It’s very strange here – not like anywhere I’ve been before. I’m not sure I’ll be giving it a very high rating on TripAdvisor, but I’m finding my way round.
When I finally get my hands on a return ticket, I’m certain that my view of the world will have changed forever. If you’d told me in January that I’d be found yelling my own name through a letter box, sober and in broad day light I’d have said you were crazy.
This week, I had an outing to the doctor’s surgery to give blood for a routine test. Usually the dullest of expeditions, but here, in Coronavirus, it verged on thrilling. Anyhow, I got there in good time and found a space. Have you noticed that people are socially distancing their cars too?
The surgery door was locked. “Push the blue button.” So I did. A face appeared, blurry through the frosty patterned glass.
“What do you want?”
“I’ve got an appointment.”
“I’ve got an appointment.”
“What’s your name?”
“I beg your pardon.”
“I can’t hear you.”
“I know. That’s because you’re in there and I’m out here.”
“I’m Ellen and I’ve got an appointment.”
“I can’t hear.”
So I crouched down and lifted the letter box to bellow.
The other weird thing about the land of Covid-19 is the lack of special head gear. Communities everywhere are crying out for what I’d call Zoom Hats.
Let me explain. One of the main ways that Coronavirus inhabitants communicate is via their phone screens. Inside that little device is, apparently, their entire extended family, work colleagues, friends, fellow committee members and classmates. What happens is that you’ll wander into a room in the house (let’s face it, where else is there?) to find that one of the other occupants is glaring at you and making flapping ‘clear off’ gestures. They’re on a Zoom call of utmost importance, apparently. If they only saw fit to don the Zoom Hat then we’d all know where we stood and there’d be no need for silent fury.
You are probably wondering what the people are like here in Coronavirus and, to be honest, I haven’t got much to report because it’s hard to meet the locals – they are very shy. I did venture out this week for some essential supplies and was lucky enough to catch a glimpse.
As I’d expected – because it’s in all the official guides – most of the population stick to the rules obediently. However, there would appear to be a significant minority that don’t. It’s hard to know if they’re visitors too who missed out on the arrival training, if they’re substandard locals who can’t understand the community behaviour standards, or if it’s some other kind of deviancy going on.
At first they aren’t remarkable and it’s only their actions that you spot it. The first one I saw walked straight past the people standing at 2m intervals (not just tape on the pavement, it’s M&S tape…) and in through the door which set up a terrible muttering and tutting from the compliant locals. “You should have stopped me,” the local accused when their bid for groceries was rejected and they had to face the silent scorn of the obedient. We shrugged, Coronavirus is certainly a peculiar place.
Wish you were here,