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Latest blog ... Is it worth the risk?

Latest blog in my 'Heart attack to 10K' series, 'Is it worth the risk?' ...



  • edited December 2020

    In the end I did get a late invite yesterday morning but turned it down, not just for health reasons but also that I was unable to change other arrangements at short notice. The precautions put in place do look good but I will be very interested to read the opinions from anyone who attended to help me reach a decision for the next match.

    Not to sure how doubling the attendance will work, will the gaps between supporters be reduced? and by how many seats?

  • There were some blocks with next to no-one in. So you could probably add another 50-100 that way.

    Then just have 3 seat gaps between fans rather than 4, and you're still not that close.

    I saw some people i recognise as coming together(same household) sitting apart. Maybe letting them sit together could be done too, although a lot more work!

    All in, it was pretty comfortable. 2m gap in initial queues to go in and sitting 4 seats apart in a mask. Let out block by block.

    If in any doubt, book an end of row seat that is really wide and either high or low.

  • Entry and exit to the ground itself were absolutely no problem at all. The queuing and arrival at different times sorted out the entry and with only 50-100 (?) in each block there was negligible wait to leave either - although we did sit in the second block.
    Not quite sure how they will accommodate an extra 1000 as I didn't think there was any obvious areas with no supporters except the terrace. But certainly sitting with 3 empty seats either side and an empty row in front and behind felt socially distanced enough. A bit isolated even.
    Didn't see any signs of fans in our area not wearing masks correctly but I can appreciate there might have been. At half time there were quite a few masks removed as people are and drank but that was expected.
    I'd definitely take 2 masks at least, by the end of the evening my masks was almost dripping wet and clearly not doing as good a job as it should have been.
    On the minus side I thought the club had said temperature checks would be done on entry but this didn't happen to us.
    If invited I will go to see what it feels like with 2000 fans, even if it's only once.

  • I read somewhere that there would be random temperature checks.

  • This is my view on the risks and temperature checks -

    I think a temperature check will only find those are feeling unwell. The more significant problem is that something close to half the people who have this virus are symptom free, coupled with the fact the same virus can kill / wound a small but sizeable proportion of the population, which is not our usual understanding of a disease risk.
    So a 100% temperature check would only stop the risk from those who knowingly put others at risk.

    From the annual casualty figures the risk of death / serious injury from the coronavirus appears to be about the same as being a road user in around 1970. Attitude changes, road user behaviour changes and technological advances have reduced the risk to a road user since 1970, but I think it is ok to use the road vehicle risks as an analogy.

    Speed limits are a bit like the social distancing rules, wearing a mask and not mixing when you are unwell, you are protecting others more than yourself.

    The random speed check pulls up a small proportion for those who would speed where there is no fixed camera. I do believe that there are stretches of dangerous road where there are signs "Speed Check Area" with no fixed cameras and only occasional random speed checks. The possibility of a random check must act as a deterrent to some.

    The random temperature check would only pull up those who would attend when feeling unwell, the 'penalty' being an amount of social embarrassment rather than a fine. I don't have any knowledge of whether or not the club intended to use temperature guns last night, but I guess that the case stands up to use them at some time during the pandemic.

    Take care.

  • The terms said they "may" run a temperature check.
    But it looked like the terms had been written for the covid situation as a whole rather than specific for last night's game in fairness.

  • Thanks for your replies, still not too sure what to do for the best. Though I feel it is reasonably safe it is still an extra new risk.

    Did anyone who is a 'moderate vulnerable' go to the Stoke game or planning to go to the Coventry game?

  • If you go @Jocks_little_helper I'd recommend picking an end block and an end seat - where no-one will come past you.

    Stick a hood/hat up and you're probably maximising the precautions you can possibly take.

  • I’m not sure random temperature checks will work outdoors in the cold. We have a wall mounted thermometer in the waiting room for the nhs building I work in, designed for patients and staff to use on arrival. On a cold morning I register 33.5 forehead temperature. A couple of months ago I was 35.8. I have to be in the building for 5 minutes to get that now.

  • Here we go again ....... decision time!!

  • @micra said:
    Did you see @Malone’s comments @Jocks_little_helper ?

    Yes, sitting in a dark corner does seem to be an option.

  • Open letter to WWFC

    I write this to offer my own experience as a 'vulnerable' attending the Wycombe Wanderers v Coventry City match on Saturday 12th Dec 2020

    First and foremost let me say what a pleasure it was to be back at Adams Park to see Championship football for the first time. Having followed the club since 1972 back in the Isthmian League, this was beyond my wildest dreams.

    I have been wary, but excited at the thought of re-attending football since it was first announced that limited crowds could return but missed the Stoke match even though having the offer of a ticket the day before, partly due to concern over health but also it was too late to change other prior arrangements.

