Splinter

It seems people are thinking about summer suddenly. Matt the talking ham is very happy that they’ve ineffectively vaccinated twenty million people instead of properly vaccinating ten million. These empty fools. Then there’s the fact that even after vaccine, people have grown used to the trappings of pandemic. Stockholm syndrome. The Guardian ran an article the other day telling us that even if we are vaccinated we should still wear masks because we don’t know how to use handkerchiefs when we sneeze. Friends of mine shared it. How long before we get this out of our system? And that’s not even taking into account the fact that more people than you can imagine are skeptical about the vaccines. Questions like “How long do they last?” and “Will we have to pay for boosters down the line?” are running alongside questions like “How do we know there aren’t unexpected side effects?” and “have they been adequately tested?” Then you have more people than you’d credit hearing from outlets they trust that the vaccines contain shifting nefarious things that are designed to do badness in one way or another. I have close friends that are genuinely angry with all the fucking idiots who think the vaccine is going to kill people. I have close friends that are genuinely angry about all the fucking idiots who think the vaccine is going to help people. It’s a mess it’s a mess it’s a mess, and it’s going to polarise and polarise further if we aren’t careful because everybody thinks everybody else is stupid.

Habits have very long half lives. There will be fears and habits we carry through generations as a result of the scar of this non-plague plague. Like saying “Bless you” when somebody sneezes. Pope Gregory I died in 652 AD. While he was alive he suggested to the Romans that a little prayer after sneezing might help protect the pious people of Rome from the ravages of the bubonic plague. We still do it now – “bless you” – despite it having lost all context and meaning. It didn’t help then anymore than it helps now. What fallout will we carry from this shitshow, down through the centuries? Already things have changed. We apologise and face the wall when passing neighbors on the stairs. We do the elbow touch, complete with mutual “ha ha isn’t this hilarious” acting. I don’t think I’ve ever done an elbow touch without the accompanying pantomime and it’s existed for almost a year now. Ha ha ha, do a little dance, we’re all screwed. I’ve already contemplated language changing – “social distancing”, “shielding” etc. The people who would pull away when you hugged them – they’re about the only people feeling happier.

But … Hope. Spring is springing. And this huge Virgo moon is incredible. I’ve been sitting in the light of it as I write. Virgo is a moon for practicalities. Admin moon. I stepped on and broke the charging wire for my laptop last night when I was practicing accordion and I’m kind of ok with that. The laptop was getting to be more about sinking hours of the day into various entertaining holes than it was about sorting things out. I’ve ordered a new wire from Hong Kong and it’s in it post. Meantime I need to sort things in the real world. I need to move and carry and finish without letting me distract myself with comforting bullshit like computer games. The world will come back eventually with all the time consuming and passionate distractions, and if I haven’t made bigger strides in this flat and Hereford and Jersey and all the things I will lose sleep regretting it down the line.

Plus I want to see Lou. She’s been back in Brighton and I’ve been back in Chelsea and I miss my sputnik. I might be driving some boxes to Lyme Regis on Tuesday but I might not be. It’s all still very much up in the air, as is everything always at the moment.

I have the beginnings of a comfortable room at home. I have a bath running. The summer festivals look to be going ahead as programmed. Life? Maybe.

This evening I walked up Primrose Hill with my friend. After empty streets of Camden, suddenly there was life. Music. Laughter. Dancing – all in the freezing cold and dark at the top of a hill. I mourn for what’s not possible. But people are still finding ways to be together. Maybe we’ll be ok and this won’t splinter us too much. I hope so.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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