Monday, 23 March 2020

Thoughts For a Point in Time

Yesterday I did a stupid thing.

Keen for an afternoon walk I headed for Burton Bradstock beach with the intention of a long, shingly trudge to West Bexington and back. Unfortunately I hadn't thought this through. Alarm bells began to sound the moment I saw how full the car park was. Foolishly I pressed on regardless and ventured onto the beach, giving everyone as wide a berth as possible. By the time I got to Cogden I was fed up with zig-zagging back and forth to avoid people, and about-turned...

Burton Bradstock Beach. Taken with my phone, and therefore a wide-angle shot, this photo grossly understates how busy it actually was. 

I'll be candid here. I don't want to catch Covid-19. Both my wife and I are 60+ and I am sure it would at the very least be extremely unpleasant, at worst terminal. Our eldest son Rob lives in Switzerland right now. He is 37, but at 18 months of age he underwent open-heart surgery to correct something called Fallot's Tetralogy, a congenital condition. If he caught Covid-19 he would almost certainly do very badly. He is keeping away from people as much as possible. Both Rob and I are optimistic by nature, never melodramatic about risk or danger, yet both of us are trying to be cautious and prudent when it comes to this poxy virus. To me it is simply a no-brainer.

But all around me I see people seemingly oblivious to it all...

I must admit it's got me thinking. In W Dorset it is actually quite easy to go birding without crossing paths with anyone. The other day I took a couple of scenic shots locally which illustrate this...

West Bexington from the coast road. West Bex Mere on the right, village and beach car park on the left. 

East Bexington, viewed from the Abbotsbury end. 

Both locations pretty quiet and off the beaten track, especially first thing in the morning. But, like almost anywhere else in the country, a very rare bird could suddenly make them rather too popular. I have already noticed some birders on Twitter stating that they are no longer going to be posting their bird sightings - presumably because they don't wish to encourage twitching - and their stance has made me consider my own position on this.

If a full lock-down is as imminent as it seems, this may be an academic issue anyway, but if I am fortunate enough to find a singing Sardinian Warbler, say, suppression is not my default position. It will be hard.

I realise this is the kind of post which is just begging for a comment loaded with well-meaning counsel and advice from folks with their own views on various matters coronaviral. If you feel the urge, please resist it. I am simply sharing the thoughts of an average middle-aged bloke in strange times which are evolving extremely rapidly. Tomorrow? The next day? Who knows what I'll think then?

7 comments:

  1. So happy you describe yourself as middle aged pal πŸ˜‰πŸ‘....makes me feel positively young! Joking aside, I largely agree.....staying local with very limited expectations of causing a major twitch....but....if I find a Biggie?.....I would not trust folk to say nice, shame we can't come.....

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    1. Yep, if pushed, late middle-age. That's my optimistic side showing. 😊

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  2. Thanks Gavin and well said. I think the point that people are missing is that it’s not about THEM. Slowing infections is about spreading our NHS resources more evenly so that those who will need hospital treatment get it. Please, please don’t mix with others - for the sake of those who will find themselves dying without access to a ventilator and ICU. Even a Sardinian Warbler isn’t worth that, is it?

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    1. Agreed. Mind you, the lock-down has just been announced as I type. Chances of Sardinian Warbler from my garden are slim...

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  3. Even of you found a first for Britain I wouldnt risk going for it. I cant at the moment anyway as I'm in isolation as I found out today a work colleague has developed the symptoms over the weekend. Scary times but if we are all sensible and play our part we will beat this.

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    1. Indeed, Spencer. Lock-down will no doubt help.

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