Virus claims death of a daily diary
Sunday 22 March, London
📌We could be at the start of a horrible national blame game. The radio is full of stories about carousing drinkers ramming into pubs that have stayed open in defiance of the government request to close.
But once again the information is vague and variable. One expert says get outdoors and exercise; another says no, stay indoors and pretend you are carrying the virus.
Meanwhile, the National Trust has been forced to close gardens because too many people take one piece of advice and not the other.
📌An email from our friend Keith predicts that very soon, these social control matters will be taken out of citizens’ hands and behaviour enforced by the armed forces and reserves.
My sister in Paris needs to fill in a form before leaving the house. It is a declaration that being outside is “essential” (food, medical). Police are checking, with drones, she says.
Here the urgency has not gained the psychological traction it has found in other countries, and it’s hard not to see that as a question of leadership.
But I’m not even sure the present government actually wants people to act collectively for the good of the many over the self-interest of the few. It’s not in its DNA.
📌The crisis is now moving on to moral ground, and anyone flouting the guidelines will soon be seen as an enemy. And right on cue, Luke posts this on Facebook.
And then this popped into my inbox:
📌 Don McClean has just told me that the three men he admires most – the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost – just caught the last train for the coast. I hope it wasn’t to Whitstable. That was one of the places reported to be hosting gangs of pissed-up Covid deniers.
📌 The ‘World of Interiors’ photo project today is our wine cupboard under the stairs.
📌 Kenny Rogers died recently, age 81. One of his most famous songs, ‘The Gambler’, talks about life as a game of poker, in which knowing when to hold cards and when to fold is what defines your character.
It’s a corny song, but I have decided it’s time to follow his advice and to fold this diary, or at least to stop publishing it daily, but just occasionally, maybe monthly.
My day-to-day task at the moment is to stay healthy and to try to make a way through these terrible times. I want to keep to my lifelong love of looking outward and not inward.
Pop Quiz… Name that Tune…
“Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same”