With large sections of society in ‘social-isolation’, one Lichfield resident lifts the lid on her thoughts in the latest of a series of diary posts on the coronavirus outbreak.


It’s not a magic number, this two metres measure we’re meant to keep apart – and the police can’t actually enforce it.

It’s a cosier 1.5 metres in Australia, and one expert says it all depends on which way the wind is blowing.

Still, the guideline here is a bit over six feet – the length of a bed or a broom. Or two shopping trolleys. Or, according to a farmer on the radio – the length of your average cow.

These tips won’t really work in my back garden and I’ve decided to apply my own universal rule – keep it simple. So before a friend was due to arrive, I placed two chairs three paces apart, then added another paving stone’s space, for luck.

It was a delight to have a real chat, share a picnic, soak up some sun and top up our levels of Vitamin D, which could turn out to be a protective piece of the COVID-19 puzzle, unlike the desperate remedies in circulation for months – from a Trumpian dose of disinfectant or unproven drug to eating loads of garlic, though that one could solve any social distancing problem.

It was Wednesday, the hottest day of the year and 200 miles away, on the south coast – in a parallel universe. The beaches were packed with people only inches apart, as if the lockdown was a thing of the past. It was unsettling. 

Was I being a bit paranoid about it all?  But no. As someone else said very simply: “We have to respect the virus.”

When my visitor left – through the yard, not the house itself – there was no farewell hug or kiss, of course. 

And I’ve still no idea when I’ll see my sons again, but there’s also a lot to look forward to.

It can’t be long before we can make plans, eat in a restaurant, visit a pub, theatre or gallery or even a different country. One day soon, over the rainbow.

Tessa also writes on www.pensionista.co.uk – an adventurous take on much later life.

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1 Comment

  1. For those who haven’t noticed the link, Tessa writes some really good short stories and poems. Usually in the first person, Alan Bennett style, and about everyday observations and experiences. There is real emotional quality there; try them, you won’t be dissapointed.

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