Corona Closures – a tricky balancing act

We at 50Plus Books continually stress the necessity of exercise for our physical and mental health. In this time of pandemic, it’s particularly important for those of us over 50 to stay fit and healthy. So, we are concerned about the progressive closure of public exercise spaces.

If the public is going to accept the severe restrictions we are under, for the next 3-6 months or longer, without protests, then these new rules will have to be seen as balanced and reasonable. For the social distancing campaign to work, it needs co operation between government and the community.

Most sensible people accept that we have to protect ourselves from the virus, but if the various levels of government go overboard and introduce bans that are widely seen as unreasonable, there’s likely to be a pushback that will endanger the entire social distancing strategy.

We are now seeing examples of bureaucrats closing beaches, parks and walking areas because a small percentage of the population appears to believe that the new restrictions don’t apply to them.

This is an easy solution for the authorities, but the net result is that the great majority, who are doing the right thing, are penalized, while the offending minority continue to ignore the restrictions somewhere else. Also, as more walking and exercise areas are closed, the remaining ones will become more crowded with people who will be getting angry with the government and less inclined to cooperate.

I’m a regular walker and my observations are that most people have perfected the “Corona swerve” when walking around others.

In these difficult times, we need respect and understanding from both sides. Bureaucrats and politicians need to respect the majority of people who are obeying the new rules and the community needs to respect the authorities who are trying to protect us.

For the minority, who don’t think these new, inconvenient regulations apply to them, we have a police force. I suggest it’s a better long-term strategy to upset this minority who are endangering all of us, rather than closing more and more areas and losing the support and respect of the majority of citizens.

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