Distinguished fellow citizens, climbers, hikers, skiers, mountain bikers, nature and mountain sports lovers
We believe that you, the people who love nature and associating with the mountain, often feel safer on the mountain than in the urban jungle of cities and that you are an example of a healthy lifestyle. That is why we also exist, to encourage you to enjoy the mountains more often and to “infect” others with the “virus” of the mountain.
But in these difficult moments for mankind, when the whole planet is faced with an invisible enemy that many are suffering from every day, and countries are making available their full capacity in the fight against corona, we appeal to you to refrain from your sporting and recreational activities on the mountains, STAY HOME and show, as many times before, that you are real fighters for the protection of human lives.
Following the social media these days, we could see many using the beautiful and sunny time for activities on the mountain, even sending messages to the public that they are in “natural” isolation, in small groups, etc., hinting that coronavirus is not present in the open air, where a very few people seem to be moving. We always believe in your sincere intentions to stay healthy and protect others, but we also want to point out the following few aspects, which we believe you have inadvertently neglected and that you will take into consideration our following advice:
- Many of your fellow citizens, who would normally be on the mountain, same as you, are currently having family members or themselves are a risky group of citizens, sit at home, respect the measures of the authorities and look at your photos.
- The characteristics of the COVID-19 virus are easy human-to-human transmission, long-term survival in external conditions and on hard surfaces, as well as a long incubation period, during which humans have no symptoms and transmit the virus. Because of these characteristics, world health workers are calling for isolation. Since we do not know who is the carrier, even small groups are at risk, and let’s not forget that on the mountain, people often move in the same places and touch the same objects, such as hiking trails, sightseeing, mountaineering routes, benches, springs, etc., with which you inevitably come in direct contact, but at the same time, you do not know if anybody before you were at that same place and touched those same surfaces.
- Beside the coronavirus, all the dangers on the mountain still lurk as before, which we believe you are aware of and know that no one is immune to them. Currently, the entire health system is geared to combat the pandemic, and all intensive care beds are reserved for the virus sufferers. Also, considering that some of the Mountain Rescue Service capacities are put into service to the Ohrid Red Cross Social Services in helping vulnerable categories of citizens, the risk to your health and safety is several times higher than usual, and the additional engagement of health care staff reduces the chance of helping someone affected by the virus.
- Disrespecting the recommendations of the competent institutions is at least irresponsible and selfish behavior, which leaves a bad impression about the mountaineering community.
Because we believe in you and exist for you, we are convinced that you know how to BE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS who value everybody’s life, and we urge you to STAY HOME and LET US WORK to help our fellow citizens.