The Coronavirus advances
Last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister about the Coronavirus was unequivocal. STAY AT HOME. The good people of Britain have not heeded the warning to do ‘social distancing,’ and now we’ve all been grounded. It’s not a pleasant feeling. Some people seem to think that this certainty is to be applauded and welcome the ‘lock down.’ Others are completely ignoring it and provoking the social distancing police. Soon they may be provoking the real police as well.
I’ve come to the conclusion that people are like cats. When they are in they want to be out, when they are out, they want to be in. When we are at work we want to be at home. Now we have been told to stay at home, it doesn’t seem quite so appealing.
Big Brother is watching you
The effect of the coronavirus is everywhere. Walking around the few shops that are still open, the tannoy booms out instructional messages. ‘Do not buy more than you need.’ ‘Keep a safe distance between you and your fellow shoppers.’ ‘Stay well. Big Brother is watching you.’
It is really all rather unsettling how quickly our thin veneer of civilisation can be dissolved. This is a stressful situation which brings out the best and the worst in people. Some of us rally to the cause. Nissan and BAE engineering are switching from cars and aeroplane engines, to manufacturing ventilators. Zara starts manufacturing face masks instead of fashion. Cafes cook and deliver free meals to the the the old and the vulnerable.
Other people fight over toilet rolls and selfishly panic buy provisions. Feral youths, no longer contained at school, set fire to wheelie bins and vandalise ambulances.
I used to think that I self isolated too much . I am an introvert by nature and need a lot of down time from other people. Now it seems I am with the zeitgeist, instead of against it.
Self isolating is what you do if you think you may have symptoms and do not want to spread the virus to others. Social distancing is the other phrase on everyone’s lips. You must stay two metres away from others. Why is this a metric measurement I wonder? It’s probable that the Italian custom for multiple and prolonged kissing of everyone may have hastened the spread of the disease.
It has taken us Northerners decades to come around to hugging even close family members. With some relief we can relinquish all that PDA stuff, at least for now.
Going outside is now fraught with difficulties. Fresh air is good for you we were told, so everyone tanked off to the beach and the countryside. The countryside and the beaches then became too crowded. Crowds will be broken up. Fraternising groups will be fined by the police. I know its necessary, but it feels a little like the third Reich. Pet’s Corner is closed. Even the peacock is self isolating. Staying in is now the new going outside.
Technology to the rescue
Luckily for us we are living in this age of the most amazing technology. We can work from home and hold meetings with Webex, Skype, Teams or Zoom. Most of us are on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp or Instagram. There has never in the history of the world been so many ways to communicate without actually meeting a real person face to face. Neither geography nor distance are a barrier to communication when we have Face Time and Messenger.
More about the Coronavirus here – COVID-19 Not a travel blog