    I have coronary heart disease and suffered a heart attack 4 years ago come Christmas and currently diagnosed with angina and paroxysmal afib. so come under the vulnerable group at a moderate risk level, I have taken every care to keep the risk of exposure to a minimum which is why I was cautious and deliberated long and hard about returning to football, having stayed 'safe' for so long.

    For more on this please read my blog - 'is it worth the risk?' ...

    For the Coventry match I selected a seat in the stand behind the goal in block F, my reasoning for this area was that I thought it was furthest from the entrance and so there would be less passing traffic, my preference would have been the top right hand corner as viewed from the pitch. I booked early to try to secure my preferred seat but wasn't offered a choice of seat and ended up in row A down the front.

    This didn't really bother me as I still expected to be away from the vast majority of people arriving, this was supported by the fact I was in the first time slot which seemed to make sense if the stand was to be filled from furthest end first.

    It disappointed me that after being one of the first in the stand I ended up in the front row with at least half the remaining stand passing right in front of me as the crowd entered from both ends.

    The remainder of my time in the stadium was fine (expect for the result!), the crowd mainly adhering to the Covid rules staying in their seats and wearing face covering while the stewarding was unobtrusive.

    I left when directed but found that the crowd condensed at the gate, and with cars exiting the same time forced most pedestrians to gather one side of the road. Many had by now removed their face coverings making me feel more 'vulnerable' than at any time since arriving. In hindsight it might have been better for me wait until the crowd had dispersed before leaving.

    Moving forward I would feel far safer if I could 'pick' my own seat but would become more concerned should the crowd be increased to 4,000 thereby reducing the spacing unless some reassurances can be given beforehand as to the actual seating arrangement and dispersal of the crowd after.

  • Really good to get your clear description of AP yesterday @Jocks_little_helper I have declined the tickets for the Stoke games yesterday due to covid concern and the areas you pick out are where I would've thought issues might have arisen. I am clinically vulnerable and so will likely wait for the vaccine before I head back to AP even though it pains me to think I am passing up on attending. I too have been watching Wycombe since the late 70s so watching on my laptop in my home office isn't quite the same although watching with a pint of rebellion on th go is some consolation. In normal times Matchday at AP usually starts for me around 1 and back home about 8 fairly well oiled but having spent the day talking rubbish with mates I've known at Wycombe for decades, oh and there's a game of footy in the middle to break up the I can live watching from home for the time being as am missing th social aspect as much as the live footy experience so will wait for a vaccine. I am however confident that I will get to see Wycombe play in the championship before the end of the season. COYB

  • I felt safe again yesterday but not at safe as the first game back. Stands to reason as there were double the number of people there but I also moved seats from the Family Stand up to more normal surroundings in the Frank Adams. The stewarding in this area was much lighter touch than in the first game. Almost no interaction with them at all compared to constant instructions in the first game.

    I hope if the club does host other home games this month then they think about the following:-

    Allowing people the opportunity to choose seats and allow the chance to be nearer the people we normally watch with. I have found the last two games a pretty lonely experience despite having friends in the ground. It did lead yesterday to some breakdowns in the rules as some decided chatting to mates trumped obeying the rules.

    If we have a run of matches can season ticket holders fix a seat for all those games rather than go in to a weekly lottery? One of the big perks for me of having a season ticket is that I don't have the stress of these ticketing systems every time.

    Finally I have no idea what should happen at the end of the game. I didn't get any instruction to say when and how best I leave the ground.

  • Your situation matches mine @Ozzie_the_Relaxed, excepting I have been watching since the late 50's. Probably illogicaIy, I feel more vulnerable to Covid when out in the dark so I will probably similarly wait until the vaccine.

  • It certainly felt there was a relaxation of the rules compared to the Stoke match, although the stadium announcements were much clearer.

    There was a fella who was next to us in the middle of the family stand who refused to wear a mask the whole time he was in stadium. A steward pointed at him from a distance and indicated to put a mask on. The chap held up what seemed to be a pack of biscuits to indicate he was eating. He held the same pack of biscuits the entire time we were in the stadium and didn’t once put it his mask on.

    To make matters worse the main steward in the family stand removed her visor before the match and didn’t have a mask the whole game. She was going right up to people (some also with masks over their chins) talking to them which then encouraged another steward to remove hers for the rest of the game. What chance have I got to politely ask people to put theirs on when the person in charge of the stand doesn’t bother?

    I agree @Right_in_the_Middle, there was a funnel effect getting out of the main gates with maskless people all squashed together as they let the cars out immediately meaning one lane only for pedestrians.

    Along Hillbottom Road it was a free for all with people milling around chatting and various speeds of pedestrians mainly maskless.

    In all honesty I might sit out until infection rates drop as my wife is vulnerable and I can’t countenance getting covid again after the trials of the last time. It took a good 3 months to recover last time and I don’t fancy that ordeal again.

