Six things I’m NOT missing, thanks to the lockdown
PUBLISHED: 08:04 18 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:04 18 April 2020
Despite being ginger, and short in the serotonin department, I am fortunate enough to have the following:
Four grown-up children; three grandchildren; a partner, with two children; parents; football friends; beer friends; other friends (some who like football and beer); loads of work colleagues.
And yet, because I live on my own, coronavirus has seen to it that I am now almost four weeks into living and working alone, with just my fleas and my demons for company.
It would be easy to focus on what I am missing, including the chance to hold my newborn grandson Otis, and to see my son, Noah, who got the final flight out of Singapore after three months of world travel.
And I can’t begin to explain how much I’m missing my partner, particularly because there is no certain end to the lockdown.
But it’s no good my wallowing: there really are countless people in much worse situations than me.
So, inspired by Chas and Dave when they sang Mustn’t Grumble, I am stiffening my upper lip and spotting silver linings on the COVID-19 cloud.
To balance out the people and the things that I’m missing, here are some things that I’m NOT missing:
1 Having to worry about what I wear, or whether I wear anything at all
I’ve often wondered what it’s like to go to work in my pants. Well now I know. For my dining room is now my office, and as I have no prospect of visitors until Halley’s Comet returns to our skies, I can edit and write while in my Grinch boxers. For all you know, this could be under construction while I’m under-dressed.
No ironing required, no “what shall I wear?” worries, just sartorial minimalism and some awkward draughts.
2 Running the gauntlet of halfwits as I cycle to work
Coronavirus has taken a brutal toll on the number of cars on the roads, which is a joy for cyclists like me.
I get heartily sick of having my life put in danger by men driving their genitalia-replacement vehicles like idiots.
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Any chance that anyone driving a 4x4, a sports hatch or a car with tinted windows could be made to retake their test when we get through coronavirus?
3 Being too close to people
Ok, some people are fine. But there are only a choice selection who I want to touch, hug or be close to.
The two-metre exclusion zone is a joyful escape from those individuals who don’t get the idea of personal space.
Also, having just queued outside Boots for two hours with textbook spacing, I’m loving how I can avoid being jostled, or enduring unsavoury odours other than my own.
4 That person at work with the annoying laugh/loud voice
Every office has one (or more): the person who lacks self-awareness and irritates colleagues with their noise.
Right now, I just have the voices in my head to worry about, and I can silence them with a loud blast of Metallica.
5 Sport on TV
Every evening, every weekend, my life was dominated by which football or cricket match was on the TV.
The thought of it all grinding to a halt would have horrified me – until it actually happened. Now I’m getting by just fine without it.
I’m doing more cooking, reading, chatting to loved ones – and thinking. Sport will be back, but I hope that I can resist the urge to once more be all-consumed.
6 Having to be polite to people who I’d like to either punch on the nose or drown in a torrent of invective
Life is full of situations where we have to deal with idiots – at work, in shops, in supermarkets, at football matches, on the roads, everywhere.
Now, for a relatively short period of time, I don’t have to guard my words or control my twitching fists: I’m not encountering anybody, so I’m not encountering idiots. It’s a joy.
Don’t think for a minute that I want this lockdown to continue – I don’t. But while we’re in it, we might as well find the positives.
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