Thursday, 2 April 2020

the tunnel

I found this story on the Guardian's website unutterably sad.

Elliot Dallen: Terminal cancer means I won't see the other side of lockdown

Unutterably sad, and beautifully expressed. Elliot Dallen has a clear gift for words, my heart really goes out to him and his family.

I'm very fortunate. I miss karate, I miss the gigs and my band, I really miss sailing. The empty office has a sepulchre atmosphere and I'm drinking too much of an evening, because after I've walked the dogs there's not all that much else to do.

Actually, who am I kidding? I always drink too much of an evening.

But my troubles are trivial and, ultimately, transient. Well recovered now from the chest infection that floored me earlier in the year, I'm well, my family are well and my friends are well. And, despite the fact that my fitness levels must be crashing through ill discipline and inactivity (and it's actually more than within my gift to fix this), this enforced pacificity means that both my shoulders and elbows are, for the first time in almost twelve months, almost continuously pain free.

Without in any way belittling the undeniably serious nature of the current situation, I've often found myself riling at the sensationalist, almost apocalyptic coverage both the mainstream and tabloid media is giving this virus, and the hysterical amplification it then gets through social media.

As an aside, I've made a point of temporarily blocking anybody that's posted or shared anything concerning this that I felt was unduly sanctimonious, hysterical or blatantly misinterpreting or misrepresenting the facts. And I've blocked more friends, family and acquaintances in the last few weeks than I ever did during the December general election. My social media feeds have fallen very quiet of late.

But these are difficult times. For some of us, the difficulty is imposed mostly for the benefit of others. And we should bear this willingly and cheerfully, even if the costs are disproportionately spread. I'll probably come out of this relatively unscathed. Others have lost or will lose their businesses and livelihoods and need to rebuild from scratch.

But there is a whole raft of our society, the "over seventies", the old, the vulnerable and the ill, that we've now shuttered away into isolation for twelve weeks or more, cloistered for their protection, for their own good.

Most will lack Elliot Dallen's clear eloquence and will simply have to endure.

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