wilderbeest 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Have to say I disagree and felt that the actions of the Derbyshire Police were well intentioned.

The message from the government seems crystal clear to me. Stay at home, stay local. That doesn’t mean driving somewhere for 10 minutes. You’re potentially moving the virus 10 minutes up the road.

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GrahamD 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Wilderbeest:

I agree. It also seems sensible to jump on lets-test-the-rules merchants early before a dangerous 'getting away with it' or 'they can do so I can't mentality takes hold and there are just too many idiots out to deal with.

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

You seem to be much more concerned about the rules than the consequences.

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Wilderbeest 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The rules make sense to me...

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Wilderbeest:

They make sense to me too - it's got to be a simple message that leads to the desired behaviour change, and it seems to be working pretty well.

But, minimising the spread of the virus doesn't depend on every person in every place obeying the rules. If you live in the middle of nowhere, it just doesn't matter how many times you go out. So long as you just do the essential interactions like shopping as little as possible, the "stay at home" part is just of no relevance - you can spend as much time out and about with members of your household, just be sensible and don't take any risks that could lead to you needing NHS treatment. On the other hand, if you live in a high density area in a city and you've spent loads of time at school or in other busy places where there were loads of people now with symptoms, then it's really important that you stay in, because there's a high chance of you passing on the virus by being in close proximity to others.

So some transgressions of the rules are worth worrying about, and others aren't, right? So, if your job is to help minimise the spread of the virus, where do you put your resources? 

This is before we even consider that there have been many examples given where it is safer to drive for a walk than go from home - it all depends on individual circumstances.

The rules make sense, because they have to be broad-brush. But given that they're not nailed down to specifics and don't fit everyone's circumstances (as has been publicly acknowledged by the authorities -references upthread), the sensible thing is for the enforcement resources to be focused where transgression makes a difference. This is what Derbyshire Police failed to do.

Graham D appears to take the line that rules must be respected because they are rules, and that those who don't adhere are "idiots" who are doing something morally reprehensible. I would just like to encourage him to consider the complexity of the situation. Someone might have good reasons to drive for a walk, it might be safer, they might be doing the right thing. It is the consequences of one's actions that count, not whether or not they are proscribed by a broad-brush rule.

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Wilderbeest 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Thank you for the considered reply.

 I stopped “lurking” and was moved to post by your comment about Derbyshire Police being seen as jobsworth dickheads by the media. I still don’t think they were doing anything but trying to police the one “rule” that we appear to disagree on. 

I don’t think people should be getting into cars and driving 10/15 minutes to a quiet area for exercise. I see that as moving the virus to another area and the advice to stay local is one we should all adher to.

I’m not seeing the nuances here that you are...

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> I don’t think people should be getting into cars and driving 10/15 minutes to a quiet area for exercise. I see that as moving the virus to another area and the advice to stay local is one we should all adher to.

Where we differ is I don't see driving for 15 mins as having any impact on transmission of the virus.

If you wash your hands, then don't touch anything (easy - gloves!), then wash them again, then I fail to see how there is any risk of spreading the virus. Particularly when the alternative is generally to exercise in a more crowded place - although if you're exercising in a park and there are people around, I don't see how the virus is being passed on here either - it'll be passed on indoors where people are breathing the same air and touching the same stuff, you don't do this when you're out exercising by yourself.

Whittling down risks that are negligible to start off with is a waste of time and resources.

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Wilderbeest 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My run today from my front door door resembled a pinball machine as I zigzagged pavement to pavement and backed up side roads to avoid people so I can see the point you are making.

But I’m keeping it all within 3km of that the door which I believe is key. Let’s just disagree on this...

My wife can trace her descendants back to Eyam so maybe that colours my view

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35064071

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marsbar 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My view is that driving to walk wont necessarily increase the spread of the virus.  However if people stop driving then there won't be as many road accidents for the NHS to deal with. The NHS are going to be busy.  Many people at the time or just before the drone footage were driving far more than a few minutes to get to the peak district and other hotspots.  

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Neil Williams 01 Apr 2020
In reply to marsbar:

This weekend will be a test.  I suspect we will end up with a ban on car use other than essential workers to prevent Easter madness if there are a lot of people crowding out beauty spots.

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> This weekend will be a test.  I suspect we will end up with a ban on car use other than essential workers to prevent Easter madness if there are a lot of people crowding out beauty spots.

But then everyone would have to go shopping what 4x more often? What a shit policy idea!

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Neil Williams 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It has downsides, yes, but if people keep taking the mick...

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It has downsides, yes, but if people keep taking the mick...

What, the downside is that the authorities are so vindictive that they'll introduce measures that *increase* the spread of the virus, as punishment for not obeying their rules? 

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TobyA 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

As ever with utilitarianism and other consequentialist theories it's next to impossible to really work out what the consequences are. You're pulling your theorised consequences out of your butt just like I was. Basically everyone just makes up a story of consequences to support their 'intuition' of what would happen.

Do you think it took all of Derbyshire Constabulary to make the infamous video? I reckon they were sending home teenagers as well. And how do you know the video didn't have positive consequences? It's been debate globally for days and the PDNP released this today: https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/news/current-news/peak-district-national-park-thanks-thousands-for-staying-away-but-urges-rights-of-way-remain-open-for-local-communities suggesting people are staying away.

If you really want to be a consequentialist about it, I think you can reasonably argue the consequences of the video have been successful in lowering the chances of transmission, particularly in the Peak, by getting the stay at home message out there and discussed to a huge degree.

> in this case, the answer is bloody obvious: where is the virus spreading? In urban areas where people are close together? Who is most likely to ignore the rules? Teenagers.

Less seriously, and in the spirit of a trolley problem for our age, surely the quickest and most successful way to stop this would be to allow the police to shoot one of two of the teenagers? Particularly if the police filmed it and put it on twitter, probably just shooting one would be enough. As a "card-carrying consequentialist and not deontological <sic> in my moral outlook" I presume that would appeal? ;)

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> As ever with utilitarianism and other consequentialist theories it's next to impossible to really work out what the consequences are. You're pulling your theorised consequences out of your butt just like I was. Basically everyone just makes up a story of consequences to support their 'intuition' of what would happen.

You're right that no one has good evidence of the consequences. Alas we shall have to rely on common sense/the bleedin' obvious.

> Do you think it took all of Derbyshire Constabulary to make the infamous video? I reckon they were sending home teenagers as well. And how do you know the video didn't have positive consequences? It's been debate globally for days and the PDNP released this today: https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/news/current-news/peak-district-national-park-thanks-thousands-for-staying-away-but-urges-rights-of-way-remain-open-for-local-communities suggesting people are staying away.

What's your point? That there are excess resources to be devoted to minimising the spread of the virus, so Derbyshire Police might as well employ the surplus doing something that's completely useless at face value, because it might do some good, by fluke?

> If you really want to be a consequentialist about it, I think you can reasonably argue the consequences of the video have been successful in lowering the chances of transmission, particularly in the Peak, by getting the stay at home message out there and discussed to a huge degree.

