Banned from Beauty Spots

I’m pretty sure the first thing that really bothered me about the whole “Lockdown” thing, was “not being allowed” to visit my local beauty spot that is Mount Snowdon here in north Wales, UK.

The area is within an hour’s drive from where I live, or technically within cycling distance, although I’ve yet to cycle there and walk in one day. Last year I climbed the 1080 meter tall Snowdon for the first time (after driving there) – I’m not sure why I put it off for so long (except for while I was without a car) – and catching the bug (no not that one) I returned a few further times to walk some different routes to the summit.

Being told, or rather hearing on the news, that walking the paths to the summit of Snowdon was now prohibited and that walking there put you at risk of punishment in the form of a fine, got me quite stressed out. It wasn’t that I was particularly intent on walking there any time soon, but the feeling it instilled me of being told I couldn’t really frustrated me, to the point of what I thought was anxiety and “stress pains”.

The whole situation made me think more about what freedom we have, or supposedly don’t have. I questioned why it is we seemingly give over our freedom to a small minority (I mean those in parliament) who, in my case reside hundreds of miles away. What gives them the right to dictate what I can and cannot do and where I can or cannot go?

I did actually travel out to the area of Snowdon not so long ago and read the warning signs for myself.

As far as Lockdown in the USA is concerned, Elon Musk has said restrictions are “unconstitutional” and “would not hold up in court”. But here’s the thing. How many muggles would take things that far, and say, exercise their rights to freedom, get a fine, and let it go to court to enable a precedent to be set? The irony being that one could class travelling to court as being non-essential travel (also banned) and courts likely closed due to the requirements of “social distancing”.

Alas, I think the majority of people simply accept the restrictions and shut themselves away at home, waiting for the time that they’re allowed back out again.

It’s not that I oppose certain “measures”, rather, it’s how they are imposed. A “freeer” way of dealing with this would be through openness and advice, but perhaps that approach wouldn’t have the desired results. It seems to me that either, human beings are too familiar with being guided through fear, whether it be fear of a virus, fear of punishment, or fear of war (to name but a few), or those in “power” are too used to “handling” the people this way. Likely a combination of the two.

Anyway, back to the topic of banned beauty spots and it turns out today that Snowdon isn’t the only mountain to be off limits. The 3776 meter high Mount Fiji in Japan, it was announced on the radio today, has been made off-limits to climbers.

True to my intent to only write about topics of some level of “synchronicity”, within 10 minutes I happened to be reading someone’s online profile and they had included a picture of a mountain in it. A little bit of research later and I confirmed it was of Mount Fuji.

I question why make such specific bans. Do “the powers that be” want to keep such places to themselves; mountains are often considered sacred to the natives that live there, bringing one closer to God and all that, when reaching for the top.

That they ban travel is one thing, but then it seems nonsensical to specifically ban the climbing of a mountain on the grounds of “you will be spreading the virus” when surely to climb a mountain like Fuji you would have to consider yourself fit and healthy in the first place.

4 comments

  1. You could (perhaps you do) make the same arguments about the speed limit, leaving it to people to use their common sense, but unfortunately many people are selfish. It’s not just your own health at stake but that of others especially since you can have the virus and be asymptomatic

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    • That seems to be a good analogy. The thing with speed limits is, they are a helpful guide to what is suitable and safe for a given area. We are accustomed to them dictating our speed and should they be taken away on a road we are unfamiliar with, we risk bounding on ‘blindly’… we lack the ability to properly read the road ahead.
      The same could be said for this Coronavirus situation, but we could be given advice on how best to travel, rather than banned from travel and in Lockdown, which in itself is harming people’s lives.

      • To be honest the potential harm is so great that the best advice on travel is ‘don’t’. I know there’s a lot of hardship but if the alternative is dying or risking other people’s lives there’s no contest. I think right now we’re risking a second spike in infections

  2. Speed limits protect others from your bad behavior.
    But government doesn’t block roads to keep you from driving fast.
    Rules around conduct rather than access seems more proper and enforceable.

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