Last Monday I was on the bus trying not to touch anything with my hands-
-which is tricky if you are visually impaired, bus lurching, Mitzie sliding helplessly into the aisle.
Back then, hundreds of long hours ago, when we were still living in that other England, a gaggle of pensioners were braving it out in the backseats, muttering, squeaking and giggling like teenagers bunking off school. Across from Mitzie and I, a baby in a pram coughed snottily and both me and the kid’s anxious mother, flinched. When we got to the bus station, there was a sound of much squelching and the sharp, sweet, palate-cleansing stink of hand sanitiser flooded the bus as almost everyone squirted and rubbed.
A week later and I wouldn’t risk the bus again. Few would. Going to the Co-Op is a dangerous idea. In the last couple of days, I have seen an x-ray of a mucus encrusted lung and heard the statistics. This morning I played ‘Un Bel Di Vedremo’ from Madame Butterfly sung by Renee Fleming at full volume, followed by ‘The End of the world As We Know it’ by REM. ‘Alexa, play music for the apocalypse, please’.
Schools closed last Friday. The death count in UK is 303 as of this evening – doctors and nurses still don’t have the right safety gear and freelancers, the self-employed, are still waiting to hear their financial fate. And there is another black hole emerging – potentially, under the Coronavirus Bill being read in Parliament as I type, the rights of disabled adults and children will be binned. More on that anon. I am tired.
On the up side, my hair is freakin’ amazing thanks to the genius of Karen Silk Hairdressing. The vegan hair colour is called ‘Manic Panic’. Of course.
I work from home so my world of relative isolation hasn’t changed much. I love people but in context. I am quietly relieved to not be rushing around the country for work events. I like that no one is going to ‘pop around’. Mitzie however, the most social dog I have ever known, lies in doorways looking like a grounded teenager. I wish someone would invent dog comics. We are still able to get out, at the moment. The sun is blissful. The sky so clean. festival blue and buds are popping up like braille all over the luscious Wiltshire countryside.
More soon and meanwhile, I recommend keeping a journal through this time. Something to look back on in a few weeks or months time! And keep in touch. Stay safe.