I think that's a dreadful argument, because literally everyone has heard the stay at home message: "getting it out" by tweeting drone footage is 100% redundant.

> Less seriously, and in the spirit of a trolley problem for our age, surely the quickest and most successful way to stop this would be to allow the police to shoot one of two of the teenagers? Particularly if the police filmed it and put it on twitter, probably just shooting one would be enough. As a "card-carrying consequentialist and not deontological in my moral outlook" I presume that would appeal? ;)

Why do people who think they disagree with consequentialism posit as counter-examples things with terrible consequences? It's not just missing the point, it's shooting in the wrong direction!

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Neil Williams 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think that's a dreadful argument, because literally everyone has heard the stay at home message: "getting it out" by tweeting drone footage is 100% redundant.

I think the point of it is that a lot of people will only not do something because they might get punished for it.  Not everyone has a sensible moral compass.  But if we get half of London driving to the Peak again this weekend, there'll be yet another spike.

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I think the point of it is that a lot of people will only not do something because they might get punished for it. 

I don't believe that for a second. 

> Not everyone has a sensible moral compass.  But if we get half of London driving to the Peak again this weekend, there'll be yet another spike.

I don't know what past events you're referring to. I understand that the weekend *before* the lockdown began, everyone was congregated in Snowdonia, Peak District, Keswick, etc. We have no idea what contribution this made to infections - presumably it had some impact, given that people were travelling all over the place and hanging out queuing for ice creams etc. in close proximity. But what was the situation last weekend? Was there a problem with outdoor exercise that had some effect - we presumably have no real evidence, but what might we suspect from what we know about people's behaviour? Genuine questions, I don't know what the travel patterns were like last weekend.

Post edited at 23:29
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Neil Williams 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't believe that for a second. 

Really?  I suspect you're living in a bit of a bubble there.

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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Really?  I suspect you're living in a bit of a bubble there.

If that was the case we'd need rather more police on the streets, don't you think? Society can't possibly operate if the crucial motivation for pro-social behaviour is fear of punishment. In that dystopian world, life would be unbearable. Think it through - society simply is not like that. 

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Neil Williams 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Depressingly, I think you're wrong.  How many people keep below the speed limit because there are cameras, for example?

Most people don't commit murder and get that that's wrong, but for minor stuff it is all about getting caught.  Think fare-dodging and the likes too.

Post edited at 23:31
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Jon Stewart 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Depressingly, I think you're wrong.  How many people keep below the speed limit because there are cameras, for example?

That's true for speeding, for exactly the same reason as people would drive 10 minutes for a walk: they don't actually think it's wrong. We all know from experience that if we drive at 80 on the motorway, the risk of an accident doesn't seem to go up in any way can detect.

> Most people don't commit murder and get that that's wrong, but for minor stuff it is all about getting caught.  Think fare-dodging and the likes too.

The vast majority of people don't steal when they could - our whole retail sector operates on this principle. And cheating isn't the same as anti-social behaviour: this is how/why people cheat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmJay_qdNc

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John Stainforth 01 Apr 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Easter! Easter!? Surely, like all other public events, that is on hold. Now that we are living in virtual isolation, surely it has no meaning, except for some kind of symbolism for suffering - which I don't think we really need. 

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Neil Williams 02 Apr 2020
In reply to John Stainforth:

The two Bank Holidays are still in place.  Which won't make any difference for many, but there are plenty of office type workers still working remotely.

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bouldery bits 02 Apr 2020
In reply to TobyA:

This lad knows his onions.

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GrahamD 08:11 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The consequences of starting precedence is what I'm concerned about.  As well as the obvious immediate danger of potentially increasing the radius of spread of the virus from any one individual,  of course.

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TobyA 08:48 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You're right that no one has good evidence of the consequences. Alas we shall have to rely on common sense/the bleedin' obvious.

Although isn't common sense ultimately Aristotelian? At least Thomas Jefferson and his Scottish intellectual  forefathers felt so.

> What's your point? That there are excess resources to be devoted to minimising the spread of the virus, so Derbyshire Police might as well employ the surplus doing something that's completely useless at face value, because it might do some good, by fluke?

Well like I said, whether it was a fluke or not makes no difference from your perspective because intentions don't matter, only consequences.

> I think that's a dreadful argument, because literally everyone has heard the stay at home message: "getting it out" by tweeting drone footage is 100% redundant.

I think it's a brilliant argument, so we're back to just pulling stuff out of our respective behinds. It is difficult to dispute though that the consequences of the footage has been huge. Days of debate and argument, the intervention of the a former high court judge, numerous think pieces for and against him, the Derbyshire chief constable being on every news bulletin for a day, a comparison of fines given out ranging from lots (Lancs) to none (Derbyshire amongst others), and ACPO trying to give guidance to all forces on the issue. 

> Why do people who think they disagree with consequentialism posit as counter-examples things with terrible consequences? It's not just missing the point, it's shooting in the wrong direction!

Why is it missing the point? It's just the trolley problem isn't it? If your moral vision is based purely on consequences, then one life lost that saves 10 or 100 or 1000 (by scaring people away from congregating together and spreading the virus) is morally defensible. Of course Bentham himself realised it was a naively simplistic which is why he added all his variables or whatever they were called, length, intensity of pleasure/pain etc. But OK, we're civilised people, so lets not shoot and kill some of the congregating teenagers, lets just non-fatally taser them instead. Or arrest the most annoying one and bang him up for the length of the crisis. Get that out on Twitter and it might well clear the streets, and bring down hospitalisation rates and protect ICU capacity. Why isn't that a good thing?

(BTW - for anyone who hasn't studied philosophy but has got this far. I'm not actually suggesting tazering teenagers - I'm just not sure why Jon thinks it's a bad idea. Radio 4 has a nice little video demonstrating the trolley problem here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw just swap the fat man on the bridge for the teenager getting shot/tasered and the innocent workmen on the track for vulnerable people getting very ill from covid19.)

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wercat 09:38 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

when shopping I take my gloves off from the outside, putting them on the ground inside out.  Then I open the car with the hands that were gloved with keys I haven't touched since leaving the car.   Money/receipt goes into a leg pocket so I know it hasn't contaminated keys or other places, before gloves come off.

So I agree, virus  spreading by going to a deserted area (no gates where I go) is practically impossible.  Unlike stepping out of the door and meeting people in the village immediately and avoiding dog shit and all the dog walkers.

Some people are asserting home made rules that don't correspond actual risks taking into account the very real biosecurity measures that some of us are taking.

Every time I leave the house and go somewhere where there are other people I start considering every action, as if I was climbing or doing a spacewalk.

Post edited at 09:40
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wercat 09:43 Thu
In reply to Wilderbeest:

We don't have a link to Eyam but I know the place and have done the circuit of plague houses several times.  I do, however, remember my grandmother mentioning a number of times coming home to meet her mother coming out of the house to tell her that her sister Dora had died of the 1918-19 flu.  that colours my thinking

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wercat 09:45 Thu
In reply to Neil Williams:

most effective reducer of speed for us is fuel economy!  essential for survival, as well as knowing that we can't afford to pay for repair of even minor mishaps at the moment.  I was contemplating giving up my car later this year to reduce outgoings.  It's become a bit of a money pit

Post edited at 09:46
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wercat 09:49 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Cumbria police chief was reporting a rise in hospital admissions last night - troops in Penrith and other places in Cumbria, eminiscent of FMD, setting up "field" hospital facilities in leisure centres like Penrith.

