And Just Like That...We All Had Covid
THE MOUNTAINS ARE CRAWLING...WITH COVIDWith infections hitting over half a million in one day in France and a lack masks on ski lifts, it was inevitable that we'd catch Covid. With half term looming will numbers will go through the gondola roof?
The hordes will start pouring in from next weekend for February half term holidays - and French ski resorts are facing not only a dire lack of snow but concurrently being snowed under with Covid.
One way or another, if you're in a French ski resort, you're almost bound to catch Covid even if you've been vaxxed. With over half a million infections on one day last week, and still over 300,000 per day, the Omicron variant is ripping through the country.
And those figures are only half the story. The recent availability here of lateral flow kits, means many are testing positive at home but not reporting the results. The doctors, it appears, really don't want to know or add you to the long list of positives, so long as you don't need to be hospitalised. So the real numbers of infected is anyone's guess.
The official Covid restrictions in France, state that if you live with or are in contact with anyone testing positive and are fully vaccinated then you don't have to isolate so long as you test negative on Day 2 and Day 4. This is why so many are swanning around the resorts spreading Covid like the daily clouds of artificial snow from piste cannons, rather than isolating.
And, you're right, we wouldn't be skiing in the resort if we had a choice. We'd be ski touring well away from the Covid crowds but, currently, the lack of snow, this winter, has greatly reduced the options for going backcountry. Gav has invested in an ebike, working out how to ride it in ski boots and carrying skis in order to access ski touring areas that still have untracked but would take hours of hiking to reach.
How did the three of us - Gav, our daughter Loulou and I - catch Covid? Well, it could have been going up the hill skiing and sharing gondolas especially as many of the French visitors are not bothering with masks - and pass sanitaire checks are rare. Maybe it was going to a couple of local bars? Or the supermarket? Did I catch it running the 10k Snow Trail on Sunday with 200 others?
TBH, our Covid cases are incredibly mild. Between us we've had variations of the sore throat, headache, runny nose, dry cough and, curiously, lower back pain symptoms. They lasted two to three days but, even then, just like having a cold, but unable to go out. Of course, there are worse places to have to isolate.
It's actually a relief that the threat of catching Covid is no longer hanging over us like the sword of Damocies. And we're now members of an elite Covid Carefree Club, which means we can go in gondolas, bars and shops without that fear of being struck down.
We've faced the beast and the beast turned out to be a lamb. Thanks, of course, to our vaccinations.