This is the most unexpected opportunity for working parents to reconnect with their children, another area in which Covid is asking questions of the choices we have made for our societies.
Covid was the last thing on my mind when I woke this morning, sandwiched as I was between the aging shepherd dog and my boy. I hold on tightly to such moments: Soon my son will be a moody teenager and the dog will be dead. Such is life.
The boy has been joyously flippant in this new world order. “Covid is the best thing ever” he enthused. I didn’t bother giving him a lecture on the tragic nature of events. What difference would it make? If he wants to pursue the firefighter path he might as well learn now how not to be anxious in times of crisis.
The dog is stone deaf. It took me awhile to notice. He ignored me at the best of times. He stays with his other family most of the time now. He thinks cars have to give way to him. Not being able to hear them is a recipe for a vets bill, so I’m taking the opportunity of lessened traffic to mind him while he’s still around.
Not that town has ground to a complete standstill. If I ever get any time off call I must take a drive to see if other towns are as empty as they look on Reddit. Ours certainly isn’t – either it’s the anti-vaxxers trying to build herd immunity or its a stubborn bastion of capitalism, obstinately clinging on to the concept of services for cash.
While walking the dog I met the father of the baby whose mother looked so anxious in Aldi last week with said baby snuggled tightly into his chest. His sentiments were as breezy as my son’s: “It’s like extended maternity leave,” he grinned, from the required distance of six feet six inches.
Out in the shared courtyard the Polish boy next door filled water balloons, while his father worked on an art installation for his baby brother. In our cramped quarters, we are forced to loosen social isolation to include each other. I guess that makes us a family of six. The gardened elite would never understand.
My editor was also embracing the enforced family time to instil sibling unity. “How is it you can get on with your friends online but not with each other? No more screens until you do.”
This is the most unexpected opportunity for working parents to reconnect with their children, another area in which Covid is asking questions of the choices we have made for our societies. My heart hurts for the kids with abusive parents. Do you think I would have stayed in social isolation with my mother and step-father? I would in my bollocks! Another reason for us not to be so judgy.
Overall it’s been a lovely day, aided by the finest weather of the year so far. I managed to pick up some outside and solitary work. Although I was putting myself at risk of infection of another kind as I unblocked an open culvert. Perhaps recent events have me turned into a germaphobe but I was sure I tasted leptospirosis in the stagnant water that splashed into my mouth.
A welcome but undramatic firecall added a nice interlude to the evening giving me the perfect opportunity not to take part in a scheduled online meeting of my Thursday night self help group. Spraying each other down and bleaching everything that might have touched anything, including the tyres, took longer than the incident itself, especially as we were down to a skeleton crew.
Social media has also been keeping my spirits high. Leo Varadkar may have warned us about scrolling through our phones but honestly, the memes are genius. I can’t stop.
I remember my history lecturer asking how historians would study the past, in the future? If that makes the slightest bit of sense. When you think about it, working out the lost origins of level seven internet memes would be a history professor’s wet dream.
Right now it feels a bit like the phoney war, I hope this period doesn’t prove to be as alluringly deceptive. It’s been two almost two weeks since the most responsible amongst began to take precautions. It might have been the sunshine, but I’m beginning to be cautiously hopeful someone in charge might actually know what they are doing.