I haven’t been to a climbing gym in months. Since COVID really hit, at least… and probably before that, though I can’t quite remember. They’ve been open for a while, actually… but I’d cancelled my membership about a month ago, and hadn’t really planned on restarting it anytime soon.
Then a study came out, suggesting that climbing chalk can deactivate the COVID virus nearly immediately upon contact (Ed Note: We’ve posted a link to the article is at the bottom of the post, enjoy!). I also have a few friends who’ve started climbing again, who let me know what sorts of precautions the gym’s been taking, and how crowded (or not crowded, in fact) the gym has been recently.
I… wasn’t fully convinced. But I kept tumbling it around in my head… questioning whether I’m really being safe, or if I’m being paranoid.
That’s the name of the game these days, isn’t it?
How much protection should we give ourselves? What’s safe, and what’s an unnecessary risk?
What’s a sore throat, and what’s COVID? Is the sneeze because I just split pepper, or inhaled a face full of dust? Or am I contagious, and risking my and everyone else’s health?
We simply don’t know, so we weigh the options and do our best. Like we always do. We move forward.
I finally moved forward to the gym. I don’t regret it.
Nothing is safe, but climbing at the gym was… acceptably unsafe. I don’t think there was really any heightened risk outside of the normal “I’m climbing fifty feet into the air, protected by a half-inch thick rope”, and I’m confident that there wasn’t any pandemic-related risk greater than going to the grocery store, or picking up tacos at the local bodega.
Everyone had a mask, and I felt good.
That being said…
Man am I weak. I finished a few routes, yeah, but… dang, man. I need to climb more!