The Elephant in the Room

Feb / 28 / 2020

An English phrase ‘for an important or enormous topic, problem, or risk that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss’ because in our case, the risk of a negative reaction.

It’s 26 February 2020, finally it is snowing in Switzerland and yesterday Switzerland reported the first case the Covid-19 virus in the Canton of Ticino. We have all been following the developments in China and then Italy and now it is on our doorstep.

So, do we ignore the elephant and pretend it is not there and hope it goes away? Or do we address the issue of the elephant in the room to work out how to deal with it? Obviously the second response is best and certainly, all the academic advice recommends it. However, as a small tour operator, this elephant has the potential to destroy all our hard work, so it seems far easier to ignore it and hope it finds a door to leave!!

But here we are, and we are dancing around the elephant.

So, let’s get to the point. Yes, Covid-19 has reached Europe. Yes, it is highly contagious and dangerous to elderly people and those who are immune compromised. As of today, tens of thousands of people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 (the current stats can be found here) and over 2,700 people have died.

Yet China, to use more English phrases, has grabbed the bull by the horns and trapped the contagion like a bear in a bull pit. The Chinese government have made up lost ground (not addressing the elephant in the room in December 2019!) and now after 2 months of harsh directives, have brought the contagion under some semblance of control. People are now being encouraged to return to work…with simple and obvious precautions like using masks and WASHING HANDS (properly)!

It is end of February, the Giro d’Italia is during May, Santini Stelvio Granfondo is early June and the Maratona at the beginning of July. Europe has a head start and lessons have been learnt from China’s experience. Already we know to self-isolate if we suspect any possibility of contact with someone, and the authorities have been rigorous in identifying the connections and carriers. In general, people accept that if their school, hotel, village, town or region has been exposed to the virus, then we need to be patient and wait. It is a time for self-reflection, book reading, reconnecting with family and going stir crazy (I am not going to deny that if our village is locked down, that 14 days with my kids is going to be mad!).

Hell, why not - social media bingeing! And joining GTP on our weekly virtual Zwift rides on the smart trainer is going to be very useful. If we can keep this in perspective, if we can remain rational and calm, even if we are exposed to this virus, then we will get through this.

Bring on the Giro d’Italia 2020!