Is it me or are the first cracks beginning to appear in the lockdown? At the beginning of all this our Close was jammed with parked vehicles all day long. Every available space taken. Overspill lined along the grass verges as though the occupants had turned up late for a local event.
That’s not happening now. Cars come and go. You can’t help but notice that some people disappear for the entire day, sometimes overnight, with their kids. If you’re observing the government advice, your life has become so static and predictable, you develop a kind of hypersensitivity toward the slightest movement outside. The cult of curtain twitching has a strong pull. What was once simple curiosity, becomes stealthy surveillance. If someone is moving out there, what is the threat level? Are they wearing a mask and/or gloves? If not, why not?
Our postie doesn’t wear any protection at all, yet he visits almost every address every day, including the block where there has been at least one confirmed case of Covid-19.
Two men were sent by our housing association to clear some carelessly discarded household items. They were wearing the standard industrial gloves issued to workers who need hand protection. But after heaving several black plastic bags and their unknown contents into the back of his truck, one of the guys proceeded to scratch an itch on his face without removing his glove. Similarly, we watched with alarm when a refuse collector, wearing disposable latex gloves, manhandled the communal bins to the rear of the lorry before taking a water bottle from his pocket, unscrewing the top with his germ laden latex gloves, and enjoying a long swig.
Are we, in our efforts to dodge the virus, succumbing to pandemic paranoia? Short answer is no. The urge to survive is basic, isn’t it? Basic hygiene isn’t rocket science. Before touching anything that’s destined for your mouth, make sure your hands are clean. The casual observation that everyone has to eat a peck of dirt before they die will no longer wash. We, on the other hand, must.