Yesterday I took a step towards normality, not literally you understand my capacity for pedestrian pursuits not having abated one iota, but rather theoretically as my journey called for automobile assistance in succesfully replenishing a propane tank and utilizing the launderette to deal with my accumulated bedding. I admit the morning saw me excited, and somewhat trepidus, after any number of predictable weeks the unpredictability of even the most mundane of experiences takes on a sudden and dreadful significance.
I readily admit my visit to the laundry was overdue, but old trooper that I am I was inclined to make do as best I could as long as changes of bedclothes were cupboard available. In my dotage I like many find the capacity to alter behaviors extraordinary difficult and far worse extremely galling, we are all inclined to feel we have earned the right to be individual in all ways and not just as situations or governments decree. Age does not reduce these inclinations. making obstinacy as much a part of nature as precious habitual behaviors.
Time has allowed me to invest the appearance of ‘sharpness’, this I regret to inform is in many respects illusion created by a well-practiced habitual attention to planning and an almost intolerably finickity nature. Private slovenliness haunts me as much as the next person and smartness can soon simply commence at the exit of a premise rather than be an example of appearance in generality. For laundry duty my habitual styling is semi casual, yesterday I chose a combination of corduroy and tweed. I have on occasion been known to adopt ‘American’ workman denim jeans, but that always remains in my subconscious one step a little too far towards unkemptness bordering on the lacadasical.
An afternoon spent observing! Observing confusion! Every aspect of coronavirus safety is liable to reappraisal, instantly. Seems that any preventatives are arbitrary to say the least, relaxation at this point would effectively result in no controls at all. Social distancing has become a matter of convenience, masks a subject of personal discretion, the combination of the two an improbably hope. Sunday I began to note that matters were relaxing, that six feet of space was rapidly reducing to four or five, that official limits of group sizes were being stretche and that parking restrictions were being blatantly ignored. The longer curtailment stay in place the more ways individuals will find to avoid their limitations. Human nature makes people into bad actors, given an opportunity to clandestinely rebel they will turn almost immediately.
Science is suggesting that what might have seemed prophecies of doom could in fact prove the correct diagnosis, that the virus remains ever present till that hallowed day when an inoculation becomes generally available, say in fifteen to eighteen months. Sooner rather than later that realization must settle upon the public at large and the choice between participation in life at an exceedingly less intimate level or continuous isolation will become wholly unavoidable. Required restrictions upon behaviors are not so unacceptable, not so limiting, no more than the stringent rules society endured to hasten the end of smallpox, measles, German measles, chicken pox, polio and a hundred less easily recalled pandemics just in the last century. Yes, there will be naysayers, ostriches with heads buried deep against reality but, as is often the case, the holdouts will literally be a dying breed.
Breaking the poor social habits of the early twenty first century will undoubtably prove of great benefit, for covid-19 will unfortunately simply supersede covid-20, Covid-21, ad infinitum. The age of the zoonotic disease has arrived with a vengeance that humanity quite likely deserves.