The World After the Corona Lockdown

I have been thinking a lot recently about the effect of COVID19 (the Corona Virus) on society and, in particular on human relationships.

To state a truism, we humans are social animals, and, with a few exceptions we all crave company from time to time. Even in this increasingly technologically driven society, individuals still enjoy face-to-face interactions, whether that be a meal in a restaurant, a drink with friends in the pub, or intimate time spent with a lover.

Today’s World at 1 on BBC Radio 4, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000h8gg, contains discussions regarding whether face masks should be adopted by everyone as a means of ending the lockdown currently in place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The view expressed by the scientists/doctors was that masks should be reserved for health service professionals in the first instance then, once shops start to re-open for those professions where close contact can not be avoided, for example the hairdressing profession. In the longer-term it was argued that everyone might need to wear masks in public, at least until a vaccine is made available.

My thoughts on this are as follows:

1. I don’t at all relish the prospect of walking through the woods, parks etc and not being able to properly appreciate the scents of nature owing to the presence of a face mask. The wind on one’s face and the scent of new mown grass is one of life’s pleasures.

2. How exactly would face masks operate in settings such as restaurants and pubs/clubs? So far as I know, its impossible (or extremely difficult) to eat and drink whilst wearing a face mask. I haven’t tried doing this, so stand to be corrected. However, even if it is possible, I can imagine getting food, drink etc on the mask thereby impairing it’s effectiveness, not to mention making the wearer look rather messy!

3. Related to 2 above, Even if “social distancing” is maintained, I assume that friends, family members etc will be able to sit together, otherwise one of the greatest pleasures of eating out (convivial company) is thrown away. Also, in smaller establishments, its difficult to imagine how tables could be kept sufficiently apart to comply with the 2 metre “Social distancing” rule. Likewise (in the case of clubs where people dance) just, how exactly will “social distancing” be practiced and/or enforced? Will people dance with one another in masks, then use hand sanatiser once they have finished their dance? And what happens if (as frequently occurs) a couple decide to go home together? In the latter case “social distancing” goes out the window …

4. Leading on from 3 above, what happens to dating? Apart from the pleasure derived from relationships (whether long-term or otherwise), sex is necessary to perpetuate the species.

This article, https://www.dw.com/en/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-covid-19-changes-the-game-for-online-dating/a-52933001, indicates that the dating game is alive and well at the time of the Lockdown. However many people appear to be interacting online, but not meeting. One assumes that serious relationships will develop and individuals will meet when COVID19 is, so far as is possible beaten or contained.

5. I was not surprised to learn that escorts are continuing to ply their trade despite the lockdown, as exemplified in this article, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8188793/Manchester-City-star-Kyle-Walker-hosted-sex-party-two-escorts-coronavirus-lockdown.html. I shall refrain from any comment on this particular story.

On a personal level, I am looking forward to sharing a few pints (and a nice meal) in a restaurant once the Lockdown is over.

Kevin

20 thoughts on “The World After the Corona Lockdown

  1. short-prose-fiction

    Hi Kevin, I am looking forward to share a good meal after all this is over too. I hope you are well.
    On face masks: I went to the grocery store. The people who help pack the groceries had face masks. But they could not keep them on all the time on. They moved them from time to time to the level of their lips. Then put them back. Then pack my groceries.
    That’s my story.

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Hi Gabriela. Many thanks for your comment. I hope you can enjoy your meal as soon as is possible. Its very interesting what you say as regards the wearing of face masks by those packing your shopping. I think some people see face masks as a “magic bullet” which, of course they are not. What concerns me is that public opinion may put pressure on people to wear face masks (even if the science says that they are of limited use unless worn by doctors etc). We do, I think risk living half a life instead of a rich and varigated one. We, as a society also need to have a frank discussion about the trade offs. By that I mean, one could keep a lockdown in place for many months, however this risks a manifold of social problems, rise in domestic violence, suicide etc, but would help to protect some people. On the other hand there comes a point (in my view fairly soon) where we need to grasp the bull by the horns and get back to something approximating to normality. However I’m not a scientist and I’m grateful that I am not in government! I’m well and hope you are to. All the best, Kevin

      Reply
      1. short-prose-fiction

        I see your point Kevin. I appreciate it. I just wanted to add that in some cases those masks can be a danger. I had to spray my groceries twice when I got home.

        Stay safe Kevin. I am so glad you are well.
        Gabriela

    2. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thanks Gabriela. Why did you have to spray your groceries? Was it due to concerns that droplets from the masks had fallen onto them? I think many staff in supermarkets here in the UK are not wearing masks. I do admire them interacting with customers every day, not knowing whether the person they have just served could carry Corona. I meant to add this link to my previous comment. It appears that this app may, possibly constitute a means of getting out of the lockdown, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52263244. There are though some concerns as regards privacy.

      Reply
      1. K Morris Poet Post author

        Ah, I thought it was. Thanks for confirming. I have been very luck as friends have been doing my shopping for me, so I haven’t actually set foot in a store for around 10-14 days.

      2. short-prose-fiction

        That’s very kind of your friends Kevin. I am really glad to hear that. But if the guys who pack the groceries do the same like here you are still in danger. It depends on how long the virus lives on paper or plastic. I think paper is about 4 hours.
        Anyway I can’t wait for this nightmare to be over.
        Stay well Kevin.

      3. K Morris Poet Post author

        I understand your worries, Gabriela. I have had several takeaways from my favourite local Indian (well, actually Bangladeshi) restaurant. Takeaways are still allowed provided they are delivered and there is no contact between the person delivering and the customer, so all payments are by card. Anyway I always throw away the bags in which the food came and wash my hands with soap and water prior to enjoying my meal. But there is realistically only so much one can reasonably do.

        You describe the situation well as a nightmare. I to can’t wait to wake up from it.

        All the very best to you, Kevin

  2. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    Please don’t say they plan to make it essential to wear masks. If they do that, I’ll definitely not be going out much, since even the thought of wearing the mask has me feeling a bit anxious, and the actual wearing of any kind of mask causes such panic attacks in me that they have to resort to putting tubes up my nose if I need oxygen when I’m in hospital, because I can’t cope with the mask on me.

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Hopefully it won’t come to that, Tori. I don’t like the idea either, not at all.

      Apart from your (and my) strong dislike of the idea, there is also the issue of how much of the hospitality industry (pubs, restaurants and clubs) could survive. As I mention in my post, I’m doubtful that one could eat or drink whilst wearing a mask! But I’m no scientist.

      Best, Kevin

      Reply
      1. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

        I’d have to agree regarding the eating and drinking thing. I suppose drinking could be achieved in a similar manner to how the astronauts achieve it, which involves a built in water supply with a straw that can be accessed without removal of their helmet. Although how successful that would be would depend on the kind of mask you have. Not to mention, it would need to be something you set up when you suit up, so to speak, so wouldn’t help the pubs and cafes much. Unless you had an external liquid pack that could be removed without compramizing your protection, and they sold replacements or refils for these. That could maybe work. I’m not sure how food would work unless it was also supplied in a liquid form though.

      2. K Morris Poet Post author

        Hi Tori,

        Interesting thoughts. I guess these things could work, although they would significantly detract from the pleasure of eating and drinking. I suspect that (if masks are introduced as standard) there will be some kind of compromise as regards restaurants, pubs etc. Maybe taking temperatures before you go in (as they have been doing in some countries re shops already), then people taking off masks to eat etc.

        Best, Kevin

  3. V.M.Sang

    When watching news from abroad, we see people spraying the streets, shopping trolleys, and in fact everything that stays still long enough. I’ve not seen any spraying in the UK, though.

    Reply

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