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Corona Diaries: eighteen and a half things I’ve learned from the plague

April 11, 2020

It’s time for a corona listicle. But this one, be assured, doesn’t have endless pages of photos that take years to load, enough cookies to choke the most ravenous Labrador and five times more ads than content. Just words:

That people who have the least often give the most. I’m thinking of the lady down the road who lives on her own, is in her eighties, but regularly bakes cakes and delivers them to the doorsteps of old people she knows who also live on their own.

That people who buy expensive apartments with airtight windows are idiots. Balconies and windows that open might not be aesthetically pleasing, but fresh air beats floor-to-ceiling vistas and air-conditioning every time.

That Brexit is no longer important. When a munitions dump goes up, you don’t notice which rockets are exploding.

That ancient grannies and granddads are expendable. Or at least so it seems, judging by the number of them dying in care homes.

That people don’t think you’re mad if you greet perfect strangers. I have discovered this waiting to go into Waitrose and passing people in the park. Except joggers, of course. They do think you’re mad.

That headless chickens can run a long way before falling over. Or so most governments appear to be showing us.

That people who keep the internet going are essential workers. If you want riots, chaos and general disorder, wait until broadband starts falling over on a regular basis.

That “platforms” for small businesses get very wobbly in a pandemic. As in Amazon, eBay and the like. In case you were naïve enough to believe otherwise, they will look after themselves first.

That you can make soup out of broccoli stalks. Well, perhaps not just broccoli stalks, but certainly mixed in with other unappetising stuff you might normally throw away.

That people will go to any lengths to exploit their dogs for viral videos. But dancing parrots and shrieking goats win out every time.

That shopping lists are aspirations, not prophecies. Nobody is better at opportunistic purchases than my beloved. Russians who lived in the Soviet era would be in awe of her.

That Gollum would be a better president than Donald Trump. Well, you knew that already, but no post from me would be complete without an insult delivered in Trump’s direction.

That Americans use twice as much loo paper as the rest of the West. Why should this be? Do Americans use it on their dogs and cats? Do they visit the loo more often on account of eating twice as much as the rest of us? Are the rest of us converting (or reverting) to toilet hoses? Or is obsessive polishing what’s Making America Great Again? Just curious…

That I don’t miss football, but I do miss cricket. Ben Stokes, I hope you’re staying fit. Your moment will come again.

That suburban silence is bliss – no planes, no cars, only birdsong. Until, that is, our neighbours crank up their lawnmowers, strimmers and other weapons of war against nature.

That studio audiences exist only to boost the confidence of those in front of them. If a TV programme can’t do without them, it’s not worth watching.

That applauding the NHS is not enough. We should be out on the streets cheering all those born in another country who chose to make their home in ours. Not just doctors, nurses and care workers, but plumbers, cleaners, delivery drivers, shelf-stackers, teachers, academics and research scientists. We would be lost without them. Or rather, MUCH more lost than we already are.

That we’re not living through a war, for goodness sake. Rather, we’re facing an invisible steam-roller that’s flattening everything in its path. Eventually it will run out of steam. Hopefully, like Jerry the Cat, we will reanimate.

The half thing? That custard creams are an essential necessity. I’ve always adored them and especially now. But I’m still grieving over the disappearance of an ambrosial biscuit called Milk and Honey.

I’m done with this – there’s only so much you can learn from one emergency. But should you wish to add stuff you’ve learned, you’d be more than welcome!

From → Social, UK, USA

  1. deborah a moggio permalink

    could not resist sending this on. I hope you can view it.

    • Very good, thanks Debby. I especially enjoyed the Dutch subtitles, or were they Flemish? Though I don’t suppose the Romans used apples in their pancakes. Fish paste for a nice savoury tang perhaps.

      • deborah a moggio permalink

        the flemish use dutch when writing. The dutch update spellings etc regularly, and the belgians use the new stuff also, is my understanding.
        To know if dutch or flemish, need to hear it.
        let me know how your fish pancakes go over. (oh dear, do pardon the pun)

      • I will, eventually. Takes a while for garam to ferment…

      • deborah a moggio permalink

        try burying it in a pot in the back yard.

      • Or in an amphora, as in Pompeii.

      • deborah a moggio permalink

        Yours is more apt. I was thinking of Korea.
        Pots taller than I both in ground and above. Most impressive

      • Pompeii is deeply impressive. Herculaneum even more.

      • deborah a moggio permalink

        sadly, I will probably never get there. Can’t tolerate the heat.
        have had a yearning for Petra since childhood, but will probably not ever do that either.

      • Shame. Both are well worth a visit.

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