I was going to do a blog today full of worry, concern and generally feeling a bit down about the current situation that the world finds itself engulfed in. However I thought again and remembered that I try to be a positive chap so here we go.
In the midst of this terrible pandemic sweeping across the globe (I suppose that’s why it’s called a pandemic) I have been taking my regulation one walk a day, usually with a (still) Covid free human attached to me for my safety. It has been so quiet without cars, trucks and school run parents whilst I have been scenting rabbits, deer, foxes and squirrels that it got me thinking about things. So feel free to join me on another ramble.
If this pandemic has shown me anything currently, it is that people have been required to change their outlook on life. To somewhat reassess their future I suppose. It’s an awful thing to think about really. You wake up each morning and wonder if you have the virus, if someone you know has it, if you’re going to get it and how serious will it be if you do get it. As a dog I cannot contract it, apparently, unless I have been overly petted by an infected human. I should be alright as the most I seem to get is a tickle on the ears and told I am a good lad.
On the first weekend of the quarantine in the UK there seemed to be quite a few people who were enjoying the warm sunshine and congregating really rather too close to one another. Despite official advice to stay at home country roads were blocked with cars and vans. People were strolling along the seaside with ice creams, barbecues were lit, beer was drunk, picnics had and parties were enjoyed. It seems that as a result of quite a few people not listening to the advice, the quarantine regulations were increased. At this point I would confess that I don’t like the word “lockdown” as it alludes to a prison type scenario and we aren’t at that stage yet. So people are now being told what they can, and cannot, do and it seems to have worked a bit better in the subsequent weeks. Hopefully this continues and this curve flattens in the shortest period of time. Otherwise there will be a very large number of people who will become extremely bored if they have to stay in for an overly extended period of time.
Anyway, back to my walk. It has been markedly quieter. I put this down to lack of planes in the sky, fewer cars doing the school run and a generally lower number of people going to work by tube, bus, car and train to their workplace. The pollution seems lower too. It may not be lower, but it seems that way. More people are carrying on their daily life either on the computer or via video link, messaging or just plain old telephone calls. I suppose I am lucky that I live near, and know of, sufficient open spaces that I can wander and ponder without bumping into too many people and other dogs. And when I do, I can more than adequately distance myself. I know that there are people who cannot do this, and that is why I don’t take it lightly and I do feel privileged.
Another thing that I wondered about is how will people act or react when this virus is being brought more under control and life begins to get back to some degree of apparent normality. Will people just go straight back to their “old” ways to travel quickly everywhere, push past others in the street, expect everything done yesterday, want their shopping delivered on time and without question all the while ignoring all the people that are currently being lauded as wonderful, brave and superheroes. You know the people, all the healthcare workers from surgeons through to nurses and porters, cleaners, the police, fire service, ambulance crews, delivery drivers, pharmacists, dentists. The list is long and varied and I haven’t included many of the professions. Will all these people still be applauded in three, six or twelve months time. When someone has an accident and needs help, will the police be abused, ambulances damaged, fire crews abused and jeered when they’re putting out blazes. The doctors and nurses who look after the sick and injured when they arrive at hospital, will they need to have a police presence, or security people on the door. When you leave the office of an evening and the cleaners are going through tidying up, will they even elicit a second glance in a years time. I hope they are remembered.
Then I think of the the stories of people finding their local store for provisions which is heartening. The supermarkets seem to have allowed the greedy to triumph over the needy. Shelves cleared when a simple and reasonable solution of limiting the amount of items any one person can buy would have seemed appropriate. Will the smaller local, independent, stores continue to see the new custom once this virus has done with us, I don’t know but I hope so. Also people who had been going out to the pub on fewer occasions suddenly miss the pub now it’s not there. To my beagle mind, the easy answer is to visit the pub when it reopens, acquaint yourself with the beer, chat with friends, enjoy yourself and come back more often, bringing your friends when we are allowed.
So how will this virus change peoples lives once it has been declared as beaten. Maybe the question should just be “will this change peoples lives?”. I do fear that it will not. People will seek to revert to their “old ways”. I hope I am wrong. Maybe I have misjudged the human nature and the aftermath of this virus will give many more people a clearer view of a different future where there is actually some benefit to us all of looking out for each other, instead of seeking to insulate ourselves against approach.
Whatever happens I know I shall be safe and secure. Maybe that sounds awfully pretentious and insular, but it isn’t meant to. I rely on other people, namely my mum and dad, to make sure my life is safe, it has a routine and allows me to enjoy my walks or some food in my bowl, with a snooze in one of my beds to finish off each day. In turn, my mum and dad rely on those people who have been nameless and, I suppose, faceless up to now for all sorts of things like keeping roads and paths tidy, grow and make my food, help me and others stay safe and well as well as most importantly manufacture my beds for my snoozes. So many things that many people have taken for granted before have been exposed as important in the last few months and sometimes I worry that the world will revert to its seemingly greedy, dirty and pretty selfish ways. We shall see. I hope not.
I will get off my soapbox now. Life is for living and I have many adventures to plot and plan for the future. When I am finally allowed to go out, I am going to enjoy myself.