Reasons why lock down isn't all bad
But other things about lock down ... they can stay around.
For example, on the communication platform Zoom which many of us are learning to use as our modus operandi for socialising, the person hosting the meeting can MUTE people. Just one press of a button, and, silence. Their lips may move, but they move in vain. No one can hear.
What if this transferred into real life? Imagine its possibilities at dinner parties with verbose guests, in classrooms with gobby pupils, and at weddings with the bride's father's speech?
Think towards next Christmas and all those relations you feel duty bound to host and be nice to. As soon as Auntie Mary starts on about the way you're peeling the sprouts, one TAP and you can peel them any which way you like while she sits impotently at your kitchen table, opening and shutting her mouth like a goldfish.
Also on Zoom, it's possible to change your background, so that instead of a backdrop of a bookcase or your kitchen clock, you can have a Caribbean island behind you, or a friendly pub or a field of wheat.
This means, surely, that lying about where you are has become socially acceptable. In future, when someone says, 'Where did you go on holiday?' you can say with a clear conscience, 'Back-packing in the Himalayas' or 'Two weeks at a health spa in the Seychelles' even though you really went to a 2-star B & B in Skegness with mould on the ceiling and a dead rat under the bed, and came home after Day 4.
|'But I thought you were going to Margate?'|
'Me? Oh, no, no.'
One more Zoom benefit is the ability to choose how many people you'd like to see on the screen even if there are a hundred people present. If you like, you can limit it to the main speaker plus another three or four.
How handy is that?! So, you're on a crammed beach in Brighton, and the sun is blistering, and suddenly you're sharing the sand with half the population of the South of England who are troughing it out of McDonald's cartons and playing Radio 1 out loud on their phones. One click from you, and you can choose to be there with only that nice family which clears up other people's litter, an elderly couple in straw hats doing the Telegraph crossword, and a spaniel.
Moving away from Zoom, there's the 'one walk a day' rule. What's more, the official advice is that it shouldn't take more than an hour and should be local to where you live.
Where have these people been in my life? For 57 years (nearly 58 - 27th April - thanks for asking and, yes, I prefer milk chocolate) I've been living by this principle and only NOW they tell us that it was always a good idea?
In future, when my husband says, 'How about a two-hour trek along the canal up the hill to see the locks?' I can say, 'Two hours? Two hours? Have you not been listening to the experts? And, anyway, this morning I walked down the garden to put carrot peelings on the compost. You want me to venture out TWICE?'
5. Finally, although it's not all good being prohibited from having people into your house, there are benefits to social distancing and I'm making the most of these while they last.
I don't have to vacuum my hall carpet.
I don't have to vacuum my kitchen floor.
I don't have to vacuum my upper lip. And for that reason alone, lock down isn't so bad at all.
|Upper lip, twelve weeks into lock down|