Coming Out of Lock-down
Posted on July 9, 2020
It has been interesting seeing more people again and hearing how they have been coping with lockdowns and major changes to their lives.
As someone who has done a 20-year apprenticeship working from home in preparation for Covid19, I have been affected far less than most. In the months between the cricket season, I am often isolated, and generally, that’s the way I like it.
I walk with my dog to places where I am unlikely to see too many others as it is nice to be out and about without having to indulge in a game of inane dog walk bingo. This is a game that I am as guilty of as others. It involves stopping to talk to another walker about the age, sex, breed, food choice and habits (searching for big sticks) of our dogs. It is utterly tedious if I am honest, and there is only so much of it I can take.
Filling the Days
The main problem I have had to deal with is a downturn in work. This has led to me having to restructure my day, leading to more dog walks and the purchase of a camera. It has kept my days just about interesting enough for despair not to set in. However, towards the end of the three-month period of lock down, Groundhog Day was starting to set in.
Celebrating remembering to put the bins out and filling up the wiper wash in the car, went from grandiose Andy Murray style fist pumps, to a more muffled, ‘get in there!’. Trying to be a Covid19 expert became futile. What chance do you have when all the experts disagree with each other? This of course, gave the conspiracy theorists the time of their lives, with all sorts of nonsense flying around. They all knew a doctor, nurse or surgeon who had it on good authority that the outrageous bullshit story you were about to hear, was true.
The best spring weather that I can remember in my lifetime only added to the confusion. April produced no wintry showers, just uninterrupted sunshine, making it feel like July. The suggestion was, “we will pay for this weather in May”. We didn’t. The sunshine kept coming as owners of seasonally reliant pubs, cafes, restaurants, and campsites felt like Bullseye contestants when Jim Bowen said “Eeh, look what you could have won”.
Now the weather is more like April, normality is returning and we don’t really know why. People are still dying and there is no vaccine or cure for Covid19. Everyone is just glad to be able to see people and move freely again but no one really knows what the risk is. I don’t think many people care anymore; they just want to be able to indulge in doing things they enjoy (its cricket for me).
It’s like the government need the economy to move on but don’t want to fully admit it, just in case we all die (rather than just sixty thousand of us). That has been a problem all the way through. The government not been honest with the public about their chaotic policies. People can take it if mistakes are made in unprecedented times, but gas-lighting and blame shifting is cowardly. Trying to blame care homes for the deaths of residents is a shocking and unforgivable reconstruction of recent history.
There are also allegations of Covid19 supply chain projects being awarded to party donors and companies with no experience in the PPE industry. In one instance, a recruitment company with a net worth of £322.00 was given, without tender, a contract worth £18 million to supply face masks. That is either appalling management or out and out corruption.
Rishi Sunak has tried to pacify the public by chucking money at the problem. In fairness, he is one MP who appears to hold himself well and address the situation with something bordering on authority. Of course, the cash is welcome for many, but it sometimes feels like the public are like a metaphorical abortion for one of Johnson’s many mistresses. Chuck enough money at the problem and it will go away. Worry about paying it back later.
Johnson and Money
The underlying worry is that Boris Johnson and money are a chaotic mix. He has a history of folly with money, both when taking it from dubious sources and when dishing it out on vanity projects that never happen. Money makes Johnson’s world go around but his chaotic lack of attention to detail makes me wonder how the money tree sprang up out of nowhere. I have first-hand experience of the bail out system being raided and abused on an industrial scale. I only hope the HMRC will have a checking system in the financial year ending April 2021.
The sad irony is that the people raiding the system are the same people who get incandescent about someone on benefits being able to afford a packet of cigarettes. The Daily Mail gets their readers fizzing with anger about poor people owning flat screen TV’s; yet the same readers are claiming any grant or furlough scheme they can get their hands on, even if they don’t need it. I feel like grassing them up, which is not like me.
Seeing People Again
It has been good to see people again. A week of ground maintenance at the cricket club has been a pleasure rather than a chore. A cheeky pint afterwards has felt like an outrageous treat. Appreciating activities that I once took for granted, has been a pleasure, especially when we don’t know it will all stop again. I need to hold that feeling and continue to understand that simple pleasures are free.
However, I just know I will soon look back at lock-down with rose tinted spectacles. Reminiscing about going out in the clothes that are nearest to me. Hearing the birds, not the traffic. The blossom, the clearest of pollution free skies and not knowing what month or season it was, let alone the day of the week. Realising that I have had a life of spending money on shit I don’t really need because of a barrage advertising ploughing into my brain on a basis daily.
Lock-down wasn’t so bad really and I think that most people will have learnt some good from it, even if it has caused so much upheaval. If it means that you have had to cut back on money and delay the new conservatory, who cares?