As the coronavirus related restrictions have eased, it seems like most of the British population has fallen into two camps:
Camp One are still vehemently refusing to leave the house for any reason. They do not think schools, pubs, gyms, hairdressers or events of any kind should be open until the virus is completely eradicated. They seemingly don’t care about people’s livelihoods, mental health, or the possibility of anyone becoming ill, dying, or living a really miserable life so long as it’s not corona-related. They terminated twenty-year friendships over a trip to the hairdresser and post photos shaming strangers for sitting on an empty tube carriage without a mask. These people also seem to be convinced that masks are magic and make self-congratulatory posts about how they’ve saved thousand of people from a painful death for sticking a bit of cloth over their face for five minutes when they walked to the post box six weeks ago (the last time they needed to leave the house).
Camp Two are equally obsessed with masks, but for a very different reason: they believe the government are using them as some kind of gagging device and that it is an affront to our civil liberties to be asked to wear them. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they think coronavirus is all a giant hoax or that the dangers are over exaggerated. None of them have been able to explain why the government would want to spread a hoax that ruined the economy and their reputation, of course. These people are throwing strops like petulant children and are determined not just to ignore the mask legislation but to hug their friends, leave their hands unwashed and sit next to strangers at every opportunity. Camp Two are, of course, far worse than Camp One because while Camp One might be a pain in the arse their behaviour probably isn’t going to kill anyone.
For those of us who have not joined either of these crazy camps, the last couple of months have been an exercise in trying to resume our lives and stay sane without taking undue risks. Personally I have no faith in masks whatsoever, but I am happy to err on the side of caution and wear one in public places so long as it doesn’t make people think it is safe to forget about social distancing and hygiene. I’ve visited my hairdresser and my physio and I’ve been to pubs (but only quiet ones at off peak times) and I’ve been mostly happy with the precautions that they have all taken, though I’d rather my hairdresser had worn a mask than a visor. None of these places felt anywhere close to being as dangerous as my daily trips on the 158 bus (but I don’t have to make those any more! This will be the subject of another post…) I think pubs have been infinitely improved by the new measures – booking tables (no more standing around waiting for people to leave), ordering drinks on an app (no more agonising waits at the bar) and permanently clean tables. I initially froze my gym membership for another month – mainly because the running track was still closed – but returned this week. I haven’t gone in the actual gym (I can’t say I’ve missed it) but I’ve been on the track (… new track PB of 32:04 though I was actually a bit disappointed that it wasn’t closer to 30:00 – still, plenty of time to improve) and to a class. The class felt very safe as it took place in a sports hall and everyone had their only two metre marked square which they weren’t allowed to step outside of, and there was a copious supply of cleaning fluid for the mats and handweights. Another advantage of the new measures: no overfull studios and none of the dreaded “everyone find yourself a partner” activities! As someone who struggles with invasion of personal space, I’ll be quite happy if these measures are here to stay although of course it is a shame it took a national disaster to bring them in.
The biggest blow of the lockdown for me personally, as you may have noticed, was the cancellation of every single event between March and September. I’m really excited to say that finally EVENTS ARE COMING BACK!!! My first was a low key swimming race in Milton Keynes, followed by a bigger one in Henley the following week (where Rob only beat me by 30 seconds, expect me to keep mentioning this every time he laps me in a two lap 5k run forever). But the thing I am really looking forward to is my first RunThrough race and I am overexcited to announce that will be happening at Battersea Park this Sunday! Obviously this means I am going to injure myself sometime on Saturday afternoon and not be able to run for six months.