LONDON MOOT

Things can only get better, can’t they?

Disruption of our lives is unprecedented and totally unwelcome

Sorry, I have been away for a while. You will never guess why! What a mess, huh? Many forms of pleasure we have come to know in our lives have disappeared with no reliable return date in sight.

Until yesterday, I was still at work. We had a mag to bring out so, although I could have gone home on Wednesday, I decided to stay on in the office and help finish it. Brave or foolhardy? Not too sure in all honesty. I was given the option to work from home, but I was worried that I might mess up with the computer set-up at home. I needn’t have been as it turns out.

So, now I’m working from home. That’s an extra 30 minutes in kip of a morning. And an extra hour not wasted travelling both ways. Every cloud as they say …

My email is now just full of items relating to this virus. I am almost too depressed to venture in there. Gone are all the nice items about restaurants opening and gin festivals. Everyone is cancelling events, not organising them. Hence a very bare Events section on this site.

I saw the cartoon shown alongside a few days back. It perfectly sums up my mood. Oh just to see the news bulletins full of Brexit again. At least I could still go down the pub and have a chunter about it with my mates.

I think the thing I miss most is the sport on our screens. When football is in its close season at least there is cricket and golf to fill the void. Now there is nothing – zilch. Depression is not a word to be lobbed around lightly these days, but I do find it genuinely depressing. I worry for the sanity of some as they lose all social contact.

Lots of mentions of these coronavirus reactions are being described as being in a state of ‘war’. I wasn’t around in World War II but I can’t help wonder if we might soon find ourselves subject to rationing. On certain things the supermarkets are already limiting us. Meat shelves are almost empty as I write this.

Get a sense of proportion everyone. We are not having bombs dropped on us. We are being invaded by a killer of a different kind. It doesn’t wear a uniform and it’s not as if we have to produce extra tanks to improve our chances of survival. Extra ventilators, yes.

Regular readers of this site will be aware that I am a diabetic, Type 2. All the medical advice suggests I am at risk. Slightly more risk than many, less risk than those older than me. Is my cup half full, or half empty?

Until yesterday, my wife worked in a restaurant. These are worrying times.

The Queen wants us to pull together, the Government want us to keep apart. Thankfully, the vast majority of us will get through this, but at what cost?

Will it all be bad? Who can say with any certainty at this juncture. For a long time now I have thought that the work I do could be performed from home. My company has been ‘forced’ to experiment with it. What if the experiment works out well? Is this the death knell for big office blocks? Will public transport be obliged to scale back long term as fewer travel to work in major cities? Will pollution of the air by traffic see great reductions? The air in China improved greatly during their lockdowns.

Have we stumbled on some answers here inadvertently? I fear we face a dismal few months ahead but some good may emerge. As they used to say in Hill Street Blues, “let’s be careful out there”.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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