Social isolation? Self distancing? The new language was confusing. Finally we got it – social distancing for everyone and self isolation if you feel unwell. So on my first day working from home I ventured to my local field – previously only having visited in winter when the trees look so stark and the snow so untouched and beautiful.
I walked a little and then settled on a bench – against the rules I know but the place was empty. My new best friends the crows pottered around – not practising social distancing at all – and my other friends the dandelions glistened brightly in the sun:
I began to relax. Perhaps I could relax for now – although working from home still seemed depressing (and does still now)
I looked around and up at the tree – still not yet leafy. And then I saw him – a bit fat crow sitting alone and motionless. Was he watching the crows below? Was he a social distancing spy? Or was he like many of us taking a much needed breather from his family and fellow lock downers? Either way he was motionless. (Was he even a real crow? ) I watched him for awhile and decided to name him the Controller Crow. I even took his photo. Still not even a twitch. This guy is good I thought! The police should give him a job.
I haven’t seen him since, perhaps his cover has been blown…
Since then we’ve heard many stories of the police behaving very strangely. Stopping people sitting in their own gardens or dog walking or even taking photos! Or threatening to search our shopping bags! Perhaps the crow could do a better job… And if I receive one more strange video giving me a perverse distortion of the so called rules…. When I got one telling me I could only buy paint (yes: paint!) if it’s an emergency I decided to just delete the lot rather than get any further brain damage.
I can only come to the conclusion that those who believe the police or authorities can have totalitarian power over us must themselves come from countries where this is the case. And as for stockpiling – again, do some really believe that such an obese nation as ours is going to run out of food?
A few weeks down the line many of us are secretly enjoying social distancing – in fact let’s be honest it’s far more British than all this unhygienic kissing and hugging of strangers!!
I’ve had friends phone me – upset that the police have moved them on or that helicopters were circling while they walked innocently across a park and I too have seen helicopters circling pointlessly even over ‘my’ field. Perhaps spying duties are hard to give up …
So far I’ve missed my birthday, Easter services, VE Day celebrations and worst of all not been able to see my father. And I feel sad about all of that. But it’s nothing in comparison to the epic tragedy of death that unfolds before us every day at the press briefing.
The only thing that puts me off going back to my office in central London is the overcrowding on the tubes and buses. But that abuse of commuters has gone on for years. London has been ruined by mass uncontrolled immigration and no Londoner needed to be told that the infection rate was worse in London – in fact London is the hub for it – we could have told you that ourselves – hardly rocket science. And as for hygiene – let’s be honest proper hygiene practices went out the window years ago,
We all need to get back to normal asap – but a new normal where overcrowding, lack of hygiene and not respecting personal distance are no longer acceptable. Even years ago I remember complaining that colleagues were sitting too closely behind us and I was treated with disdain. At least the awful and humiliating hot desking has now been banned. Sharing pens? Who did that anyway when you see rather odd people sucking and chewing them … Perhaps we can also now be spared from tv shows like big brother and love island where public sex with strangers is actively encouraged (so unhygienic).
Social distancing? Me and the crow can take it a bit longer – but can the economy? That is the question …
(Photos in the text courtesy of Janice North)