Timescale could be about right for the invasion of 10-15 days ago - it was busy days before the famous weekend

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Jon Stewart 10:13 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> Although isn't common sense ultimately Aristotelian? At least Thomas Jefferson and his Scottish intellectual  forefathers felt so.

I don't understand this point sorry. I hope you're not making an argument against common sense? That move isn't open to you, because in this context, without common sense we have no justification for anything - no action is better than any other.

> Well like I said, whether it was a fluke or not makes no difference from your perspective because intentions don't matter, only consequences.

No. If there were better consequences from the drone bullshit than using those resources sensibly, then it wouldn't ultimately matter if it was a fluke (although there might be consequences for taking the line that you can ignore common sense because sometimes you luck out). But no such consequences occurred.

> I think it's a brilliant argument, so we're back to just pulling stuff out of our respective behinds.

No. I gave you the *reason* your argument was crap (redundancy). If you won't engage with reasons (or common sense), all you're doing is undermining the discussion.

> It is difficult to dispute though that the consequences of the footage has been huge. Days of debate and argument, the intervention of the a former high court judge, numerous think pieces for and against him, the Derbyshire chief constable being on every news bulletin for a day, a comparison of fines given out ranging from lots (Lancs) to none (Derbyshire amongst others), and ACPO trying to give guidance to all forces on the issue. 

I agree that there have been some consequences. But just having consequences isn't enough - they have to be useful consequences.

Let's rewind a bit and remind ourselves of what the point is, what is it that we care about?

We're trying to slow down the infection rate from COVID-19; but we won't do this at any cost. We won't do it by rounding up anyone with symptoms and shooting them and everyone in their household. We won't do it by creating a surveillance state. We're trying to achieve the best balance of maintaining the things we like about our society with minimising the suffering caused by the virus - to achieve the best possible (or least worst) world .

We're debating the merits of two alternatives: a) the police using drones and twitter to shame people into exercising from home rather than going out into the Peak; or b) the police ignoring people doing that, and using the resources in urban areas where the virus is actually being spread.

So yes, there were consequences from the drone bullshit, including lots of debate, for and against. Does that slow down the infection rate? How are these consequences useful, compared to the alternative set of consequences associated with being out telling off teenagers who are hanging out in close social contact? Or compared to doing something else useful like providing tips on how to avoid unnecessary shopping trips - messages like "shop for your neighbours" "touch it, buy it" "take the car and use the freezer" etc etc. There has been absolutely no effort put into this, and yet a quick appeal to common sense reveals that these messages are far more relevant to slowing the spread of the virus than "don't drive for 10 minutes to exercise on your own".

> Why is it missing the point? It's just the trolley problem isn't it? If your moral vision is based purely on consequences, then one life lost that saves 10 or 100 or 1000 (by scaring people away from congregating together and spreading the virus) is morally defensible.

It's nothing like the trolly problem. The point of the trolly problem is that as an individual you have to choose between two sets of very clearly defined consequences without any wider effect on society. When you swap the lever for the fat man, this is exposes that as individuals we have other intuitions, to do with "getting our hands dirty" that conflict with the calculus. Here, we're talking about policy - what the police do is something we all have to live with.

As I said at the outset, consequentialism is about considering in principle all of the consequences. Comparing numbers of deaths is just blatant misrepresentation of the argument. 

> Of course Bentham himself realised it was a naively simplistic which is why he added all his variables or whatever they were called, length, intensity of pleasure/pain etc. But OK, we're civilised people, so lets not shoot and kill some of the congregating teenagers, lets just non-fatally taser them instead. Or arrest the most annoying one and bang him up for the length of the crisis. Get that out on Twitter and it might well clear the streets, and bring down hospitalisation rates and protect ICU capacity. Why isn't that a good thing?

Because we're trying to slow down the infection rate from COVID-19; but we won't do this at any cost. We're trying to achieve the best balance of maintaining the things we like about our society with minimising the suffering caused by the virus - we're not prepared to slip into a state of police brutality and random, disproportionate punishment. Those consequences are worse than more COVID cases.

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Jon Stewart 11:23 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

And just in case there was any doubt about what the rules are, and what issues around appropriate enforcement they raise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAyuAz1uG8M

Post edited at 11:27
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TobyA 12:02 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Jon - you brought the terms deontological and consequentialism into the discussion. I took it that you were trying to think this through as an issue of moral philosophy.

You said you were a card carrying consequentialist, or words to that effect, and that you are "not deolontological in my moral outlook". I presume that's just a typo and not meta-ethical position that I don't know. I did google it and nothing came up beyond "did you mean deontological?" But I don't think you are purely arguing from a consequentialist position at all. Your appeal to common sense sounds to me like an appeal to some sort of inherent moral understanding that we all have, or short of psychopaths we all have. What else can common sense be? If you want to say it's just a 'natural' appreciation of good and bad consequences we have, then we get back to how on earth you measure that? Drone footage getting international media attention or Lancs Plod quietly giving out 132 fines - which did more to stop the spread of the virus? Don't know, neither do you, you can shout "it's bloody obvious" as much as you want - but it isn't at all.

> As I said at the outset, consequentialism is about considering in principle all of the consequences. Comparing numbers of deaths is just blatant misrepresentation of the argument. 

There are lots of forms of consequentialist thought in moral philosophy - just look at all the classical and modern variations of utilitarianism for example. So of course it's not about just deaths. In classical it terms it the pain and pleasure that would be the results of those deaths/avoided deaths - you might want to argue on national level just to keep some kind of control on your theoretical calculus, but really it should be gross utility as experienced by all people everywhere, with people like Singer arguing the utility of non-human animals should also be included in the calculus.

> We won't do it by creating a surveillance state.

I'm not sure if Chinese and Singaporean epidemiologists would agree with you.

> We're trying to slow down the infection rate from COVID-19; but we won't do this at any cost.

I totally agree, but good luck working out what that cost is from a consequentialist position.

TLDR: you're not "a card-carrying consequentialist and not deolontological in my moral outlook" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Post edited at 12:04
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wercat 13:10 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And just in case there was any doubt about what the rules are, and what issues around appropriate enforcement they raise:


that link is repeating precisely what I was saying on at least one other thread when I referred to other people making up imaginary laws without legal knowledge.  One poster in particular, but not limited to that poster alone, accused me of trying to get out of the regulations by arguing about loopholes.  In fact the laws don't impose those restriction though ministerial dictat may have referred to things that were neither law nor scientifically justified.  You can't have law announced and made up as the minister goes along during journalistic interviews.  Michael Gove has said different things at different times about exercise and duration and location.

