As you’ll know, dear reader I have tried to document the lockdown with a series of weekly “lock down diary” posts. After 16 weekly posts, I decided that it was time to move on from that series so I had a bit of break from blogging last week.
Lock down restrictions are easing not quite daily, but at least weekly. I suspect there will be more lifting and res-instating of restrictions over the coming months as we all are able to do more and more.
I’m finding this hinterland between lockdown and not quite “back to normal” more stressful that the lockdown itself. I worry about a growing air of complacency, the loss of community caring and support so evident at the start of lock down, the increased lack of safe physical distancing by many, about travel, about the abuse of our countryside , about larger group socialising. Yet I realise that we can’t live in lockdown forever, children need to get back to school, businesses need to be open. Maybe I’m just too cautious, but I do worry about the blasé nature of some people I know, and some I don’t.
That said I am slowly starting to do more myself. I went for a haircut last week, sort of normal but really not that normal at all. Temperature taken before I was properly let into the salon, wrapped up in semi-PPE, wearing a mask, agreeing to personal data being stored for a short length of time before leaving. But all worth it for a refreshed head of hair and a proper blow dry! 21st century, global north new normal indeed.
I also worry about the lack of debate about wider issues in the world just now. Covid 19 is the ultimate way for governments to shut down debate, to use “national unity in a crisis” to provide distraction around what they are doing and not doing.
The recent debacle around the report into Russian interference in UK elections is a case in point. The current UK government has stifled, and try to close down democratic processes and debate like no other I can remember. It holds one unelected senior advisor above the standards it expected its citizens to follow and seems to be living in a fantasy world around trade negotiations. Keeping the population obsessed about where they can and can’t go holiday is a very handy distraction. The normal summer silly season for the media will not doubt be made up of “jolly” quips and pics of the UK Prime minster getting on his bike and jogging to loose his “fatty fifties” blubber
Am I just being paranoid? Maybe . . . maybe I just need to do more too. I am going away next week to visit my Mum. So a full day of travel by car and ferry – again normal but not so normal with restrictions on ferry passenger numbers and wearing of face masks. I also worry about work, will I still be able to survive in the coming months? but that’s for another post.
On a more positive note, I had a piece accepted for the current RGI’s first online exhibition, Thoughts are Free which is online until 10 August. So I’ll leave you with that and I’ll go and try not to worry so much . . . for a bit anyway.