how to behave in a respiratory pandemic (part I)

To the best of our current knowledge there are three ways to reduce the risk of dying with CV19…

Many people, who previously justified a decision not to travel by bike based on the oft-repeated idea excuse feeling that it’s just too dangerous, have lately been forced into a more hard-headed risk-assessment.

“I’ve been self-isolating for years. I’m a cyclist.” M. Burrows

To the best of our current knowledge there are three ways to reduce the risk of dying with CV19…

1. Don’t catch it.

The best way to catch it is to be close to an infected (adult?) person, in a confined, ill-ventilated space for a long period.  Anybody (adult?) can be infected.  Copy the habits of racing cyclists and opera singers, press lift buttons with your elbows and avoid the places where germs may fly or lie ready to interrupt your career.

In other words…  ride a bike.

2. Be ready for it.

If you’re fit you’re more likely to survive and recover.  The most significant demographic risk is age.  You may feel young but you can’t do anything about your ‘miles-on-the-clock’.  You can, however, exercise to keep your weight down and your immune system, your heart and lungs working as well as possible.

In other words…  ride a bike.

3. When you catch it don’t wait too long before seeking help.

This one’s harder to translate into the favourite directive, but if you’ve ever tried to ride a bike in a considered – non casual – style, ever tried to maximise speed or distance,  you will have flirted with the hypochondria of the ‘athlete’.  If you’ve ever tried to ride at a pace dictated by somebody going faster, or the unforgiving clock; if you’ve ever tried to keep going long after you got tired, then you’ll be familiar with the imperative of self-diagnosis, the importance of good decision making.

the pulse-oximeter: this seasons must-have gadget

If you’ve ever weighed yourself daily, taken your pulse to decide whether to rest or ride, worn a heart-rate monitor or taken a ramp test, you’re more likely to know when to get help.

If you’re familiar with the seductive, torture of hypoxia you’re more likely to feel it coming before it’s too late.

Now wash your hands (again) carefully before you go for (another) ride.