As The Week dropped through my letterbox this morning, I was agog. It can’t be 7 days already. There must be some mistake. I have only just finished reading last week’s issue. What can I say I am a slow reader and The Week is my toilet companion. Sorry too much information. But honestly guys it is uncanny how the weeks are flying by and a bit scary especially as what the years behind me are now so much longer than those infront of me!
When you have bags of time to enjoy life this little hiatus doesn’t seem so bad but when time becomes finite one wants to cherish every moment. And cherish is not a word that would describe my current situation. It is not horrible in fact I could probably meander along quite happily like this if it wasn’t for the fact that I feel I am wasting precious time.
I am in limbo – albeit a comfortable limbo — but still a limbo. And when I see the morons crowding onto Bournemouth Beach on the hottest day on record in the middle of a pandemic, I see my days in limbo getting longer.
What is in the minds of these ‘I’m alright Jacks’ that propels them to drive hundreds of miles – and in some cases sit in long traffic jams – to sit on a crowded beach. Something which I would find abhorrent even in non-pandemic times. What part of the ‘stay safe’ message do these tens of thousands of people not get?
Clearly British Airways too has no intention of changing its planes to adhere to safety regulations. I just read a letter from a passenger who said he flew in seat 29F to Portugal and could see the entire plane crammed with people. It had 100% occupancy.
It just compounds my belief that the ‘I’m alright Jack’s’ out number the responsible ones. Unlike the citizens in some of the Nordic countries where a cohesive safety-first culture and a high level of mutual trust between citizens and authorities seems to have worked much better with changing behaviour. Maybe if we had a government that had behaved responsibly, that had not been two steps behind the virus at every point, ignored advice and the examples of its European neighbours, citizens just might have had more trust in them and behaved responsibly too. The government has been reckless and many of its citizens are now following suit.
I feel envious of those living in New Zealand with Jacinda Arlern, in Norway with Erna Solberg and Iceland with Katrin Jakobsdottir. They are not alone of the top 10 best-performing countries (in terms of testing and mortality), the leaders are women. In a crisis good leadership is vital and these women have proved that they make good leaders. Perhaps it has something to do with the hurdles they had to overcome to get where they are. Whatever, they are doing a damned good job.
So as you can see at the moment I feel a mixture of embarrassment disbelief and fury when I look at the numbers of deaths from COVID19 in our country. And because I have little faith in our government doing the right thing even now I have just been on line to order a supply of wipes, masks and sanitizers in readiness for the second wave.
I was amused though to read in The Times Tom Stoppard’s view on living with COVID19.
“It is a life I have always wanted social distancing without social disapproval. All those events you’d no longer had to dress up for, prepare for, all those encounters you no longer have to anticipate. Many of us are far more ambivalent about resuming ‘normal’ life than we like to acknowledge. We are capable of celebrating just a little when the dinner party host rings to disappoint at short notice.”
My late husband would have agreed with Stoppard and would have relished the peace and lack of social pressures. And there is a small part of me despite my misgivings about wasting my days – that when this is over which hopefully it will be – I will also pine for the days of silent streets and cancelled commitments.
“Let’s be careful out there”