We all hope the COVID-19 pandemic is under better control by the time our 2021 ski season begins. However, we have no assurance that will be the case and it is likely that we will simply have to learn to live with this virus.
Therefore, we all need to recognize that we are each joining these trips voluntarily and that we are individually responsible to ensure our own safety and the safety of our fellow trip participants.
Short of the unlikely event that we have all been vaccinated with an effective vaccine, trip participants will still need to practice CDC and locally recommended mitigation behaviors to help manage the spread of the virus.
Recommended mitigation practices, today, include:
- Frequent and thorough hand washing,
- Social distancing whenever possible,
- Wear masks to cover your nose and mouth when unable to socially distance,
- Cover your coughs and sneezes,
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily,
- Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors, and
- Monitor yourself for sign of illness.
So, how do we implement those practices while on a ski trip? It’s not an easy question.
While we’re actually skiing the problem is pretty simple. We’ll be outside and spaced out along the trails we ski. Those simple facts pretty much take care of the mitigation logistics.
But, how about when we return to our dwellings, take a break inside a ski center or share rides inside our vehicles between our dwellings and trailheads? In those situations we’ll be gathering in close proximity to people who are not members of our respective family groups. Kick ‘n Gliders strongly urge this year’s trip participants to adhere to the guidelines that follow.
Commit to Practicing Mitigation Behaviors:
To protect each other and those around us we all must share the burden of mitigation. If you are not willing to do your part you are not welcome on our trips. If that is the case, please ask to cancel your participation in our trips right now.
Prior to Participating on any Trip:
Please answer the following questions:
- Have you come into close contact (within 6 feet) with someone who has a laboratory confirmed COVID – 19 diagnosis in the past 14 days?
- Do you have any of the following: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat?
- Have you lost your sense of smell?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, please cancel your participation in the trip immediately.
Wear Your Mask:
Forget the politics and follow the science. Wear a mask except while actually eating or drinking whenever you are inside an enclosed area with other people or unable to socially distance. Enclosed areas include vehicles, the places we stay and the indoor places we visit.
We all treasure the family-like socialization we enjoy as a club. Much of that happens in the mornings, après ski and at mealtimes in the houses, condos or hotels where we stay. We’re likely to have to forgo much of that interaction this ski season.
- Large Houses: Where we’re renting large houses we need to consider ways to reduce crowding as we each prepare our own breakfasts and gather to consume our evening meals.
- Perhaps implementing shifts for breakfasts is in order.
- Meal preparation and cleanup crews should be allowed exclusive access to the kitchen work area during preparation and cleanup times.
- Rather than all eating dinner together at large dining tables, some participants could consume their meals in living rooms or in their bedrooms.
- Condos: Our normal practice is to all gather in a single condo for evening meals. That makes for very crowded situations. This season each condo should probably be preparing their own meals. It complicates logistics but is much safer.
- Restaurants: It is unlikely that we will be able to take advantage of many outdoor seating situations during ski season. And it is likely that restaurants in most locations will still be operating under reduced occupancy restrictions. Leaders should carefully consider the wisdom of trying to seat large groups of people in restaurants before making a decision to eat out.
Hygiene in Shared Spaces:
People have to share bathroom facilities in many of our rental properties as well as kitchen and other living spaces.
- Sanitizing Products: Trip leaders need to ensure that sanitizing products are readily available to participants so they can clean shared areas frequently. Those products should be supplied just as we supply shared breakfast items. (We will probably make CDC sanitizing products available through the club and ask that they be passed from trip to trip.)
- Shared Baths: It is important that surfaces are sanitized each time they are used. That especially includes counter tops, toilet seats, sink and toilet flush handles and door knobs. Used towels should be returned to a person’s room to dry rather than being left in the shared space.
- Kitchens: These may be the most critical spaces. If you don’t need to enter and touch things in the kitchen, stay out of it. At minimum all surfaces should be sanitized at least once a day.
- Living Spaces: Clutter may be the worst enemy in other spaces. Please be responsible for your books, beverage containers and clothing. Remove them to your room when you are not actively using them. Do not leave them out for others to deal with. And all surfaces should be periodically wiped down with a sanitizing product.