Thoughts in isolation

I don’t know how long I’ve been in lockdown. The days sort of melt into each other, there’s no such thing as bedtime or meal times (I toasted a scone at 4am the other day), my hair is fast reverting to that 1974 look – with added grey of course – and my eyebrows have taken on a life of their own.

I’m starting to resemble the old guy from Grizzly Adams.

I have kept something of a simple routine in my life; when I’m downstairs I’m working and when I’m upstairs I’m not sleeping.

See, simple.

I see a lot of people on TV news programmes talking about when things get back to normal and that’s something I wonder about because after this crisis passes – and it will – I think we’re going to have to adapt to a whole new social “normal” at least for a while.

This is likely to be problematic because human nature is not going to change proportionately. Selfish idiots will continue to be selfish idiots, although this crisis has confirmed, once again, that there is such a thing as community spirit and collective responsibility.

It has also shifted our views on what is important in life.

Then there is the small matter of the broken economy and our own individual finances.

But the very first thing that needs to be done is for national and local governments to approve a non taxable lump sum – say £5,000 – plus a minimum 20 per cent pay rise for every nurse, care worker, binman and anyone else who put their life on the line for the rest of us.

* Some of the malicious comments posted on social media this week about Boris Johnson being in intensive care with COVID-19 have been nothing short of disgraceful.

I’m known for being forthright with my opinions and I make no secret that, with maybe three exceptions, politicians anywhere in the world are far from my favourite people, but this was completely out of order and those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.

*Among all the dross on the internet – just go into Google on your smartphone and the superfluous non story clickbait crap dished out by The Express, The Mail and The Sun is just staggering – there are some little gems of good cheer.

One of my favourites at the moment comes on Facebook courtesy of the previously presumed most serious musician on the planet, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and his wife of more than 25 years Toyah – yes that Toyah.

Over the past couple of weeks they have filmed themselves running around the garden dressed as bumble bees, staged a choreographed dance routine which pretty much counts as Toyah’s audition for this year’s Strictly, clapped for the NHS and various other little vignettes showing them to be not only a lovely couple, but also completely bonkers in the best way.

*People are perfectly entitled to their belief system, whatever that may be, but personally I find it very difficult to reconcile the building of temporary mortuaries on car parks with worshipping an omnipotent deity on Easter or any other Sunday.

I can’t say faith is something I struggle with because I have never accepted that the worst things in life, whether on an individual or global scale, are part of some grand plan.

I realise the alternative to that is just sh** happens – actions and their consequences – and how we deal with that is what shapes us along with the moral limits we set for ourselves, but is that any harder to accept than the concept of fate or divine intervention?

It is my fervent hope that something endures beyond this, love for instance, because otherwise it is all just one big pointless cosmic joke without a punchline.

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Edward Case

Columnist