Waiting for the wave to break

by Chris Bertram on March 18, 2020

Months at home. Months working remotely. Months during which we may see close friends, family, and even neighbours on a screen. Here in the UK we aren’t at Italian levels of disease and death yet, but we’re getting there.

The streets are getting empty, yet despite government advice, there are still people in pubs and bars and on our local community Facebook page people argue vociferously for the right of publicans to open. After all, “they have a living to make”, and “it is a personal choice.” I doubt people will be saying such things in a month.

In theory we (by which I mean the people in my immediate workplace) are all working from home, but I confess that the anxiety, fuelled by the news cycle, the constant rush of social media updates on CV19 isn’t conducive to concentration. Meetings are happening via Zoom or Skype Business, but a good part of each meeting is taken up with people saying “I can hear you but I can’t see you”, “I can see you but I can’t hear you”, “I think I pressed the wrong button”. There’s alway one person who thinks the sound isn’t working, so you can see them, bemused, trying to fix the problem with someone else in their house, in a loud voice, believing that they are cut off from us all when they’re not. Nice to see people’s pets though, and their bookshelves and decor for that matter.
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