Have faith | We will walk together again

It’s uncanny how all the odds have recently been staked against a pastime that is providing many not only with physical activity in the outdoors but also psychological relief and social networking in smaller groups.

Law

Sadly, following the latest set of Covid-19 related regulations, this week will be the last XirCammini Wed Walk for the time being. The XirCammini Wed Walks will be stopped until further notice. This does not mean that you have to stop walking. We encourage you to continue walking solo or in small groups and if you need ideas of routes please feel free to contact any of the XirCammini group / walk leaders.

Please also post photos (with masks on if of yourself) of walks on the XirCammini FB Group to encourage others to be out and about and to keep spirits high. We can all do with a generous dose of positivity under the current circumstances.

While we would have loved to continue with our Wed Walks, the problem for XirCammini is that we would need to double the number of leaders and walks to handle the same groups each week. We had already regrouped into smaller groups (max 10), taking our Wed walk routes from 1 to 8 every Wednesday. Managing 8 walks (and up to 80 people) each week already had its challenges. For this I would like to thank all of those who stepped up to the plate and volunteered time and energy to lead the smaller groups. I cannot thank you enough.

The new regulations coming into effect this Thursday would mean that we would have to double our Wed Walk itineraries. To manage 16 walks per week and to manage the downside risk (i.e. an infringement even in one group or notification and investigation protocols in case of and an outbreak in one group) poses a significant burden on volunteers relentlessly trying against all odds to make this work. Hence the reason for regretfully having to postpone the Wed Walks until further notice.

Logic?

Regretfully,  if one is smoking in public then one can do away with the mask.  When jogging, semi-naked, on promenades and spraying sweat over everybody else one does not need to wear a mask. Hunters or trappers on public land requisitioned from the public by the government for the hunters and trappers .. that’s probably also okay. In many cases paths leading to such woodlands have been obliterated making it more difficult to detect any infringements (not just infringements related to Covid-19 regulations) or to apprehend culprits.

But, apparently, Maltese hikers are mere mortals who do not deserve to indulge in physical exercise that also does a wealth of good to their mental state unless they wear masks even in the non-urban outdoors and in small groups and observing social distancing regulations. Everybody else, bikers, cyclists, joggers, and until recently revelers in or outside bars and clubs can be trusted to observe the rules. Foreign outdoor-activity groups (could it be that one solo septuagenarian single-handedly disfigured Malta’s natural heritage with red paint without ‘local’ help?) can also be trusted. But local hikers who have walked the proverbial extra mile, modified and structured weekly walks, and managed them in a way so as to continue this pastime safely .. they are lesser mortals.

Life

Life itself is a journey and every bed of roses is also a bed of thorns. Notwithstanding the odds do not stop walking. Whether solo or in small groups permissible by the law take as much fresh air in the ever diminishing Maltese countryside or close to the sea as you possible can. Positivity is a great medicine. This is scientifically proven. It is also scientifically proven that  exercise in fresh air boosts not only physical but also mental health and wellbeing. Maybe step up to the plate, find a few walking buddies within the allowed regulatory limits, create your ‘bubble of buddies’ and continue with your walks.  Ask for some routes, do whatever it takes and continue walking.

Life is a journey | Keep walking | Keep smiling | And, whatever you do .. stay safe.