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I rarely ever asked for permission to leave the room in school for a call of nature, or any other call. My bladder has always been pretty good at dealing with holding on for a day or more. Even as I’ve arrived at retirement age I’m still pretty good at ‘hanging on’ for long periods of time. I don’t use outside toilets either, so I have trained myself to ‘hang on’ until I get home. The only thing I’ve never mastered is the odd cravings I sometimes got for biscuits. I love biscuits… now you’ve started me off and I’ll either have to bake some or grit my teeth. You see, the government has decided to stop us all doing what we want, when we want.
With the Coronavirus here and killing people on the island, we have had a lockdown issued by the government, so there are restrictions on our movements. It’s for our own safety and for the obvious need to stop the spread of the virus. The government doesn’t want our fragile new health service swamped, because that will not do anyone any good at all. Being a diabetic, I certainly don’t want to catch the virus, be taken to hospital and find there is no ventilator available. Not a pleasant way to die, not being able to breathe. I understand that and most others do too… but it doesn’t stop us wanting to go outside and have a walk, go to the shops, go to the cinema or any other activity we all feel the urge to do every now and then.
So now we have to seek permission to go out by sending a text message to a government number. We tap this 4 digit number in and answer the questions then we will receive permission to go outside for certain restricted reasons. Shopping, pharmacy, doctor and pretty much all the obvious things. Only one problem, the server has crashed on the first day because everyone on the island, all 1.1 million of us, decided to go out at the same time. I can see why this has happened. Restrict a certain human activity and the initial reaction is everyone immediately wants to go and do what has been restricted.
So, in the interim, while the network managers and IT specialists find a new rubber band for their mainframe computer, we have to print a form out, fill it in, and take it with us, along with our residency papers (a yellow A4 page with our details on) and our passports. Why passports as well is beyond me because all that data in the passports is on the yellow A4 residency page. All this to travel less than a quarter of a mile, a two minute journey, to the local supermarket for food shopping, once a week. Welcome to the logical world of lockdown.
The threat is, if we don’t do as we are told, we will end up having a curfew imposed with nobody allowed out for anything. If that happens, then we can’t even food shop and the government will deliver essential food like bread and water to our doors. They tried to do that in Jordan, and the coach/bus (why a bus I have no idea) with the food on-board was swamped with people.
I can see we are going to get social unrest and even rioting as the weeks go by unless the government get a firm grip on this. Here and in other Mediterranean countries.
Oh well, back to gardening and editing The Brittle Sea. It’s what keeps me sane, my mind occupied and my desire for biscuits I can’t have and can’t buy from getting the better of me.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2020