Monday, January 11, 2021

Lockdown on the Slopes

I spent the past 10 days in Tyrol, skiing on 8 of them. When the present lockdown was announced, it was unclear until the very last moment if skiing would be allowed after all. When it looked as if it might not be (there was a lot of political pressure by neighbouring countries), both Highflyer and I were utterly crestfallen. This was our one silver lining, the carrot we'd had hanging in front of our noses for months and now it looked as it was not going to be possible. In the end, ski resorts were allowed to open (minus the hotels, restaurants and those notorious après ski bars, of course) provided they had a decent Covid-19 prevention concept in place and we were so, so happy about this fact. 
It remains a very controversial and polarising issue with opinions ranging from "complete and utter madness" to "skiing is our birth right as Austrians". Mine is: it's open air and as long as you keep a distance and wear a mask when queuing for the lift or gondola, you should be much safer than in a supermarket. I do know that injuries on the slopes could (unnecessarily) add to hospital workload and that it's an entirely frivolous activity if you so will. Bestie Boy forwarded an article from a German newspaper that commented on the skiing exception that "it's for Austrian what jogging is for us", and this is of course an exaggeration. It is, however, the highlight of the long winter months for many Austrians and I admit to being one of them. 
I really feel very lucky and privileged (not everyone knows someone with an apartment near ski resorts and I have this great fortune in not one, but 2 provinces) that I got to enjoy so many ski days in good weather this year already. We never know when regulations might change, too, so my attitude was: "enjoy it while you can".


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