THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

On the eve of the lockdown Wales Outdoors took the dramatic decision, based on my ‘spooky action at a distance’, to re-schedule all events through to the end of June for later on in the year. And that now looks about right, with the lifting of restrictions that, unless there is spike in infection rates and so a return to the draconian measures of late, will begin to unravel as the public quickly push against the boundaries set by central and local government. It looks like we’ll be back out walking with you lot, in line with government advice at the time of course, on the 1st July 🙂

Already I have witnessed, over the past weekend, large groups of people gathered and partying in the parks of Cardiff, I have seen an increase in traffic as people feel emboldened to use their cars for non essential travel, I have seen neighbours having gatherings of far more than their close family and I have seen the disappearance from our streets and parks of the police.

From the get go I have believed the reaction to the Covid crisis as disproportionate and damaging as well as laughably engineered. Central government acted late, failed to engage with European efforts, made promises they couldn’t keep and upon the advice of one scientist built emergency hospitals that are empty. The Welsh Assembly have revelled in flexing their muscle and the inconsistent approach with central government guidelines led to great confusion. The emergency hospitals in Wales are empty too. Local government fared no better with mean spirited actions being taken such as the closing of parks in Swansea, with the closing of car parks across Wales and the imposition of guidelines backed up by fines that simply make no common sense.

Not only are the emergency hospitals empty but the regular hospitals are too. The 500,000 dead claim made by Professor Neil Ferguson was a verging on the criminal statement based on poor modelling and not on firm science. Not only is the current death toll not too much more than a bad seasonal flu year it is not possible to be sure that the death toll figures represent the scale of Covid. Please note the language – we are not told that, for example, 576 people died today from Covid but only that 576 people that died today tested positive for Covid. There is a big difference there…

Finally, global action taken to protect the wealthiest of us endangers the poorest communities. We do not live in a joined up world. I don’t think that poorer communities and countries are working to high standards of lockdown or have the medical facilities available to treat a chronic respiratory illness. The chaos in India with migrations of newly unemployed out of the cities is a good example of the impact upon the poor of knee jerk government action. The UN have stated that the economic crisis caused by the lockdown is putting another 130 Million people at risk of starvation. I fear that in the UK people are not being treated for health issues that under normal circumstances they would have been, that the mental health of many is being compromised and that the elderly have drawn a very short straw in all of this with their general medical care, effectively, being stopped on day one of lockdown.

I believe that we will look back upon this period as a time of collective madness. A time when the wealthy threw the poor to the wolves and in doing so impoverished us all.

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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)