So I feel somewhat vindicated for taking a view on the law as given and not the government's woolly and ambiguous interviews and broadcasts as being the basis for what is allowed.   And actioned according to what is safe, as some things they allow (visiting off licences for instance) carry clear and significant risks that are in my opinion unjustified.

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wercat 13:11 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

for instance where do people here get the idea of 30 minutes of exercise or 3km from home from?.   They have no legal, scientific or medical basis!

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Jon Stewart 13:55 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> Jon - you brought the terms deontological and consequentialism into the discussion. I took it that you were trying to think this through as an issue of moral philosophy.

There are two separate strands that need be untangled:

1. The technical. Underlying the disagreement is whether or not the virus is even passed on by people out exercising alone. My (consequentialist) position hinges on the technical, common sense understanding of how the virus is spread - that it's spread when people are in close social contact and not when people are out exercising alone.

2. The philosophical. Graham D and others seem to take the approach that "breaking the rules" is wrong. He seemed to be applying some kind of principle that "it is wrong to break the rules" and not thinking about the consequences. This is the contrast - I care about the consequences, I don't care about following any principle about whether behaviour is "right" or "wrong".

> But I don't think you are purely arguing from a consequentialist position at all. Your appeal to common sense sounds to me like an appeal to some sort of inherent moral understanding that we all have, or short of psychopaths we all have. What else can common sense be? If you want to say it's just a 'natural' appreciation of good and bad consequences we have, then we get back to how on earth you measure that?

The role of common sense is in estimating the consequences between two options: shaming people with drones, or getting out in town breaking up social gatherings. It's playing a technical role in the consequentialist position - it's not a moral intuition.

> Drone footage getting international media attention or Lancs Plod quietly giving out 132 fines - which did more to stop the spread of the virus? Don't know, neither do you, you can shout "it's bloody obvious" as much as you want - but it isn't at all.

This is the technical point. I do think it's bloody obvious that people out exercising alone are not a significant contribution to the spread of the virus. 

> There are lots of forms of consequentialist thought in moral philosophy - just look at all the classical and modern variations of utilitarianism for example. So of course it's not about just deaths. In classical it terms it the pain and pleasure that would be the results of those deaths/avoided deaths - you might want to argue on national level just to keep some kind of control on your theoretical calculus, but really it should be gross utility as experienced by all people everywhere, with people like Singer arguing the utility of non-human animals should also be included in the calculus.

My position is based on the overall suffering of everyone (it's not relevant whether that includes non-humans here). The consequences of what the police do are vastly more important here than everywhere else, so it's appropriate to only think about the UK here.

> I'm not sure if Chinese and Singaporean epidemiologists would agree with you.

They wouldn't. We're talking about what should we do in the UK. The calculus in a place where you don't value liberty from surveillance would be different.

> I totally agree, but good luck working out what that cost is from a consequentialist position.

I don't understand what other kind of position you can work out that balance from. Are you going to introduce some principles about the character of different behaviours being "right" and "wrong" and work it out like that? What's your alternative?

> TLDR: you're not "a card-carrying consequentialist and not deolontological in my moral outlook" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Well since everything I've said relates only to the consequences of different options, and I've contrasted that against a position that takes the principle that "breaking the rules is wrong", I can't really see what's led you to that conclusion.

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GrahamD 14:03 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I think you slightly misrepresent my position on breaking rules in this instance: it is not necessarily the immediate danger caused in particular specific cases; it is also what happens if it appears that too many people are breaking rules which will only lead to more restrictive rules, maybe laws, rather than common sense guidelines as at present. 

I wouldn't wish that on us and I certainly wouldn't wish it on the police trying to enforce it.

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mysterion 14:12 Thu
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Walk, 5 miles, >1 hour, local woods, carry mask

Fully within the letter and spirit of the law, not the imagined regulations of some flustered old bags on the internet.

Post edited at 14:15
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TobyA 14:24 Thu
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think you slightly misrepresent my position on breaking rules in this instance: it is not necessarily the immediate danger caused in particular specific cases; it is also what happens if it appears that too many people are breaking rules which will only lead to more restrictive rules, maybe laws, rather than common sense guidelines as at present. 

Graham, that's a pretty much bob-on explanation of the branch of utilitarianism called "Rule Utilitarianism"! Maybe if next academic year I'm teaching normally again I'll use it as an example when I'm teaching rule utilitarianism.

I agree - and I don't see why Jon is saying that the consequences are limited to whether those people in the infamous drone footage passed on the virus that time they were at Curbar. Surely the consequences is that we, like loads of other people are arguing about it still, and that debate has been possibly really important to setting or strengthening a new social norm. Some teenagers getting fined in Lancashire for gathering might have broken up those gatherings but perhaps none of those kids had CV anyway, just like the walkers probably didn't. But because Lancashire Police have been pretty quiet about their enforcement that's probably had less impact on changing social norms than the drone footage.

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Jon Stewart 14:31 Thu
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think you slightly misrepresent my position on breaking rules in this instance: it is not necessarily the immediate danger caused in particular specific cases; it is also what happens if it appears that too many people are breaking rules which will only lead to more restrictive rules, maybe laws, rather than common sense guidelines as at present. 

> I wouldn't wish that on us and I certainly wouldn't wish it on the police trying to enforce it.

That's fair enough. I was interested in what was making you so keen on a crack-down on something that seems harmless or insignificant to me. As is made clear by the link from one of my favourite youtube channels above at 11.23, the people being "caught" by the drones were not breaking the rules, and it is entirely a matter of judgement (really, a technical judgement of whether walking in the Peak is a risk or not) whether or not they were acting in the spirit of the lockdown regulations.

I was delighted by the intervention of Lord Sumption, who has made clear that the behaviour Derbyshire Police were erroneously targeting should not be used to justify more restrictive rules. We've got to minimise the spread of the virus while maintaining our sanity and keeping hold of the things we value in our society. 

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TobyA 14:32 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> They wouldn't. We're talking about what should we do in the UK. The calculus in a place where you don't value liberty from surveillance would be different.

The value you put on liberty is your ethical position.You're positing rights to us. Good, I agree. That's why it's still not OK to kill a homeless, family-less, friendless person in order to harvest their organs to save and extend the lives of 5 people who do have homes, families and friends. It's why it not OK to shoot a teenager in order to persuade many other teenagers to get off the streets and stay home no spreading a virus.

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TobyA 14:33 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I was delighted by the intervention of Lord Sumption, 

What did you think of his comments in the same issue on whether it was worth sacrificing the economy to save lives?

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Jon Stewart 14:40 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> Graham, that's a pretty much bob-on explanation of the branch of utilitarianism called "Rule Utilitarianism"! Maybe if next academic year I'm teaching normally again I'll use it as an example when I'm teaching rule utilitarianism.

Once you've covered Rule Utilitarianism, you should move on to a thorough exploration of Deolontologicalism

> I agree - and I don't see why Jon is saying that the consequences are limited to whether those people in the infamous drone footage passed on the virus that time they were at Curbar.

I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the general behaviour of going for a walk in the Peak is not the right behaviour to tackle.

