Notes for week ending May 17th, 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. I’m going to try and do the whole thing without saying the words pandemic, coronavirus or COVID-19 – instead, I shall refer to the entire situation ‘that thing that is happening’.

So, that thing that is happening is still happening. We follow the guidance rigorously, even if nobody else is, and as it becomes clearer that the government has screwed the whole thing up. Life is good, the daily routine is relaxed, we’re not annoying each other, and I haven’t filled my car with petrol for over a month – which is annoying because the price at the pump has just dropped below a quid a litre.

I’m pathologically avoidant when it comes to DIY, but the circumstances mean that I’ve finally run out of excuses. The garden looks much better for it, and I’ve finally dismantled the plumbing under the bathroom sink to remove the partial blockage that has plagued us since we moved in. I’m not willing to endure the queue at B&Q, so I still have an excuse to avoid the bigger stuff.

Shopping continues to be an awful experience. I can cope with being kettled by trollies while queuing outside, but I’m infuriated by the people who don’t follow the distancing rules inside. I am occasionally guilty of this, but by omission rather than intransigence. Last week, a check out assistant admonished me for overstepping a line when I wasn’t paying attention. This was mortifying because I’ve been quietly judging everyone I see committing the same offence.

The debate about whether it is safe for kids to go back to school is heating up, and some – perhaps under the grip of lockdown-induced psychosis, or living too close to a 5G transmitter – say they would prefer to home school indefinitely. I’ve enjoyed spending extra time with the youngest, but it’s not a satisfactory replacement for a classroom, and she misses her friends. She announced that she is ‘more of a gamer than a learner’, which I feel doesn’t bode well for her academic future or reflect well on our ability as educators.

Like many, I’ve enjoyed working from home. My employer tells me that I’ll be here until Christmas at the earliest, which is pleasing because I’d already been preparing to argue for my right to work from home permanently. I’m not travelling hundreds of miles a week for meetings that can be replaced by video calls – and removing a commute from my daily routine has done wonders for my mental health. Unexpectedly, I’m more motivated and productive at home too.

Messing around with video inputs instead of working

We watched the entirety of Tiger King, which was bizarre but brilliant, and also The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, which was lovely. Other than I’ve not watched much telly, which is odd given the enormous amount of free time that I have.

There’s still a big list of things that I meant to do but haven’t done – I might get round to them, I might not. Right now I’m happy to go with the flow.