Tag Archives: the corona virus

When a Young Lady Named Miss Heart

When a young lady named miss Heart
Said, “we must stay 2 meters apart”.
And I said, “is that due to Corona?”,
She said, “no, I’ve always been a loner,
And I really don’t like your art!”.

Furlow

During the time

Of Corona, girls unseen
May fulfill a lonely man’s dream.
While poets smile
And spend their time
Composing rhyme.

“An Englishman’s home is his castle”
Neighbours say.
And, wishing to avoid hassle
They look the other way
As girls (ineligible for furlow)
Come and go.

And time
Hangs heavy on the poet’s hands.
Therefore, he composes rhyme
About a crossed line,
And resistance
To social distance

The Pubs Are All Closed

Girls in short clothes
Still go by.
But, the pubs are all closed
And I
Feel the unreal, steal
Over England.

One should not
Shake a hand.
But the weather is hot
And girls in short clothes
Go by.
But the pubs are closed
And I
Voice the unspoken,
“How many little communities will reopen?
And how many die?”.

The pub is part
(And sometimes the heart)
Of local society.
How much variety
Will we lose?
Its not merely booze
But birds of diverse feather
Coming together,
Through diversity in unity.

I have the park.
But thoughts dark
Come to me.
Girls in short clothes
Still go by
But the pubs are closed
And variety
Can, so easily die.

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

At a Time of Social Distancing

Sunscreen on skin
Is no sin.
The birds sing
For it is spring.
One may go outside
But woe betide
The man who offers resistance
To the concept of social distance.

They say that couples are okay
To enjoy the weather together.
But how do you
Distinguish lovers true
From those simply out for fun
In this beautiful spring sun?

One may stroll, alone.
The phone,
And the internet
Are fine. As is wine
(but no alcohol or grub
Down the local pub)!

You may walk your pet
And hear the birds sing
(for it is spring),
And it is not yet
A crime, to indulge in rhyme.

COVID-19 (the Corona Virus) – my Experience of Living and Working in London

Yesterday evening (19 March), I received a text from a friend saying, “There is literally nothing left in the shops!”.

Whilst I have not experienced there being “literally nothing left”, I have, regularlly visited my local Sainsburys only to find no toilet rolls, canned tuna or other items which, usually fill my shopping basket.

My local Sainsburys in Upper Norwood has, as with all Sainsburys (and many other supermarkets), limited shoppers to purchasing a maximum of 2 of any 1 product so, for example I can only buy 2 packs of tissues (assuming of course that there are any tissues left to buy)!

Given the panic buying by vast numbers of the British public as a consequence of COVID-19 (the Corona Virus), I am wholly in support of Sainsburys and the other stores who have introduced limits on the number of items shoppers may purchase. However, in London I can report that this sensible (and morally correct) policy is not working.

Talking to store employees, I am frequently told how people buy 2 lots of an item, leave the store and, shortly afterwards come back to buy a further 2 of the same product. Staff are sometimes abused when trying to enforce the 2 item limit (on any one product), while families may go to separate check-out lines in an attempt to beat the limit.

Yesterday (Thursday 19th March), my local Sainsburys opened between 8-9 am purely to serve the elderly, pregnant women and other vulnerable customers. Being registered blind, I entered the store at a little after 8 am and was escorted round by a helpful employee. Whilst the lady did her very best to find the items I needed, many of them where, quite simply not in stock, which meant that I either found an alternative or went without. For example there where no rubbish sacks. I was, however able to purchase bin bags when I visited the store later in the day (although they had almost sold out of this essential item).

Whilst some people are behaving in a selfish manner, I have been touched by the kindness of other individuals. While shopping between 8-9 am yesterday, a heavily pregnant lady brought across a box of ceareal which the store employee had not spotted and thought was out of stock. I have also received offers of help from friends to assist me shop. As John Donne famously said, “no man is an island”. We all have duties and responsibilities to one another and its at times like this (the COVID-19 emergency), that we see both the worst and the best in our fellow men and women.

Since Tuesday, I have been working from home (my employer has now instructed everyone to do so). Whilst I relish the opportunity to home work once a week (almost always on a Friday), I am finding it socially isolating to work from home every day. There is much written about how technology can enable remote working and the benefits of working from one’s own home. Home working does, indeed have many benefits, for example cutting down on the carbon emissions produced by travel, however (apart from the problem of isolation) I find that I miss the convivial chats in the work kitchen. “Oh did you see my email?” said to a colleague one has just bumped into, is likely to prompt them to go back to their desk and look at said message. Such a question (put with a smile) is likely to ilicit a positive response, whilst sending a follow-up email may well just get lost in a colleague’s ballooning inbox.

Whilst this is a poetry blog, I will, from time to time continue to put out the occasional post concerning my experience of the COVID-19 situation.20

Kevin