> Surely the consequences is that we, like loads of other people are arguing about it still, and that debate has been possibly really important to setting or strengthening a new social norm. Some teenagers getting fined in Lancashire for gathering might have broken up those gatherings but perhaps none of those kids had CV anyway, just like the walkers probably didn't. But because Lancashire Police have been pretty quiet about their enforcement that's probably had less impact on changing social norms than the drone footage.

But the discussion hasn't led us to a place where fewer people are getting infected - you're arguing as if the walking was a dangerous behaviour, and now thanks to the drone of shame we've all realised that and stopped doing it. That's not the story!

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Jon Stewart 14:44 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> The value you put on liberty is your ethical position.You're positing rights to us. Good, I agree.

The value we as people put on liberty is a fact about the world. We suffer when our liberty is curtailed. In a culture that doesn't value liberty in the same way, they don't suffer in the same way (although it is perfectly possible that they don't know what they're missing). And I don't believe in rights, other than as a reasonable way to draft legislation, a kind of heuristic, but no more.

> That's why it's still not OK to kill a homeless, family-less, friendless person in order to harvest their organs to save and extend the lives of 5 people who do have homes, families and friends. It's why it not OK to shoot a teenager in order to persuade many other teenagers to get off the streets and stay home no spreading a virus.

No. The reason it's wrong to do those things is because the consequences are bad - they lead to more suffering than better policies.

Post edited at 14:46
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Jon Stewart 15:20 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> What did you think of his comments in the same issue on whether it was worth sacrificing the economy to save lives?

I think we all agree there is some balance to be struck, because the economic harm caused by the COVID recession will involve a lot of ill health, violence and suicide (bad consequences). I don't think he went into enough detail for me to judge how close or far apart our estimations where the best balance lies might be. My instinct is that the suffering that would be caused by a more lax approach and a totally overwhelmed NHS would be unthinkable - bodies piling up, and real social breakdown. The strategy we're following is probably about right because it's been led by expert advice and seems to me to set sensible priorities. Perhaps Lord Sumption might favour something more like Sweden's approach (who are being very open in admitting that only time will tell if they're right) - but I don't think he's a good person to ask about what the NHS can cope with and what happens when it fails to cope.

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shaun stephens 16:15 Thu
In reply to SteveX:

Strangely think the exact same.  As long as we are not putting in any risks then a short walk (which for some ill be 1km and others 15km) away from others is perfectly acceptable I would say. Plus the mental health benefits will surely outweigh the marginal virus risks.

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TobyA 21:23 Thu
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No. The reason it's wrong to do those things is because the consequences are bad - they lead to more suffering than better policies.

Go on, prove it then. I'll buy you a pint if you do because you'll be solving a problem that 250 years of western philosophy hasn't been able to resolve.

> The value we as people put on liberty is a fact about the world. We suffer when our liberty is curtailed.

We don't necessarily suffer when our liberty is curtailed. Seatbelts, speed limits, no smoking laws (and social pressure not make unnecessary journeys during pandemics perhaps?).

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Jon Stewart 22:11 Thu
In reply to TobyA:

> Go on, prove it then. I'll buy you a pint if you do because you'll be solving a problem that 250 years of western philosophy hasn't been able to resolve.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not particularly behind any solution to general morality that we can all apply to our own actions. Utilitarianism can't work for us individual humans and our social lives, because it will go against our evolved instincts to care more about our children and friends then people we've never met. But it's very good at telling us what's a good or a bad policy that has to be applied across society. (Rule utilitarianism?)

> > The value we as people put on liberty is a fact about the world. We suffer when our liberty is curtailed.

> We don't necessarily suffer when our liberty is curtailed. Seatbelts, speed limits, no smoking laws (and social pressure not make unnecessary journeys during pandemics perhaps?).

Well all of those examples were implemented democratically and worked, so in those examples the calculus of loss of liberty vs. benefits was favourable. Perhaps we would rather live in a surveillance state  than have many more CV deaths? Whichever way, it's a balance: there will be some loss of liberty in return for some control of the disease. We need to try to get the balance that gives the least suffering all told. There's no clear way to find the answer, but the question is a consequentialist one. We can't find the best policy by granting people rights, or sticking to principles - it's going to have to be pragmatic because the resources are finite.

Post edited at 22:15
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TobyA 12:44 Fri
In reply to Jon Stewart:

What type of consequentialist do you think you are if you're not some form of utilitarian then?

I agree with the need for balance but I still think in doing that you're positing rights (perhaps we need to bring Kant into this! ) that you are then denying exist. I need to read through all my teaching material I wrote on meta-ethics to try and get my head around it again but IIRC there are traditions both within moral realism and moral anti-realism that still accept that statements about rights or duties is meaningful language but at the same time don't refer to natural 'things'.

Anyways... Matt Hancock on QT last night said there is nothing wrong with "short" drives to go and do your exercise. I'm about 10 minutes from Curbar Gap carpark so perhaps I should go and see if the drone is up again tonight and challenge the Derbyshire chief constable to a philosophical debate on the nature of moral language (whilst 2 mtrs apart of course).

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wercat 13:01 Fri
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I think i feel justified in seeking clean air by car now as it seems that is the only way I can medicate at the moment.  Failed to get a preventer last week and again this week was told unavailable despite in touch with surgery.  I stood for nearly an hour and a half in a queue to find out I couldn't get the prescribed medication.

So clean air is now a necessity as medication chain has failed

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Neil Williams 13:04 Fri
In reply to wercat:

Can your GP not prescribe an alternative?  There's a known supply problem with a couple of specific ones no doubt accentuated by people stockpiling (i.e. calling in their next repeat before they need it) but the country hasn't entirely run out of asthma preventers of all types.

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wercat 13:12 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

I tried that after a simliar outdoor queuing session last week and at first they were going to suggest an alternative then checked with the pharmacy who told them supplies would be forthcoming this week.  Therefore the respiratory nurse from the surgery sent across a prescription, unfortunately now unfulfilled. Unfortunately it seems to be impossible to make contact with the pharmacy apart fromgoing in person and joining the Queue Continuum

Perhaps I should have gone across to the Sports Centre and asked a soldier to sort it out.

Post edited at 13:14
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Neil Williams 13:15 Fri
In reply to wercat:

Perhaps you might benefit from changing pharmacy or even obtaining a traditional paper prescription to take where you wish?

It sounds like your surgery and pharmacy are mismanaging this, I can see no reason why this shouldn't all be possible over the phone, indeed that is preferable as that then poses no infection risk.

Post edited at 13:15
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wercat 13:35 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

you can imagine the conversations in the queue!  You may well be right - the chaos began when a chain took over the health centre pharmacy.

Post edited at 13:40
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Neil Williams 13:39 Fri
In reply to wercat:

This is a perfect opportunity to streamline these things.  For instance, my surgery will only issue repeat prescriptions for 3 issues, they will not as a matter of policy sign off any more, and will not reissue without a medication review appointment.  The result of this is wasted appointments.  Though I did manage to convince the asthma nurse to change my preventer inhaler to a stronger one which meant one puff rather than two per dose, allowing me to double that period from 3 months to 6 at least.  (Relievers last me months so these aren't the issue)

There is really no reason not to carry out those appointments over the phone, with what I understand to be the norm, an annual asthma review involving the peak flow meter etc, being done in person.  Or if asthma is supposed to be reviewed annually, just issue a year long repeat.

