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Footpaths and gates

(42 Posts)
ExD Thu 09-Apr-20 11:57:42

From where I sit in my garden I can see green fields and hills and its a wonderful place to be isolated in and I know how lucky I am.
I can also see family group after family group walk along a footpath across fields and into a wood. there are field gates along this path, big ones large enough to drive a tractor through.
Seeing the numbers of people passing along, I wonder about the possibility of transmission of the virus on the metal handle/opener of the gate. Are these people safe? Its a lovely footpath along some pretty scenery and I wouldn't want it closed - but, do they think about how many hands have been on those gates before them?
I seem to remember reading that it can live for up to 72 hours on metal and thats why we should sanitize our door handles and hand rails.
Just a passing thought whilst I'm staying here in the sunshine.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 09-Apr-20 12:12:59

Well I would not want to deny those folk the joy of what you and I can see from our house, and perhaps they can’t

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are washing their hands

Namsnanny Thu 09-Apr-20 12:41:17

What Wwmk2 said.

I suppose it's possible to put up a polite notice to wear gloves when touching metal or something similar. But that would mean either you taking responsibility for it, or informing the land owner of your idea!

Even though you are thinking ahead for their safety and the safety of the wider community, which is commendable, I suppose we cant control everything in life can we?

People are just going to have to think for themselves sometimes.

ExD Thu 09-Apr-20 12:52:19

Ooooh no - I'm most definitely not suggesting we deny people their walks in the fresh air, never ever, its their own choice.
Should the farmer put a notice on his gates saying 'Now wipe your hands please'? I don't see anyone getting the wet wipes out and can only suppose they are adults who know what they're doing and wash their hands when they get home.
Its just a notion I had while I was feeling relatively content and counting my blessings. I cannot begin to imagine how families must feel cramped into a tiny flat in a high-rise and don't blame anyone for getting out into this lovely sunshine, just as I can understand people wanting to isolate in their holiday homes if they have them, who wouldn't?
Perhaps I should have started with 'please be aware of potential cross infection and take wipes with you on your walks'.

Labaik Thu 09-Apr-20 12:54:56

I've just read that someone left a farm gate open in the next village and horses and cattle escaped onto the road. What is wrong with people?

Chewbacca Thu 09-Apr-20 12:59:36

The same question has been raised on our local Facebook page ExD. We're in quite a rural area with a lot of public footpaths, gates and stiles too. One lady, who's house abutts a gate, said that she'd gone out many times and wiped it down herself because none of the walkers seemed to have any awareness. But in the end, she accepted that she couldn't follow everyone around, doing the same thing at every stile and gate and so she stopped and left them to it. If they wore gloves it would be a bit better wouldn't it?

rosenoir Thu 09-Apr-20 13:23:13

I go through a few gates on my walk, I pull my sleeve over my hand to open the gate. Gloves would not work as you would still touch your face with a gloved hand.

It is the same as when visiting a shop, you just wash your hands as soon as you get home.

ExD Thu 09-Apr-20 15:20:38

Good thinking there rosenoir, I suppose you'd also have to take your top off and wash it too? The lady Chewbacca told us about was very public spirited, but she was on a hiding to nowhere wasn't she, bless her.
The problem of people not closing gates properly has been with us for ever I think. It must surely be obvious to everyone that gates are there for a reason? Horses and cows on the road can cause really serious accidents. I suppose one thing to be thankful for is that there are fewer cars around just now.

rosenoir Thu 09-Apr-20 16:04:29

Yes, I do wash my top. Since my fringe has become too long I am terrible at touching my face forever flicking my hair out of the way so am very aware of what I touch with my hands.

ExD Thu 09-Apr-20 16:46:58

Yes it really is amazing how often we touch our faces. I can't decide whether to let my fringe grow out or go straight in there with the scissors and try my hand at hairdressing. After all it's got time to grow out before we're allowed out in public again grin but remembering some of my previous efforts ... perhaps not sad

NanaDH Thu 09-Apr-20 16:52:01

Quick thought for the farm key workers who have to use the gates also please😊

Barmeyoldbat Fri 10-Apr-20 10:22:05

I carry a plastic bag, pop my hand inside and open gates and then drop the bag into another bag after use. I usually wear marigold gloves as it deters me from touching my face but don't wear them if out walking.

lizzypopbottle Fri 10-Apr-20 10:30:27

Don't quote me on this, but I've read that there is (as yet) no evidence of the virus spreading out of doors. My source is articles in my (strictly) once a day reading of the newspaper (Telegraph electronic version.) A friend is really angry about this whole situation but seems to have the TV news on all day. The news isn't changing that fast and it's the same information, repeated over and over, that's contributing to this worry. TV news is the worst for this.

