Wednesday 8 April 2020

Coronavirus streets in Manchester - III

Social animals are we
Much as progress, civilisation, technology, human ingenuity, and resourcefulness has brought amazingly miraculous feats to our modern-day life, this period of quarantine and self-isolation has highlighted some fundamental needs.
Chief amongst them is human interaction, my beau and I have co-opted Zoom as our video conferencing tool over WhatsApp, as Skype was not reliable enough, except for voice calls when other means of communication are unavailable. How much we would have preferred to be together instead.
I had not left my apartment since Saturday and at other times when I have gone shopping, it was a solitary event. Only once before had one of the store attendants ventured a decent conversation and it was mainly about the lockdown. My friends do attempt to keep my spirits up, calling on the phone and having long conversations, but that is no substitute.
They were really there
This afternoon, I heard voices in the corridor outside my door, we have 5 apartments in my wind and the length of the corridor is probably 20 metres or more. I looked out and saw my neighbour opposite who had passed a note under my door a few weeks ago offering assistance and help with my shopping, her daughter and my next-door neighbour.
We were all properly spaced apart and after exchanging pleasantries, we talked for about 15 minutes. You can imagine how useful the interaction was, it gave me the feeling that I wasn’t losing my marbles, and that for all my tendency to looking myself away from the public, I still need this social expression, if just for the sake of sanity. We are social animals.
Grant them eternal repose
Later, I went to my local store, in fact, I visited 3 stores, and all had run out of flour. Is everyone baking a cake? Suffice it to say, all hotels are closed, only restaurants offering takeaways are open and suppose they only use couriers. The city is almost a ghost town and it is unlikely the lockdown would be lifted on Easter Monday.
Meanwhile, as our Prime Minister sits up in high spirits being tended to by an Italian consultant in an Intensive Care Unit we are given the inclination he does not really need, another 938 people gave up the ghost in the last 24 hours and I cannot help but wonder how many of those souls needlessly died before their time. If …
My thoughts are with the many whose lives have been touched with the sorrow at the departure of a loved one. God rest the souls of the beloved and strengthen the hearts of their survivors.

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