Post edited at 13:41
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wercat 13:42 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

Even something revolutionary like having time slots for pickup would be better than waiting - I'm glad that was done out of doors though

The irony is so many more car journeys now

Post edited at 13:42
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Neil Williams 13:44 Fri
In reply to wercat:

Time slots for pickup are an excellent idea.  Another one would be real time updates on how late the surgery is running so you can just go to arrive on time for your appointment if you have one (and similarly "sit and wait" for an emergency should be a virtual thing, with you notified of your time once it becomes available).  The effect of not doing this is a room full of people with various diseases and suppressed immune systems due to those diseases - not exactly a recipe for good community health.

Another one is putting medication in the post to people.

Post edited at 13:54
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GrahamD 13:54 Fri
In reply to wercat:

Oh the irony of going for a drive because of poor air quality  !

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wercat 13:56 Fri
In reply to GrahamD:

and yet it can be a practical necessity, even if you find it a paradox.

Coal and woodburners are the greater evil

Post edited at 14:00
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Jon Stewart 21:17 Sat
In reply to TobyA:

> What type of consequentialist do you think you are if you're not some form of utilitarian then?

Well since you ask...

I'm using the words consequentialist and utilitarian synomomously, and I was over-egging it when I said I was a "card carrying consequentialist". I think consequentialism breaks down in many situations because it goes against our evolved moral instincts, and as such is impractical. I think that in some abstract sense you "should" save 5 random children rather than 1 of your own, but it's a pretty useless sort of "should" because it's just not reasonable to ask someone to override their instincts in that way.

I don't think that testing consequentialist theory against our moral intuitions is instructive. I don't think much of our moral intuitions - they are evolved instincts that makes us successful social creatures. If you believe Jonathan Haidt, then our morality has evolved so that we behave not necessarily in lovely  cooperative ways, but in ways that makes sure we're perceived by others to be cooperative, so we don't fall foul of tit-for-tat against out transgressions of pro-social behavioural norms.

So on the one hand we have morality as it exists in the feelings and behaviour of humans. This is just a natural phenomenon, a product of evolution, and it has no requirement to be consistent. And thus, we are all moral hypocrites - we cannot explain our way out of Singer's drowning child problem. We have evolved to save drowning children in front of us, and to shrug our shoulders at the the drowning children all over the world that we see on TV. That's just a bunch of facts about the world, and no attempt to make our moral instincts fit neatly some set of rules is ever going to work. Evolution has made us moral hypocrites. If you want a theory that involves a set of rules (or for that matter virtues or rights) that chimes well with your moral intuitions, then give up now.

But on the other had we're sometimes faced with situations where we're not just acting on instinct, diving into a ponds to save a drowning child, or deciding not to harvest the organs of the chap next door with no mates. We have to actually work out rationally what the best thing to do is, particularly where that's going to affect a lot people, i.e. in policy. This is where you need consequentialism.

There just is no other way to justify one choice over another. What's the best policy? It's always the one that that leads to the least suffering. Where should you put resources? Where they can be most effective at alleviating or avoiding suffering. To me this is just so obvious it shouldn't even need to be said. 

My piss boils when someone takes a political view that some policy shouldn't be pursued because it breaks some sort of "principle" or violates some "right" or other. If that right is worth protecting, then violating it will result in bad consequences. The vast majority of rights are qualified anyway, so whether or not a right is violated is just going to be a discussion of the qualifications, which if you base your moral judgements on those, you've just surrendered everything to whoever drafted the legislation and the argument as become entirely semantic/legal. Basing your moral judgements on rights is the same as saying "I base my moral judgements on legislation" (because that's all rights are) - it's a terrible idea.

> I agree with the need for balance but I still think in doing that you're positing rights 

I don't think I posited any rights anywhere - what rights do you think are implied by my arguments?

(If you're interested in this, it might be better off in another thread?)

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Ratfeeder 12:30 Sun
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But on the other had we're sometimes faced with situations where we're not just acting on instinct, diving into a ponds to save a drowning child, or deciding not to harvest the organs of the chap next door with no mates. We have to actually work out rationally what the best thing to do is, particularly where that's going to affect a lot people, i.e. in policy. This is where you need consequentialism.

> There just is no other way to justify one choice over another. What's the best policy? It's always the one that that leads to the least suffering. Where should you put resources? Where they can be most effective at alleviating or avoiding suffering. To me this is just so obvious it shouldn't even need to be said. 

Absolutely. Public policy has to be derived from an impersonal perspective, unlike the decisions we make as individuals in our everyday lives. So some form of consequentialism is the most rational framework from a policy-making point of view. The form you mention - that of minimizing suffering - is actually negative consequentialism (more usually referred to as negative utilitarianism), as opposed to classical utilitarianism, which seeks to maximize aggregate happiness or welfare. You'll appreciate that minimizing suffering is not necessarily compatible with maximizing happiness / pleasure / welfare. I happen to agree with you that the negative version is the right one, especially under present circumstances.

However, negative consequentialism is compatible with rule-consequentialism. Policy-makers could conclude that minimizing suffering is best served by the imposition of certain rules - that a better outcome over all in those terms is more likely to be achieved by strict adherence to such rules, even if in a few particular cases disobeying them would achieve a better temporary, local result. So your objection (in previous posts) to 'rule-worship', which I also agree with, would have to be levelled as much against rule-consequentialism as against deontological absolutism (Kant). Your position, I think, is 'negative act-consequentialism'. While I'd like to point out that deontological theories do not have to be absolutist, I do think your position is thoroughly commendable. I agree with everything you've said concerning the rational focus we should be placing on the avoidance of spreading the virus, without unnecessarily restricting our freedoms and the possibility of enjoying ourselves.

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Milesy 12:36 Sun

I think a lot of people need to understand that they need to reduce their own personal risks as well. 
 

Do you know that if you fall and damage your teeth the only treatment can currently get is pain relief and extraction? 
 

If you fall and break or fracture bones you won’t be getting any treatment other than to fix the immediate injury? That includes any sort sort of surgery that might prevent you being able to participate properly again. 
 

Even going cycling comes with much greater risks to you long term now so you need to balance the long term risks with the short term gains. What would you do if you had an accident like that? 

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Jon Stewart 13:28 Sun
In reply to Ratfeeder:

> The form you mention - that of minimizing suffering - is actually negative consequentialism (more usually referred to as negative utilitarianism), as opposed to classical utilitarianism, which seeks to maximize aggregate happiness or welfare. You'll appreciate that minimizing suffering is not necessarily compatible with maximizing happiness / pleasure / welfare.

