Saturday, 28 March 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - II


Emptied for a queue
As the world goes into lockdown, the menace of the invisible yet so significantly palpable holds sway in many communities fostering upon us an abnormality that can never be comfortable.
When I eventually got out of bed, I prepared myself with a shower and dressed up to get some essentials from my local supermarket. That walk to and fro would have to constitute all my exercise for the day.
The street was not busy, an eerie calm had settled on my neighbourhood apart from the cars on the main road and the double-decker buses that had just about 4 passengers in transit. At the supermarket, there was a queue, a strict orderliness of one going in only after one customer had left. I was 4th in line as we gave ourselves the 2-metre spacing standing in the chilling wind.
Shopping in vain
At a time, I began to wonder what everyone was shopping for, as quite a few shelves laid bare. My almost 20-minute wait ended with 2 customers coming out at the same time. I missed cornflakes on my last visit and they were still out. Potatoes too were not on the shelves; it might be sensible to visit earlier in the day.
I got the other things I required, checked them out the self-service counter left. My street, an artery that connects two railway stations in the centre of Manchester is nothing like it used to be. It shows that it is people and their activities that make up the heart and the soul of the city. Remove them and you have a ghost town.
Maybe Summer will be warmer
Though you could not ignore the many Deliveroo couriers, this would mean certain restaurants are providing takeaway food. I would think chefs, cooks and restauranteurs come under essential services, to cater to those who can’t cook. I did think of having a TV dinner, a fish pie that I wasn’t tempted to buy yesterday. Well, they had run out of that too.
I have not gone panic buying, but I have had to stock up on sparkling water, whole milk, and canned soups. It is good to have some choices of food at home. If I can get out of my lazy phase, I might get to cooking something substantial. I think that would be tomorrow.
This is one week down and at 2:00AM the clocks spring forward for British Summer Time, it means my lover would now be just an hour ahead of me rather than two. Gosh! I miss him but we are confident once this is over, we’ll be back together again, in the beautiful Cape Town.

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