I wrote a few entries a year ago and then decided not to publish them given the uncertainty over how COVID would affect everyone. It seems okay to publish it now to look back at this time last year.
We are living in historic times. Which is just like living in non-historic times except there are fewer books written about it.
Years from now people will look back and ask how we coped with lockdown. I can say this: “today, I cleaned out the shed and catalogued all of my old paint pots by room and colour. Result.”
I also emptied the shed and found a patio strimmer. I don’t even know what that does. Do patios need strimmed? Are they not made of concrete? How do you strim concrete with anything but dynamite? However as it’s in an unopened plastic box I can only imagine it was bought at a point when I did know what it was and thought I would need it but not at a point where whatever it did was actually required urgently as I never opened it. In fact, there was so much junk in the shed that behind the leaf blower – something else I’ve never used – I found the Ark of the Covenant.
Today, my wife and I decided to go the local Morrisons for a weekly shop. I volunteered to go on my own as it seems selfish to both go together when shops are limiting numbers. We make a list of what we need for the week and think about taking latex gloves – another shed surprise (were we going to carry an operation in there?! Maybe an amputation with the patio strimmer?) – but decide against it as I’m not a serial killer.
Outside Morrisons there are barriers set up to direct people to queue to get in. We stand two metres apart, self isolating, until one man walks out the shop, and decides to push his trolley back along the queue rather than going straight out into the car park. It’s like watching the boulder coming towards me from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Do I run? Jump out of the way? Or just let it flatten me? Luckily I’m next to a gap in the barrier and he takes his plaguemobile out of it.
Inside the store a couple wander round the veg aisle touching carrots and onions and saying “These are no good. Not this one.” Well, not now you’ve touched them!
Another man walks round in a white tracksuit and a Burberry checked facemask. I might not be able to see his face but at least I can still tell he’s Glaswegian.
At the checkout I ask if the store has been busy today. “It wasn’t safe earlier,” said the man at the checkout, “but they’ve reduced the numbers coming in and it’s okay now”. Oh, that’s good, because Coronavirus is like a cool party. Once people leaves, it’s doesn’t hang around. (This may not be medically accurate).
I then drive home with an itchy nose. I don’t touch it. At home I try and open the groceries with my hand wrapped in an arm of my jumper, which I’ve pulled down.
“That’s smart,” said Mrs TwinBikeRun, “now you won’t get the virus from that jar of Jalapenos.”
“Exactly!” I said.
“You’ll just get it on your jumper sleeve that you’ll wear for the rest of the night instead.”
I throw my jumper somewhere I know I’ll never touch it again: the shed.