Post Corona Blues

Like many husbands I have a pretty small suitcase. Well, small, anyway. All the better in this day and age, I hear you say, it will take up less space in the imminent era of permanent distance-awareness.

The near future might usher in more legroom on planes, fewer flight attendants (could that mean fewer drinks?), no crowd control in sports stadia, breakneck hairdressers (so to speak) on roller skates and slowcoach postmen labouring under sacks of invitations to RSVP. Social life may revert to being more companionable, possibly with up to seven companions, and maybe even one over the eight.

Holidays, which used to signal a break from routine and an excuse for misbehaviour in foreign countries, from now on might simply be a case (ha ha) of swapping one set of constraints for another, except in Magaluf, of course. (Incidentally, the Arabic derivation of that name as 'impure water' is a misnomer -- I added a drop of tap water to my whisky every night for a week without any adverse effects, not from the water at least.)

As far as suitable holiday destinations are concerned, by covid's end we may be rather limited as to location, location, location, even if we can find three. Our travel plans will have to be built around a set of modern parameters: new variants, predicted mutations, impending vaccination passports, colour-coded countries and quarantine restrictions on return. Could I spend one day away then survive for two weeks in a five-star hotel at government expense? I'd just have to grin and bear it. And hope the tap water was safe.

I've never been to Normal, Illinois, but I wish I could return there. Sadly, I suspect few of us ever will. Holidays aside, the minutiae of everyday life will evolve in ways that Darwin never dreamt of. Before leaving the house you'll check you have your car keys, credit cards and face mask. ("Drat! I forgot my sanitiser spray!") Your hands will never have been cleaner but you'll rarely if ever shake hands. You'll become rather wary of visiting a hospital, your broken leg will heal itself in time, after all. As for visits to sick friends, forget it. (Some friend you are, if you don't mind me saying.)

I can't compose country and western music-- even wearing a fringed cowboy jacket didn't help -- but a friend in Cyprus recently told me she was suffering from the Post Corona Blues, which are apparently best sung somewhere down in the dumps. "I feel blue just staring at the Mediterranean," she sighed. And the Med, of course, is permanently blue.

I think we should all start preparing optimistically for the New Normal, the pedestrian run-of-the-mill, when the pandemic shrinks to epidemic and then is not endemic at all. I've packed my face mask in my small suitcase, which is the same colour as my blue suede shoes. ?It's three to get ready now go, cat, go.?


Graduate Study MPhil and PhD
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