Finally received a Covid-19 negative test result yesterday so am able to leave the isolation of my hotel room and move around outside, albeit lockdown rules mean I cannot leave the hotel complex. The normally chaotic and busy streets of the Thamel district in Kathmandu are just the other side of the hotel gates and its eerily quiet, people are off the streets and staying home and hopefully safe.
International flights are grounded until 14th May and I have heard this will likely be extended to 20th May and last night the UK Government announced, not unexpectedly, that Nepal will go onto the UK Red List of countries from 12th May which will mean 10 days in hotel quarantine in the UK when I get home.
A further frustrating set back to eventually getting home but given the worsening situation here in Nepal I can understand the reasons why and it being a necessity for the protection of others so I have no complaints and will just have to go through the steps in order to eventually get home.
I have heard from my exped team members that they have completed their rotation up Everest to Camp 3 and are now down the mountain in Namche Bazar resting for a few days before going for the summit push, I understand all members are safe and well so I wish them all the best.
I haven’t heard a detailed accurate report of how the situation in respect of Covid is in Everest Base Camp and mixed reports, often with delayed timings, roam across the media but I pray everyone is staying safe and been sensible - they always say the cliche ‘the mountain will always be there next year’ but more than ever this year climbers need to consider that statement against risks that are still emerging and make some difficult decisions, I worry decisions may be made within the ‘bubble’ of knowledge on the mountain as they probably aren’t that aware of the terrible situations in the rest of Nepal and India but trust the right information can get through in order to inform the best decisions.