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Corona Diaries: locked down at Easter

April 12, 2020

Happy Easter everyone!

It’s OK to say this, because the celebrants among us know that Easter Sunday is the day when we remember the resurrection, even though resurrection from our current state is some way away.

Better than Happy Good Friday, despite Donald Trump’s efforts to celebrate the Good bit despite the awful event being commemorated. I guess at the time of his tweet he was focused on the idea that Jesus died to absolve us of our sins. That must come as a particular relief to Mr Trump, though whether he is actually aware of all the sins for which he needs to be absolved is debatable.

On this special day, labour on isolation projects has come to a temporary halt. So my beloved has laid down the pressure hose with which she is remorselessly cleaning our drive, and I have cast aside the hoe that I’m using to scrape away several years-worth of accumulated crap between bricks and tiles that the hose can’t easily reach.

Normally on Easter Sunday we would have a smattering of family over for a big lunch. Perhaps the turkey we picked up for a bargain just after Christmas. This year it remains frozen. But we do have a large leg of lamb, which we shall cook along with other Easter specials including a nice cake. No matter that we’re the only ones who will be eating it. We’ll live on leftovers for the next few days, just as we do after Christmas.

I won’t bore you with details of whom we will zoom, but no doubt we’ll be able to see our grandson on his first Easter egg hunt.

Back here, exercise will continue. I won’t pretend I’m not getting a little jealous at the sight of my beloved swooning at Joe Wicks as she contorts her body into impossible configurations. Though perhaps she’s not swooning – more likely falling over in an attempt to regain her normal posture.

I will continue to go nowhere on the cross-trainer, with the TV for company. I’ve run out of Rick Stein guzzling his way through France, and I’m now on to Du Fu, China’s greatest poet, of whom the vast majority outside his homeland are totally unaware. I can’t say I can see what the fuss is all about, though Ian McKellen’s honeyed tones do make the 250 calories of purposeless energy expenditure a little easier.

Outside, all is quiet. Our neighbours are giving their strimmers a rest, though the dogs are harder to mute. I know them all by their barks. Max, the beagle next door, has a whoomph of outrage, as if mortally insulted by any other creature daring to make a noise, including us humans. The two St Bernards down the road bark in short but deafening low-frequency bursts. If their owners tire of them, they could be usefully deployed on cargo ships as sonic cannons to deter Somali pirates.

I also hear the shrieks of children at play. I recognise three of them. They have a large garden nearby, so they’re not breaching isolation rules. But there are others whose sound I don’t recognise. I must send up a drone to survey the immediate vicinity and take pictures of them and their families pausing during their exercise, or, worse still, playing football. Photos, date/time stamped and with GPS location will go straight to the local constabulary. Who needs net curtains when we have drones?

Speaking of the police, a little anecdote from Ireland. Yesterday my normally mild-mannered sister-in-law was pootling down the road close to home on her way to the local shop, when she was stopped by two gardai. The younger one, who was aged about fourteen, started interrogating her about her destination. Slightly riled by their impudence, she spun an elaborate cock-and-bull story about it being a lovely day, and she was off to her holiday home on the coast and rushing to get booze and barbecue stuff for a family gathering.

As the gardai turned purple and stated getting their notebooks out, she told them “just kidding, I’m off to the local shop to get eggs and milk”, and proceeded to chew them out for not having better things to do than lurking down country lanes. On your way madam, they said, a little taken aback at her ferocity. I hate to think about how that would have played out here in England.

No doubt we shall tune in to the Pope blessing us all from an empty St Peter’s Square and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s homily from his garden in Lambeth Palace. Then there’s the Queen on Instagram, Nigel Farage on Twitter and Priti Patel on Facebook. Oh joy! And John Cleese, who claims to be so broke that if you pay him he will send someone a personalised message on your behalf.

I’ve not yet started on the Sunday newspapers, since I’m giving them the usual three hours for their resident virus population to die off. However, I confidently expect to be told that we’re all doomed, or to be regaled with heartbreaking reports from ICUs and in-depth analyses of the failings of the government, along with the cataclysmic effect on the US of Trump’s hapless dithering. And if I skip the first sixty pages, I might find a few football non-stories and pictures of the fashion editor posing in designer PPE gear. Lots to look forward to then.

Speaking of newspapers, about the most sensible musing came from Matthew Parris (as usual) in yesterday’s Times, under the headline of “We say everything will change, but it won’t”. We will not learn lessons, he says, and things will gradually stumble back to normal by next year. Though “the shadow it (COVID-19) will cast will not be over attitudes, lifestyles and values, to which our attachment (and in which our inertia) runs deeper than we know. We’ll be just the same, but poorer and, sadly, somewhat fewer.”

I suspect he might be right, especially about being poorer and fewer. In which case our futurologists and super-forecasters will likely be out of business for a generation. They should make hay while the sun shines. It’s an interesting article. If you can get through the Times paywall, it’s here.

I will end with an apology, Priti Patel-style. I’m sorry if you’re even more bored than you were before reading this. Actually, I’m not sorry at all, because it’s not my fault and your emotions have nothing to do with me. So get over it.

That’s all for now. I’m off to bake the cake.

From → Politics, Social, UK, USA

One Comment
  1. Nigel Dawes permalink

    Fruit cake I hope! I must confess to fighting boredom half-way down but rewarded myself with a creme egg when I reached the end.
    Thank you for your daily bit of light entertainment.

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