Sunday, March 22

This time next year?

It's a lovely sunny Sunday morning and you see these guys in the field next door and, of course, their world has not changed at all. In terms of my day-to-day existence here, I suppose my immediate, local world has not changed either. I like to think that if I can stay here, undisturbed and uninfected, I can just get on with all the things that I do that people often smile at - the photos, the Corgi Toys, the stamp collection, the crosswords and diabolical sudoku puzzles, but not the Eurovision and X Factor articles or predictions as neither are happening. For the most part, I can and do with the days actually passing quite rapidly before I have done much of what I had proposed that I do when I woke up. 

The evenings are readily consumed with TV programmes, live, a mass of recorded stuff and, when that's finished I have Netflix and Amazon Prime, of which I have barely scratched the surface. I have Le CarrĂ©'s Agent Running In The Field to read too. I can definitely keep myself occupied, go for a walk, a drive, chat to friends and family on the phone or some app or other; I can do these things but for most of the time I am mostly trying not to answer the question as to when will this all end? When can I give my daughters a big hug, put my arm around my sons? How much longer will it be after that when I can walk out in the Arrivals section of Zhuliany Airport and fall into the welcoming arms of a partner?

We hear news that people in China are now starting to return to 'normal' and that the only new cases being discovered are those arriving from outside the country. So, without a vaccine, those people who have survived appear to have waited only about three months before they can start to circulate locally, although clearly they cannot travel to other countries. This seems most encouraging but almost too good to believe. Could we here in Britain be similarly free to associate, wander around, shop and work in June? 

At the moment I am trying to come to terms with the more likely scenario that, whilst the village here will remain much as it always has been and the only people getting ill or dying will be those whose time had come anyway, in cities and other vast swathes of the more populated areas there will be terrifyingly large numbers of people who become badly affected and it will only be in the autumn or even this time next year that the virus may have finally run its course, killed as many as it can and will either be killed itself by vaccines that we all receive or will simply run out of people to infect and cease to reproduce to the point where we can celebrate its demise.

By that time I would hope that other countries, either by luck or better defence activity, will have also bade farewell to the damn pestilence and planes will be taking off once more and, sometime in April 2021 I will walk into that Arrivals area, a year older, deeper in debt but still welcome.

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