Over the last few weeks our news feeds, phone calls, emails and conversations have become increasingly saturated with "information" about the COVID-19 virus resulting in wide spread fear, uncertainly and in some cases outright stupidity. The way in which some people have been reacting to the virus is much more concerning than the actual virus itself... for example buying obscene amounts of toilet paper for some reason?
The climbing community is a special breed though. We time and time again shine in the face of adversity and the current crisis has been no exception. Some of the amazing things we've seen people doing and that you can do too include;
- If you are financially able to continue paying your gym membership, keep doing so, even if they have to close temporarily.
- Support local climbing businesses where ever possible. The people who run them are your fellow climbers and rely on sales to support their family.
- Avoid large social climbing trips. As hard as this is it will help slow the spread of the virus.
- Reach out and ask your climbing fam if they are okay. Let each other know that we're in this together.
If we all keep calm, lend a hand and think about others we will not only get through this, but we will all be stronger for it.
"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit."
- Neploean Hill
As much as there have been some horrible things happening, there have also been some amazing things. If we all just take a second to breath and look for the lessons in all this we'll realise a few things.
1. The world can heal itself... if we let it
Within a few weeks of major cities going into lock down busy and polluted waterways cleared up to the point that dolphins returned. We've seen drops in air pollution all around the globe and animals of all kinds return to places they haven't been seen in years.
2. Remote working can be a great solution
Many companies have had no choice but to implement remote working solutions for their staff. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the future of business. The age of micro management and office cubicles is over. The age of empowering your staff and results based remuneration is here.
3. Cherish the simple things
Noting like a good old fashioned viral pandemic to put life back in perspective. What a great reminder that can change so quickly and dramatically. Be grateful for what you have and remember what is truly important in life. Keep talking to your family, keep bunking down together and trad climbing in your kitchens, keep singing on rooftops and most importantly keep doing these things even after we return to our normal lives.
Things are going to be different for a while and that's okay. Let's make the most of it and help people who need help. Let's use this as an opportunity to step up and be the best people we can be, not as an excuse to be horrible to each other. There is enough hate in this world, let's spread some love instead.
As a final thought I'll leave you with this quote from C.S Lewis from a time when the atom bomb was the issue keeping people up at night. The context here may not be perfect but the message behind it is.
“The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.”
- C.S Lewis