It feels like we are stuck in the opening credits of a disaster movie. But this is a cinema we cannot leave. And there are too many directors trying to tell us - the extras - what to do. So we stop listening and follow each other. And as the cameras roll, the dystopian world of the film descends into chaos and panic. The problem is this film is real.
So what are our options?
Well, it appears that a lot of people have selected option 1. The panic option. The option driven by an escalating drip drip of confused and contradicting information. The rabbit hole we hurtle down in a frenzy of wide-eyed suffocating fear as we search and search and search for information on the internet; read terrifying tweets and skip the too doom-laden headlines that we see, but are too scared to open.
Some have selected option 2. The it-won't-happen-to-me option. The we-suddenly-find-ourselves-on-a-paid-and-mortgage-free-holiday option. The scientists-are-jargon-spouting-nerds option. The irresponsible, arrogant and frankly idiotic option. Don't they, like the rest of us, have family? They have parents, children, and elderly relatives. Don't they care about them?
Even if they don't have family, there's the old man in the corner shop who sells them a paper and fags; the cashier who shrugs as she scans a dwindling stream of loo rolls and has an elderly mother with a heart condition living with her at home; the sports coach who has diabetes; the bus driver with asthma - all these individuals and hundreds of others, who interact every day with the it-won't-happen-to-me, non-self-isolating, cov-idiot group.
Idiot - definition: a stupid person. Origin ... now this is a paradox - idiot is from the Greek word idios which means a private person; a person who lives on their own - someone who doesn't engage with society. From that withdrawn behaviour, the idios character was considered to be of lower intelligence; less interesting; and of insignificant opinion. The sort of person clever people - or those who considered themselves to be clever - looked down their noses at. Over time, idios extended its meaning to be of simple mind ie. to be an idiot. In the past, idiots were those poor souls that were locked up in asylums. Now, idiot is derogatory and is used to label a person behaving in a stupid fashion. The idiot driver who overtakes on a narrow road; the idiot who walks behind a reversing car; the idiot who goes to a party when the government advises social isolation. But if you were to splice meaning and origin together you'd get the idiot out partying endangering the idiot who stays at home. Or perhaps not ...
So after a long gap why am I writing a blog now. Why not? Walking the dog is a place for me to rant and dream and lose myself and oh boy! do I need to do all of those now. So, please, please, please don't select option 2. And try to avoid option 1.
Instead, lets forge an option 3. It won't be easy. It will be lonely. We are social animals. Self-isolating will be hard. But if I promise to post here every day, I hope someone out there will join me and read my words and chat.
Undoubtedly, most of us will get through this. The world may look different next year but people and their brilliant and funny and inspiring and creative ideas will still be here. Join me for some mindfulness; some pictures of my boys; some gardening tips; life stories and wild procrastination-rambles ... otherwise, known as procrasti-rambles.
See you tomorrow ... now that I can sleep knowing that the idiots - as of 8.30pm this evening - will be at home and not playing a reckless game with the lives of others.