Theoddbird Fri 10-Apr-20 11:06:54

Why do people think gloves would help? It would be picked up on a glove the same as the hands.

Joesoap Fri 10-Apr-20 11:14:07

Surgical gloves are good, I even hand sanitize them, and throw them away once I have used them, THEN sanitize my hands,and the steering wheel,when I get home I wash my hand thoroughly,I have been a Nurse for fifty years and washing hands has always been essential and comes naturally.
I hope washing hands will be a natural thing to do after this is over.

Sunlover Fri 10-Apr-20 11:16:56

I take a clean cloth with me when out for a walk. We use this to open any gates or doors. It goes straight in the washing machine and I wash my hands carefully straight away.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 10-Apr-20 11:30:41

Why not buy plastic gloves as used in hospitals etc and wear them when you know you will be likely to come in contact with any kind of handle that may have been touched by another.
These are easily disposed of using the correct procedure in doing so.

silvercollie Fri 10-Apr-20 11:31:49

I live on the cusp of two footpaths, one of which continues towards and through the farmyard. The whole concept of cross contamination has bothered me for a while. So I contacted the Countryside Alliance and they have guidelines on the subject that I printed and placed on the gates. So does anyone pay attention to them? No!

As I am technologically inept I cannot place the Notice on here but I will run through the gist of it.

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE (Guidelines for Covid 19)

When using a local right of Way for Exercise:

Respect social distancing
Don't pass through farmyards, gardens or close to people's
Avoid gates, but if you can', sanitize before and after use
Keep your dog on a leas and under control

Don't travel by car to use a right of way.

Preferably STAY HOME

sarahellenwhitney Fri 10-Apr-20 11:37:09

Duh! then you dispose of the bu*****don't you again using the correct procedure in doing so.

GoldenAge Fri 10-Apr-20 11:39:55

There are so many potential ways to catch this virus. Certainly we all know it can linger on hard surfaces for 72 hours, and on cardboard for 24 hours. Now, published today is a study Finland that shows how far the aerosol droplets can remain in the air and how far they travel, and the claim is that a person sneezing in one supermarket aisle can infect another in the next aisle who is not actually there at the time, but walks into an invisible cloud several minutes later. So we can all tell others to be careful, to wear gloves, not to touch gate latches or hold onto hand rails without sanitising afterwards, and we can all say how it's isn't right to deny people the right to exercise - but really ??? There is an over-exaggerated sense of entitlement in my opinion about the personal right to walk through a park or field and honestly I would say to anybody who disagrees that a trip (not possible of course) to any London hospital right now would bring home the gravity of this Covid situation. For heaven's sake, stay inside at home and just forget for the moment the will to walk outside in pleasant surroundings. Surely everyone can give just a little of their freedom up to protect the nation.

Annaram1 Fri 10-Apr-20 11:48:39

When on a walk I always carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with me and keep using it throughout the walk especially after touching anything. My daughter warned me against sitting on any seats. But you cant catch the virus with your bottom can you?

sandelf Fri 10-Apr-20 11:50:39

DH has taken to looking for a largish leaf (dock is good) and using a couple as little hand shields while touching gates etc. - No harm throwing those away when you move along.

Annaram1 Fri 10-Apr-20 11:51:12

By the way I have one neighbour whose house is actually his second home. He lives in London most of the time. Now I see he is back here in Devon. The Government tells us not to visit our second homes. But it is a lot safer here in Devon than in London.

4allweknow Fri 10-Apr-20 11:55:14

People have to take responsibility for their actions. They may well have hand sanitiser with then and yes but after touching the metal. As long as they don't touch their face and wash hands they should be okay. Isn't it amazing how many people have discovered places to go in the lockdown. I live on edge of golf course (no golf played) but people have managed to trek over with pushchairs, ride bikes and quad bikes all over the greens making an absolute mess. The golf club is trying to maintain the place but finding it a losing battle. Where have the folk come from, no one knows!

silvercollie Fri 10-Apr-20 12:09:57

Wondering where all my Guideline information from the Countryside Alliance reference the country side has gone??