As closures begin to hit the United States due to the coronavirus, changing life as we know it into an isolated and dull affair, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman has issued an open letter both to motorcycle organizations and motorcyclists individually.
The letter is full of good tips for how motorcycle groups can work within the constraints of the virus outbreak, and like any good AMA president, Dingman encourages us all to continue riding our motorcycles as much as possible.
While Dingman is certainly correct that there is plenty we can do as motorcyclists to distract ourselves from the seriousness of the events that are around us, I would caution just one thought to his “get out there and ride” message.
Before you take that ride, that track day, or that race, consider what effect those actions could have on the healthcare industry.
The point of social distancing is to help ease the strain that the coronavirus will put on our medical system, and before we get too far on that point, I know we are all aware of how dangerous riding motorcycles can be.
If the trends in China, Italy, Iran, Spain, and so on have taught us anything on what to expect here in the United States, it is that there will come a point in time when risky activities, like motorcycle riding, could legitimately put doctors and other healthcare staff in the tough position of deciding whether to save our life, which was threatened by an elective activity, or instead to save the life of someone who has contracted the virus and is having serious health results because of it.
Riding motorcycles has always been about taking managed risks, and we usually manage these risks quite well as motorcyclists. But, we also as a group tend to be a congregation of self-thinkers.
Before you swing a leg over a motorcycle, consider what the full repercussions of you crashing on the road, in the woods, or at the track will have not on just yourself, but also on others, especially in terms of medical resources, which are rapidly becoming a rare commodity.
If that still doesn’t compel you to have pause, let me float another thought that might have some bearing: do you really want to be laid up in hospital bed while a viral pandemic is going on?