The Unwelcome Mistress

While exchanging WA messages with a colleague, prior to the official start of the lockdown period, she described the current pandemic sweeping the globe, as an unwelcome mistress. A beautifully poetic way to describe COVID-19, as it had adversely affected her friend’s summer wedding plans. I suppose postponed nuptials is a minor inconvenience compared to the devastating effect this virus is having on communities not just across the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but around the world. In particular, the brave souls going in to treat those affected.

Will you, my dear reader allow me to indulge in a little tangent. Do you recall the British Gas animated advert from a few years ago? We all live on our own little planets. I never really gave the concept much thought before but the reality is we do exist in relative small bubbles seeing the same small group of people – our families, friends, colleagues. How will we cope when we are stuck at home with heavy restrictions placed on our freedom. Daily exercise within the vicinity of your home location. (Although the UK restrictions are not as draconian as the Republic of Ireland, which has set a two-kilometre radius from home. Outside this, you will need to justify why you are so far away from home). For me, this has been an opportunity to appreciate the true freedoms we enjoy in this great green and pleasant land. My wife would be planning multiple weekend trips away as we begin to head into the spring and summer season. Not this year. Better try and speak to TUI and find out the current status of our two-week cruise booked for mid-July.

Now these are truly first world problems when you consider what is actually going on in the real world. In complete sharp contrast during the current lockdown – seeing what is happening in the country but also across the rest of the world – completely oblivious to the reality out there. We see disconnected numbers reported in a daily briefing from Downing Street. We work from home, juggling childcare responsibilities. Trying to give the best of ourselves when wearing either hat. The Tegala tag team splitting work shifts over a working day. I have tended to opt for the 5am to midday shift with my dearest spouse working in the afternoons. My office closed semi-officially on Tuesday 17th March and I have been WFH in some capacity ever since. I have added a timer to record the number of days away from my place of work at the bottom of the sidebar. I wonder when I will return to working from the Reading office. I wonder when life will return to what we would describe as normal. Maybe the new normal will be very different from what we have become accustomed to. It will take some time to adjust to the new regime. We very much put our lives in the hands of the experts advising Her Majesty’s Government.

My only feeling right now is that we should have locked down sooner and in an organized fashion. It may be a case of too little too late. The truth as always will come out in the mega public inquiry which will be devasting for this PM and the Government. For now, I take comfort in the fact that two generations before we’re asked to fight the spectre of fascism. We have been asked to sit on our sofas and binge-watch the latest sports documentary on Netflix. I find the comparisons to battle and combat wholeheartedly unnecessary and unhelpful. This may well be an invisible enemy but the WWII rhetoric is at best an easy pick but a poor comparison point, at worst extremely disproportionate. Perhaps the media should take a leaf from my colleague’s vocabulary and refer to the disease as an unwelcome guest we are trying to drag out of the party.

Twitter, as you expect has become a cosy home while in lockdown. It does help kill several hours, particularly if you consider it background noise to the working day. A useful, if sometimes a kryptonite type of distraction. However sometimes you stumble upon something so simple yet so powerful.

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