Diary… The end of human contact, plus artless fumblings on Chesil Beach


Social distancing takes its toll on courting couples


Sunday 15 March, London

📌 Doom is all around. Stories in the media focus on how this Coronavirus will change society forever. Human contact will slowly dissolve as isolated, remote living becomes the new normal. 

One report points to the state being the institution people look to in times of crisis. Not much help there.

Another points to e-voting as the road down which democratic representation must travel, for both politicians and voters. 

But in thinking this through, will the public develop a real connection with the state as a result? Will participatory democracy flourish? Or will we all fall prey to the capitalist cowboys such as the company that has the contract to clean Lewisham hospital, where cleaners have gone on strike after not getting paid? Can our present government embrace the need for a big, active, listening state. Can it learn to love the BBC? To trust the word of experts? To value the integrity of the NHS? Not a lot of evidence of that at the moment.

📌 Whatever happens, it’s hard not to imagine a near future when men in space suits turn up with your veg delivery.

📌 Yesterday my wife speculated on how young courting couples would cope with the prescribed social-distancing protocols.

There is a broader point here. Might there be a demographic blip in the future that indicates a Coronavirus Abstinence from coitus? No kids for the younger Millennials.

📌 We defied the current convention for staying cocooned at home and went out for a meal in a local Turkish restaurant. They were not only amazed, but grateful to us for bothering.

Turkish delight…

📌 The ridiculous posh shoe shop in Whitecross Street has closed down. It’s all boarded up and the grafitto “@ikillhumans” has appeared in red.

📌 ‘World of Interiors: Our Veg Drawer’. My wife says we are well stocked for social distancing and self isolation. There is a bag of shallots in there you can’t see.

Stocked for shutdown…

📌 You can always rely on Positive News to change the mood. Quarantined Italians sing and dance in defiance of the curse of Covid-19.

📌 Later we watched ‘On Chesil Beach’ on Netflix, based on the Ian McEwan novel. Disappointingly, Chesil Beach doesn’t feature very much, and I asked my wife if all the Ian McEwan books she’s ever read were basically about Ian McEwan. She said yes.

No sex on the beach

I suspected the role played by Saorise Ronan might be based on Annalena, who used to work at the Guardian and was married to Ian McEwan. But I’m probably wrong about that and it’s all just a made-up story.

At one point I wondered if Ian McEwan was ambidextrous. In the film his character plays tennis against Samuel West. In some shots he is right handed, in others he swats at the ball pathetically with his left hand.

Pop Quiz… Name that Tune
“Out on the road today
I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
‘Don’t look back, you can never look back’”

TITLE …………………………..

ARTIST …………………………

📝 Read yesterday’s diary.

🎧 Pop Quiz answer here.

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