Friday, February 28, 2020

Altered States

The (funked up) Peacock Skirt by Aubrey Beardsley.
Living on in the "end of days": Nobody is talking about Brexit anymore, Scottish Independence has been sidelined (mostly), Boris Johnson's stupid outbursts and calculated misdemeanors have been shelved, Trump's lunatic rants aren't even worth clicking on to view. The BBC loves a cheap to cover story where editorial input is minimal and experts can solemnly comment from far away. Corona-virus rules the airways, the primary concern of everyone it seems, particularly those with those awkward "underlying health issues". That could be me or you, that 60th milestone is a long way behind now. 

We're relearning hand washing, not touching your own face, only flushing the loo when the lid is closed, a 2m rule between people and no handshaking or sneezing in a crowded room. We don't travel, we work from home (except those on minimum wage who need to actually turn up somewhere and sweat), we self isolate, alert the authorities, we cower down (TV on mute) and await the angel of death or fearful solitude or a chirpy Tesco delivery. Next it'll be looters in clownish beanie hats stealing your stock of surgical masks. Let them have them but cough into the carton first.

When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around, black markets abound where farmers used to rule: cans of tuna and beans, beer and 7Up, books in boxes and box-sets that were never boxed because they're digital, candles to calm the demons and shredded 24hr news reports on a loop. A comfy couch and a room with a view of the bus stop where those still waiting can receive the Last Rights simply by producing their bus pass (or entitlement card to give it it's Sunday name). I hope none of it ever happens and I don't even know quite what it is.

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