I think there might be evolutionary reasons why it's more useful to use the negative (minimise suffering) version of consequentialism. Happiness/wellbeing over and above a lack of suffering is pretty hard to come by. Give someone everything they think will make them happy (money, sex, freedom to do as they please) and they'll soon get bored and miserable. So aiming to increase happiness is going to end up a fruitless endeavour. However, I'm not really sure I see a philosophical difference between the negative and positive versions. If you could brain-scan everyone and determine their overall happiness score, it wouldn't make any difference where you calibrated the scale - actions or policies which increased the overall number could in principle do so either by increasing the numbers at top end or by bringing up the bottom. I think it's a fact about the biology of humans that if you want to increase that overall number, then by the far the most effective way is to alleviate the really bad suffering, e.g. people losing children to violence.

The standard objections to utilitarianism e.g. if holding slaves and having someone else do the washing up/suck you off/etc makes you really really happy, why is wrong to hold slaves, etc.? are wrong because these just aren't the kind of things that make people happy. We've evolved to be social creatures that would much rather do our own washing up, or buy a dishwasher, than have a slave doing it for us. Knowing of the slave's misery takes the edge off the extra time we have for Netflix, somewhat. We'd rather be in a loving relationship than own sex slaves. The highest utility is achieved in a cooperative society where we don't encounter misery because everyone's doing alright, even if noone is over-the-moon euphoric.

> So your objection (in previous posts) to 'rule-worship', which I also agree with, would have to be levelled as much against rule-consequentialism as against deontological absolutism (Kant).

True. Rules are just useful tools, if you've got good reasons to break a rule, go ahead and break it. It's reasons (i.e. consequences) that count.

> Your position, I think, is 'negative act-consequentialism'. 

Yes, to a point. I think that this approach to morality makes rational sense, so if I was to do something that seemed morally outrageous, like harvesting my neighbour's organs and auctioning them off or whatever, that would be how I would seek to justify it. But I'm not going to do anything morally outrageous, nor anything morally stunning, because I'm just a normal person who has the usual evolved instincts to act in ways that make for a well-functioning society. And if I do transgress the social or moral norms for by own benefit, I'll make sure no one catches me*.

*It's disappointing to have to explain jokes, but it's quite understandable that many people won't get that I'm referring here to 

> If you believe Jonathan Haidt, then our morality has evolved so that we behave not necessarily in lovely  cooperative ways, but in ways that makes sure we're perceived by others to be cooperative, so we don't fall foul of tit-for-tat against out transgressions of pro-social behavioural norms.

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Ratfeeder 13:49 Sun
In reply to Milesy:

Yes, I'd say reducing risk is a necessary restriction on our freedoms at present. 

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GrahamD 16:25 Sun
In reply to Milesy:

> Even going cycling comes with much greater risks 

You say that as a fact, but is it true ? As far as I can see the risk of needing hospital treatment whilst out on a bike raise by being hit by someone in a car, not because they are on a bike.

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Ridge 16:38 Sun
In reply to GrahamD:

> You say that as a fact, but is it true ? As far as I can see the risk of needing hospital treatment whilst out on a bike raise by being hit by someone in a car, not because they are on a bike.

But if you're not on a bike you can't be hit by a car. Hence you have to factor that risk into your decision to get on a bike.

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TobyA 16:56 Sun
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Lots of assumptions from how you are to how everyone is there, Jon! Humans seem plenty capable of violence and cruelty - I'm not sure your idea that "we are evolved to be social creatures" is necessarily a great idea for basing morality on, considering the history of conflict between social groups. I don't see much evidence that we've evolved to be universally social creatures. That's why the questions of moral philosophy remain philosophical ones and haven't really been answered by social psychology or evolutionary biology, or indeed any other science or sorta-science.

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Jon Stewart 19:45 Sun
In reply to TobyA:

> Lots of assumptions from how you are to how everyone is there, Jon!

Assumptions from every minute of being alive and meeting thousands upon thousands of people, all of whom have been desperately concerned about what of others think of them and behaving in ways that make sure they don't get ostracised.

> Humans seem plenty capable of violence and cruelty - I'm not sure your idea that "we are evolved to be social creatures" is necessarily a great idea for basing morality on, considering the history of conflict between social groups. I don't see much evidence that we've evolved to be universally social creatures.

We certainly are capable of violence and cruelty, but the conditions need to be "right" for violence to break out. There is no evidence that we're *universally* pro-social with everyone. But totally overwhelming evidence that adaptive behaviour is that which ensures your status within your in-group. In the modern world, we have to do a bit of work to expand our "circle of concern" and not to fall into the easy, evolved patterns of racism and petty tribalism. Some people manage this better than others.

> That's why the questions of moral philosophy remain philosophical ones and haven't really been answered by social psychology or evolutionary biology, or indeed any other science or sorta-science.

Jonathan Haidt does a great job of giving a scientific description of what morality *is* and explanation of why it is so, in The Righteous Mind. It doesn't answer the philosophical questions of what we ought to do, and how we should work that out. But without first understanding what it is you're talking about (that is, the behaviour of primates), there's very little hope of getting any sensible answers to these philosophical questions. As I said, there was no adaptive requirement in evolution for moral consistency, so it would be very strange if we *weren't* all moral hypocrites - it's this natural, intrinsic hypocrisy that makes moral questions seem mysterious or philosophical.

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TobyA 22:29 Sun
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In the modern world, we have to do a bit of work to expand our "circle of concern" and not to fall into the easy, evolved patterns of racism and petty tribalism.

I'm a bit confused as to what we have evolved to be now. I was reading something last night, an interview with Haidt, who seemed to say what you're saying - psychology can't answer the questions of philosophy - so I think you are still rather hasty in dismissing the classic criticisms of utilitarianism and saying that consequences are everything.

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Jon Stewart 22:44 Sun
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm a bit confused as to what we have evolved to be now.

I think we have evolved to be creatures that are good at cooperating in tribes, very concerned about what members of our tribe think of us, but don't like outsiders much, not too keen on people who are different. So we naturally exhibit lots of pro-social behaviour that engenders trust in one another - but we're also competitive and status driven so there are competing motivations. It seems perfectly natural to me that we're also racist and war-like, because we have an evolutionary history of competing with other tribes for resources.

> I was reading something last night, an interview with Haidt, who seemed to say what you're saying - psychology can't answer the questions of philosophy - so I think you are still rather hasty in dismissing the classic criticisms of utilitarianism and saying that consequences are everything.

I have never heard a criticism of utilitarianism that's struck me as valid. There are plenty of cases that "feel wrong" but that doesn't mean the theory is wrong, just that it doesn't chime with evolved instincts. And usually they're bad criticisms that don't make a good fist of considering consequences.

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birdie num num 00:39 Mon
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

I use a bit of common sense in my walk/cycle/run choices.... well, actually my running days are over really, but I do walk and cycle a lot.

These strange lockdown times have produced a marked change of habits, and a sudden surge of animosity toward folk who have always run, walked and cycled, from others who have found that all of a sudden, this is the only option.

As a result, I just cycle now. And I stay on the road. I do my usual thirty miles a day, every day, but I avoid cycle paths, promenades etc. And I stay away from people.
 

