I haven’t done it for years but I’m thinking about doing it now. I mean, nobody’s going to see for several weeks or months because I won’t be back in circulation until my birthday and possibly not even then. What am I talking about? I’ll let you know in a mo…
Meanwhile our glorious leader is in hospital. They were making light of it but lots of people thought it had to be serious and they were right; he is now in ITU. I have a number of complex feelings about this, uppermost of which is a desire to laugh smugly (sorry but there it is). The situation is so rich in irony one hardly knows where to begin; that a right-wing libertarian leader should be forced to enact the strongest of socialist policies in the public interest; that the NHS should be front and centre stage and nurses and doctors the most important people in society – and now, that someone who by all accounts has been narcissistic and self-centred is now forced to confront his own mortality and (let’s hope) learn some valuable lessons. I don’t want him to die but I don’t want him to recover and go back to how he was. For all our sakes we need a better leader, one who puts others first and understands the true cost of leadership is not a giant ego-trip but self-sacrifice. I might wish for the same thing to happen to Trump but that seems like a much taller order.
I don’t want to come over all biblical on you but I can’t help thinking there is something a bit Old Testamenty in this virus. I don’t mean that it has been sent to punish the wicked exactly, but rather to teach us something, or several somethings, the first of which is to stop abusing the planet. The environment is already showing us how it can recover when we stop trashing it, and my hope is that this will be a permanent lesson to us when the crisis is over – because we are facing a much bigger crisis and unless we can overcome it we will likely all be wiped out. And quite right too.
There are things to be learned on a societal level, too, such as who and what is really important. It’s not the stupid economy, it’s people. It’s each other, and it’s those who care for us at the risk of their own lives. It’s not bloggers (ahem!) or celebrities or billionaires, and it can strike politicians as much as the rest of us, as recent events have shown. I also think it’s to teach us to stop rushing around, to take time and spend time with each other; to reflect.
And for each of us there are things to learn on an individual level; I am benefiting enormously from not having to organise anything or go to meetings or remember appointments or buy anything. It’s incredibly restful. And it has led me to consider doing The Thing. I never thought I’d do it again in my life, but I’m thinking about it. So shall I? Should I?
I can’t decide.