Standing ground on social distancing, without upsetting friends

Boredom with COVID19 has set in and the easing of lockdown is a welcome antidote to the fear we have all been living with for the past few months. But  I  worry that we might be bored  but the virus is not bored.

bored graphicAnd rather than seeing the relaxation of some social distancing as  an opportunity to continue being vigilant while enjoying the opening up of our society, many people will just see this as ‘back to normal’. In fact if the parks and shops are anything to go by it looks like we are already back to normal.What I  really cannot comprehend is why wearing face masks is not compulsory for everyone when not outside. It is simple –  wear a mask to protect others. Most European countries are doing this and yet we  and our friends across the Atlantic are not. Mask wearing needs to be mandatory when you are in an indoor public place. It is no good advising and leaving it up to individuals to do the right thing. It doesn’t work. Too many selfish people around. And hey guys there are some really cool masks around at the moment. So, go and bloody well get a mask and wear it.

masks 1A return to some kind of normalcy is important – I get it I really do. We all have our own personal reaction to the virus, and we will be moving at different paces towards deciding the risk factors and how we structure our lives around this.”You don’t structure your life around crossing the road, a plane crash or heart attack,” remarked one friend who is a lot more relaxed about social distancing than I am. And this is one of the things I have been grappling with of late. I need to decide what kind of socializing I am comfortable with. I suppose it’s a bit like doing my own risk assessment. And then set my own level of tolerance for risk.

The difficulty arises when our friends and family start to open up faster than we feel comfortable with. I have to politely maintain my ‘safe’ grounds and the decisions that arise from this. It has not always gone down that well and I feel that some friends have interpreted my more careful approach to social distancing as an attack on their more relaxed approach.

“What are you going to do when the government change the 2-meter distance to 1 meter,” said one friend a little too accusingly.”

I am going to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks,” I replied.

It is my choice and I hope my friends will respect this. We all have different personalities, different tolerances for risk and different situations that alter our chances of spreading or contracting the virus and thus  determining how seriously it might affect us. And I respect that my way isn’t the same for everyone.  But undoubtedly as times goes on and Toby and Linda return to work, I will be more relaxed but, in the meantime, I hope it is not going to cause too many rifts.

Moving on –  I am thinking of getting a bell for Mo the cat. We have had just too many dead and half dead birds left as presents on the lounge carpet. On Saturday it was 2 in the morning when she deposited her latest gift. The mice are not quite so bad as they play dead and are quite easy to rescue. But the birds flap around, feathers flying everywhere with  painful squawking sounds. Breaks my heart. When she was just 3 months old, she dragged in through the cat flap a pigeon twice her size. Maybe I should have thought about this when I opted for a Maine Coon cat.

 So, if quarantine and travel bans are not lifted here’s an  idea for those travel starved adventure seekers.  A Taiwanese airport is giving competition winners the chance to relive the foreign travel experience during COVID19. Songshan airport in Taipei will let 90 people remind themselves what travelling is like by passing through immigration and boarding a plane before disembarking and returning home. Not a prize I would want to win.  The very thought of going through the process of  disembarking and dealing with immigration officials having had no holiday  would be  just too sadistic. immigration

“Let’s be careful out there”