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Neil Williams 08:26 Mon
In reply to birdie num num:

> These strange lockdown times have produced a marked change of habits, and a sudden surge of animosity toward folk who have always run, walked and cycled, from others who have found that all of a sudden, this is the only option.

And the other direction too.  As well as a lack of flexibility.  Running can literally be done anywhere you are allowed to be - if there is a surface you can run on it.  Yet many runners won't reconsider their routes where they for example have long sections under 2m wide.  I'm doing that and avoiding such sections, sticking mostly to the MK Redways which are all 2m wide as that's the minimum specification for them.

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Coel Hellier 08:55 Mon
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm not sure your idea that "we are evolved to be social creatures" is necessarily a great idea for basing morality on, considering the history of conflict between social groups.

Humans feelings and desires are the only basis for morality. What else could there be?

>  That's why the questions of moral philosophy remain philosophical ones and haven't really been answered by social psychology or evolutionary biology, or indeed any other science or sorta-science.

I suggest that the "questions of moral philosophy" *have* been answered (and were answered quite a long time ago, first by Hume and then, more fully, by Darwin in Descent of Man).    True, many philosophers don't accept this, but that's because the answers are counter-intuitive (like much else in science).

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Ratfeeder 14:57 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Humans feelings and desires are the only basis for morality. What else could there be?

> I suggest that the "questions of moral philosophy" *have* been answered (and were answered quite a long time ago, first by Hume and then, more fully, by Darwin in Descent of Man).    True, many philosophers don't accept this, but that's because the answers are counter-intuitive (like much else in science).

You've simply taken sides in the ongoing debate between cogitivism and non-cognitivism without arguing your case. "What else could there be?" is not an argument. Cognitivists would be happy to tell you what else there could be (e.g. moral facts and properties).

To take this any further we really ought to start another thread (yes, that's a moral utterance). I'd be happy to contribute to a thread on meta-ethics if you or Jon Stewart or TobyA were to start one, say, in the culture bunker. 

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TobyA 16:49 Mon
In reply to Ratfeeder:

I've been teaching A level philosophy over the last couple of years (hence why Jon's "card carrying consequentialist commment" sparked my interesting) - relying on half a degree (I did joint hons with Sociology) and making sure I had read further ahead in the text book than the students! My own studies were very much half remembered as well, being a long time ago before I drifted into politics and international relations more at post-grad! I found teaching meta-ethics very interesting as I don't remember having done it at uni, but all rather hard work to get my head round. And then of course you have the normal teacher's refrain of there not being enough time in the day to everything else you're meant to be doing, let alone teach yourself new subjects!

But yeah, if Jon, and now Coel as well it seems, want to delve in cognitivism and non-cognitivism and moral realism and anti-realism it might need another thread!

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Prof. Outdoors 17:21 Mon
In reply to TobyA:

Good idea to start a separate thread.

I am trying to follow the reasoning aspect of this thread despite having all the intellegence of D.P. Gumby.

To answer the O.P's original question, I have a piece of string.

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Ratfeeder 17:27 Mon
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks for that Toby, really interesting. I think you're brave to teach such a difficult subject - it is definitely hard work to get your head round, especially when you take it to an advanced level. I also did a joint honours degree (philosophy and English). This was at Keele, which had a surprisingly distinguished philosophy department. Among my teachers there were David McNaughton and Jonathan Dancy. I was especially impressed and influenced by the latter. I went on to do an MLitt at Durham (my thesis was on Wittgenstein), under the supervision of the late, great E.J. Lowe (widely regarded as one of the world's leading metaphysicians before his untimely death a few years ago). That was back in the 1990's, though - it's been a long time since I grappled with this stuff in earnest, so I'm a bit rusty!

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Coel Hellier 17:58 Mon
In reply to Ratfeeder:

> You've simply taken sides in the ongoing debate between cogitivism and non-cognitivism without arguing your case.

While that debate is still a live issue in philosophy, it has largely been bypassed by discussion of morality within science, where it is now (rightly) regarded as a domain of human psychology.   (OK, I admit, I did word that a little provocatively.)

> "What else could there be?" is not an argument.

It actually is!  If one considers social animals from an evolutionary and evolutionary-psychology perspective, one arrives at that the conclusion that human notions of morality and right and wrong conduct can only be about human feelings and desires, and that that is all there is.

> Cognitivists would be happy to tell you what else there could be (e.g. moral facts and properties).

Except that, while they can come up with the label "moral fact", they have absolutely no idea what a "moral fact" actually is, no idea what it could even mean. 

> To take this any further we really ought to start another thread (yes, that's a moral utterance).

One deriving from your opinion and feeling on the matter?

> I'd be happy to contribute to a thread on meta-ethics if you or Jon Stewart or TobyA were to start one, say, in the culture bunker. 

We do seem to be rather spectacularly off-topic, if one consults the thread title. 

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Ratfeeder 22:29 Mon
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> While that debate is still a live issue in philosophy, it has largely been bypassed by discussion of morality within science, where it is now (rightly) regarded as a domain of human psychology.   (OK, I admit, I did word that a little provocatively.)

Of course it's a domain of human psychology. So is visual perception.

> It actually is!  If one considers social animals from an evolutionary and evolutionary-psychology perspective, one arrives at that the conclusion that human notions of morality and right and wrong conduct can only be about human feelings and desires, and that that is all there is.

It actually isn't. It's a rhetorical question.

> Except that, while they can come up with the label "moral fact", they have absolutely no idea what a "moral fact" actually is, no idea what it could even mean. 

Yes they have. There is a huge amount of literature on the metaphysical status of "moral facts" and "moral properties", on both sides of the debate.

> One deriving from your opinion and feeling on the matter?

Indeed. Everything I say is my opinion, just as everything you say is yours.

> We do seem to be rather spectacularly off-topic, if one consults the thread title. 

Agreed

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Jon Stewart 01:01 Tue
In reply to Ratfeeder:

> To take this any further we really ought to start another thread (yes, that's a moral utterance). I'd be happy to contribute to a thread on meta-ethics if you or Jon Stewart or TobyA were to start one, say, in the culture bunker. 

Well, I did write a really long post as the start of another thread in reply to Coel, but my other computer occasionally crashes if it gets a little knock or I get excited and a hit a key slightly too hard, which is exactly what happened.

The main points were something like:

1. Hume is really nuanced and difficult to understand. He's kind of utilitarian, but not really. From what I understand, it seems he was miles ahead of his time, but doesn't look to me like a final answer to moral philosophy.

2. I agree with Darwin that we evolved morality, but that doesn't answer moral questions either.

3. The utilitarianism I'm keen on is more-or-less a theory about moral facts - facts about people's feelings. But I can see there are problems with this (I started going on about materialism and whatnot at this point, I think there's an interesting point here which I may or may not remember in the morning).

Coel often seems to me like a wishy-washy anything-goes relativist, but he swears blind that he isn't.

If I get a chance I'll have another go tomorrow, by which time the prime minister might be dead. What strange times these are.

Post edited at 01:03
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