Lockdown and counting?

Things change. (They’d certainly have changed if they didn’t.) We accept change. The rules change. We go from Lockdown to a system of tiers, then to a differently structured Lockdown. And it’s been a year. This is the last weekend of February. For a year we’ve been looking for that light at the end of the tunnel. Switching metaphors, we now have a “roadmap” for coming out of Lockdown. What I would call a plan. Doesn’t the ubiquity of satnav make “roadmap” rather an old-fashioned word for it?

Words, words, words. The distribution of the vaccine is not a plan, either, nor an arrangement — it’s a rollout. The way things will turn out is not a possibility but a scenario. Some of the metaphors can be ironic. A newspaper article this weekend talked about when more accurate covid mortality figures ‘come out in the wash’. Actually, ‘come out’ would do. But considering how much we have been urged and lectured about washing …

It was just a year ago that I first glimpsed that fear of each other that this situation has bred. I wanted to check something in a scene and said to the person who happened to be next to me “Can I just see your script?” And taking his assent for granted I took it, looked at it and then returned it. I suddenly sensed from him that he wished I hadn’t handled it — and all the stuff that was about to codify in Lockdown regulations came together in that real life situation. Then people were no longer shaking hands. Then we were ordered “Stay home. Save lives.”

From here — where? Looking something up online just now, I had hardly put in more than the word “will” and predictive text suggested “Will we return to normal?” That says it. Let’s hope.

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Roger Sansom

Roger is an actor, and lives with his family in Greater London