  • @Lloyd2084 your concerns are all valid and your decision on whether to attend again, given your circumstances, is a personal choice of course. But you do mention that you have had Covid already. If you tested positive (I.e., you are sure you have had it) the chance of you becoming symptomatically ill with Covid again within such a short timeframe is pretty much nil. Yes, very, VERY, occasionally it can happen (similar or worse infection) but it is incredibly rare. There is a lot of misunderstaning in the media about antibodies and immunity and just wanted you to make an informed decision. So from a personal perspective, the chance of you having that same ordeal again, it’s frankly as close to zero as you’ll get.

    Of course, as your wife is clinically vulnerable, you MAY (that is a big may) be ‘infected’ completely asymptotically a second time and thus potentially pass it on without knowing. Although again, this isn’t likely, but not well understood at the moment.

    So this post might make no difference to your decision at all, but thought I’d send it!

  • I had an antibody test recently and it was negative for antibodies. I spent time in ICU last time so I’m definitely erring on the side of caution. My son was sick too so I’ve got to take that into account as a parent.

    Appreciate the input though @Quarterman, thanks.

  • No problem @Lloyd2084. Antibodies, and whether you have them, are pretty irrelevant when it comes to to whether you are immune to a disease, as I thought that might have been coming into your thinking. As you were obviously very unwell, I would expect you (from a dispassionate scientific perspective) to have immunity for several years, possibly decades, potentially indefinitely. As I’ve mentioned previously on here, the survivors of SARS in 2003 (a very similar virus to SARS COV 2) are still shown to be immune today. Hopefully that may give you a bit more confidence personally.

    But as I said before though, there are always very rare exceptions. And given what you’ve been through, and your obvious concern for your family, I’m sure most right minded people would come to the same conclusion as you’ve done.

    I hope you’re completely recovered now - all the best to you and your family!

  • @Jocks_little_helper

    I'm sure I've read that post a couple of times elsewhere now :)

    Am sure you'll also have sent it to the club - so no doubt they can swiftly sort you out an isolated spot - and no worries for next game (pending not going into tier 3 Wednesday!!!)

  • I wonder what will happen for next weeks game as new tier review won't be made public until later in the week and an upward change in tier changes the dynamics for lots of supporters who travel from out of High Wycombe.

  • edited December 2020

    They're announcing any changes on Thursday. North Bucks is on the 'critical' list (tier 2 areas with more cases than some tier 3 areas) but South Bucks isn't as it stands.

  • Is Wednesday just the decision day and it'll take a day to be revealed then?

    I suppose it makes sense for Wycombe to hold off doing their ticket email until Thursday morning then?
    Give the first 2000 a day then probably block mail everyone else with a STH again?

    I wonder what, if any our protocols were at the weekend for Slough based Wanderers? There must be the odd one or two? Only Tier 3 town in Berks.

  • @Malone said:
    Is Wednesday just the decision day and it'll take a day to be revealed then?

    I suppose it makes sense for Wycombe to hold off doing their ticket email until Thursday morning then?
    Give the first 2000 a day then probably block mail everyone else with a STH again?

    I wonder what, if any our protocols were at the weekend for Slough based Wanderers? There must be the odd one or two? Only Tier 3 town in Berks.

    Sounds like that. I've lost track of the rules tbh, but aren't you technically allowed to travel out of a tier 3 area but not supposed to? I don't know if the club have systems in place to block ticket sales to anyone with a tier 3 address.

  • I know a lot of people in Slough so have seen their intricate debates on this online.
    They can change tier for work only, but aren't supposed to leave tier 3 even for a run or a walk or something! It's clear in the tightness of the ruling.

    I suppose someone at the club would have to take a specific interest to review postcodes which isn't as easy as it sounds as a lot of SL postcodes aren't in Slough. Just for 1 area let alone all the Kent areas etc.
    Basically you're relying on fans being honest which most would be.

  • Looks like Bucks is staying in Tier 2

  • I am sure fans are attending are trying their best to make it all possible and to keep everyone safe but as my daughter is shielding my wife and I are in our late 50s and we have been so careful (and therefore lucky do far) for so long, I don't feel I can run the risk at the moment. It is however so difficult not going to AP...and not just because I've fully paid up me stamp. Fingers crossed everyone who needs it is jabbed full of Bill Gates nanobots as soon as possible. Keep well everyone!

  • Was good to get in for a game last week, that'll probably be it for a bit as I live in London, the rules are a bit vague but people shouldn't really be traveling long distances and using public transport from tier 3 locations unless it's urgent or for work.

  • @Wendoverman said:

    My wife and I are in our late 60's (I'm 69) and I have two underlying health issues so we have also been more than careful thus far (and share your luck @Wendoverman). Your post pretty much replicates how I feel, as we are so close to a vaccination and I really don't want to become a statistic at the eleventh hour. We're also being very careful as a wider family group prior to Christmas so that we can safely see our close family and 8 month grandson. It will be into the New Year before I venture to AP I fear. The nanobots will know where I am I'm sure. I'm sure that the new floodlights at AP are really there to boost the nanobot transmissions aren't they???????

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