This Spring, amidst the virus, I’m definitely channelling my inner grumpy old woman. The list of things that make me grumpy grows daily.
People wearing masks and gloves and then picking over fruit and veg with them on as if just wearing the gloves makes them safe. Then driving off still wearing the gloves. And masks that cover the mouth but not the nose.
People who get to the check out and then spend an inordinate amount of time rummaging around in the bottom of their bag for their wallet/purse as if it has come as a complete surprise to them that they might be asked to pay and then counting out their money with finger and thumb held out at arm’s length. For £5.75 use contactless FFS!
People who tell you they are busy, busy, busy, and loving lockdown. Apparently they are building a new shed, learning Mandarin while inventing recipes and sending them out to all the family. Why aren’t they slobbing in front of the television, eating junk food, drinking too much and getting fat like the rest of us?
And the people who claim they are slobbing out in front of the television, eating junk food, drinking too much and getting fat, when I’m pretty sure they are actually building a new shed, learning…… etc.,, but don’t want to sound too smug.
Experts – for every opinion there is a counter opinion. Everyone is an expert and as there is no news except the virus, all the news is the virus and in order to fill our screens, radio and newspapers they have to write about the virus and for every unsung hero or heart-warming story about a stray kitten there are acres of blank space that has to be filled with dire predictions about the future. Some days it appears as though us oldies will be in lockdown for the rest of our lives and at other times as though the whole world will be forced to wear protective clothing at all times – this will of course eliminate the need for any beauty treatments so that could be a plus. But I digress from my deep-seated grumpiness.
When mad cow disease appeared in 1993 180,000 cows were killed and the pundits predicted that 500,000 people would die from it. In actual fact 150 people died in the UK. In 1967 scientists predicted that there would be world famine by 1975 and in the 1970s scientists were predicting a new Ice Age by the year 2000. When did that suddenly change? One of the advantages of old age is that you learn to take scientists and their predictions with a pinch of salt. Of course, many of them are quite correct, and in normal times they are fewer and further apart so we can examine them and digest them and filter out those that simply aren’t true. But in normal times we have other things to be getting on with and these are far from normal times. The pundits are in their element. I can imagine this must be a wonderful time for them. A life spent in relatively solitary intellectual study and research and all at once the world wants to know you and to hear your views. It must be quite heady stuff.
More dire predictions – just today we have been told to prepare for nine new waves (one source) and six new waves (another source) of the virus to reoccur in the next few months. At best this has to be a guestimate – or the dreaded algorithm again I suppose. I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen but everyone has an opinion. It is Brexit all over again but this time there is no escape by flying off to a tropical island to sit in the sun and drink cocktails.
And what about perfectly healthy people, in areas where it is impossible to get on to the online deliveries, who insist on having all their shopping delivered even though (at least in our area) all local shops are taking every precaution with hand sanitisers, and plastic shields to keep the staff away from the customers and supermarkets are allowing people into the shop in very small numbers and operating a one way system.
This pandemic is also bringing out the inner dictator in some people. Council officials, police officers, and members of the general public who seem to think it is incumbent on them to act as if they were the school prefect or some other Jobsworth. I think you can take it as read that I was never a prefect. But we all recognise those people who always like to take it that little bit further. When I was walking my dogs yesterday I saw a woman come towards me with her dog on a lead. When she saw me she stopped and waved me away. I got off the track I was walking along and made both my dogs to sit, off the lead, while we waited for her to come past. I could tell from her expression that she was dying to tell me to put my dogs on a lead, but as they never moved a muscle despite the fact that her dog was lunging hard on its lead, trying to get to mine, she couldn’t say anything and I’m perfectly certain that I ruined her day because she was unable to give me a good dressing down.
My goodness, all this ranting has made me thirsty and the sun is very nearly over the yardarm – whatever that means, so it must be time for a drink.