Pandemic control measures have challenged us all, but the return to group riding has to wait.
This week NSW has seen another change in COVID-19 pandemic controls, with people now allowed to receive up to 2 adult visitors and their children at home. However the Prime Minister has made it clear that a return to international holidays, community and professional sport will need to wait. We hope this time next week there will be a plan to return to community sport.
Health professionals and scientists are trying to better understand COVID-19 and are working as fast as they can to advise governments how to respond. They need time to establish whether cases of Kawasaki Syndrome in children are related to the virus, and what the real risks are to younger and older people.
By cooperating with pandemic controls and practicing physical distancing Australians have ‘bought time’ for health workers, scientists and the government to develop a planned response to reducing infection, to stock up on essential supplies and develop treatments for the virus.
Australians are allowed to exercise outside with members of their own household or one other person, maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres from anyone they don’t live with. A computer simulation claimed that cycling or jogging had the potential to increase the dispersal of droplets if a person coughed or sneezed. However, this was not a peer reviewed study, nor is it part of current Australian health advice.
NSW Health regulations now include penalties for coughing or spitting on health workers, and we are all required to practice good cough, sneeze and handwashing etiquette to prevent viral spread. Bicycle NSW has received complaints about bike riders using the ‘bush hanky’ instead of a tissue when out on a ride, and this isn’t a safe practice.
“We’re pretty confident our members aren’t at fault, because so many have reached out for extra advice on how to keep themselves and others safe,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“This is one habit none of us who ride in groups, or behind others, will miss,” said Bastien.
We are all looking forward to returning to group rides, touring, community events and riding down hills and trails with friends. This bad habit won’t be part of the future we’re looking forward to. So pack the tissues, remind a mate, and keep pedalling.