RECENT bank holidays signify the onset of summer and associations with family gatherings, outside pursuits, activities and trips away.

This seems to have further fuelled feelings of wanderlust and itchy feet.

If I had an ha’penny for every declaration of “I was supposed to be in Spain/France/Greece right now.”

There seems to be global acceptance in writing off holidays this year and rebooking for 2021. Some have elected to swerve overseas travel for the foreseeable future electing to ‘play it safe’ in the hope that the sanctuary of British holidays is the more realistic option. This must be a logistical nightmare for holiday companies and tour operators while also managing people’s disappointment, difficult decision making and anxieties about future bookings.

Sunshine increases our yearning to get out and about with euphoric recall of picnics in the countryside and ice creams at the seaside.

I’m equally mindful of friends with public footpaths running through farmland and the disruption and turmoil that has been caused by people trekking through, in spite of signs and repeated polite pleas.

There are links between being outside and wellness. When people are traipsing across the beauty spots and honey pots of England, with little option of social distancing, I don’t believe the intent is to incur infection or cause harm.

Historically, sanatoriums were located in the countryside or seaside, the benefits of pollution free, fresh air being viewed as a core treatment.

Following my daughter’s chemotherapy, an elderly neighbour lamented the loss of convalescent hospitals for “fragile children,” which she genuinely felt would have ensured recuperation and established recovery from cancer.

We may have evolved in our thinking about the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses or conditions however there is a lingering, misguided belief that fresh air will blow away the germs and restore health and fitness.

Being outdoors undoubtedly benefits emotional and mental health, however the risk of physical harm continues to be present.