I suppose it has gone past the point where we can ignore it now. I was hoping that we would be able to; to let it wash over like all of the other things seem to do.
They’re all so distant and foreign: as far away as they can get with the Australian bush fires; the African Ebola; the Asian tsunamis and earthquakes. It’s all event after event that we see on the screens and read in the newspapers and we feel a twinge beyond fiction because it’s real but we feel no real fear because it’s foreign. The floods in this very county are difficult to really guage the scale of if you don’t see them every day or live by a river and in fear of the same. I had to actually go to Bewdley to see it for myself and even then it was muted. Like water tends to be.
Even Brexit wasn’t real. Not really. It got close and happened in the places that we recognised and our little ballot cast in the village hall meant that we were invested in it in the only way that we really could be. But it still wasn’t real. It didn’t change the way that the traffic ran on the roads or the colour of the water from the tap. It didn’t alter the taste of chocolate or orgasm and it didn’t make the walk to work any quicker or dryer in the rain. Life goes on and it always will, I think. Save for the tiny little moments of snowfall that grind things to a halt or the rare sporting successes that pump us up.
But maybe things are going to change for a while in the next few weeks.
Just as we thought we’d managed to rid from our ears the Brexit worm, a new one comes along. Everyone’s saying it. It’s the word that comes to everyone’s lips and has overtaken the weather as the topic of conversation amongst the we of nothing to say.
Coronavirus used to be something foreign, too. It was a China thing and then, same thing, a Korean thing. It was interesting in an earthquake, tsunami sort of way but too foreign to care about. Then it hit Europe and now Italy’s shut. Still foreign, true, but getting closer and the cases in the UK getting more and more numerous.
In my desire to let it wash itself away; in my conviction that the BBC would soon enough get bored and find something else to rattle on about it I occupied myself by filling the empty cupboards in the garage with a couple of things. Only the regular sort of thing that everyone keeps in the garage, of course:
Nothing major but, you know, just in case…
You see it’s not the virus that I’m afraid of. It’s the people.