the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

9 Months Later

I'd sort of forgotten that I had a blog. I'd written up a few more posts at the beginning of the year, but never did the final edit-and-publish. They're up, now. Beyond that, it's just been a busy year of studying and doing things. And of course, COVID-19.

We weathered the initial lockdown, and the madness of March and April. Shortages, stockpiling and kids going stir crazy.

I must admit to having a bit of a first-world freak-out as it became apparent that we wouldn't be getting a home delivery any time soon, and I eyed our toilet roll supply with increasing alarm. But I gave myself a bit of a talking to, reminding myself that my ancestors had gotten by for a very long time with alternative technologies, as it were. And in the end, some friends shared a spare pack with us, and we shared with our neighbours, and then we had a grocery delivery, and nobody had to resort to flannels or sea shells.

In other ways, we did actually have shortages. Our eldest has shouldered off "you're drinking too much milk" admonitions for ages and ages. Apparently suggesting we make him pay for excessive milk consumption out of his pocket money makes me a Grumpy Dad. Until one day, early in the lockdown, he polished off the milk, and we had to say "sorry son, there hasn't been any milk in the shops recently, and there's not likely to be for a few more days". It was a shock for him - his first introduction to Scarcity. And for at least a few weeks after milk supplies returned to normal, he allowed himself no more than a thimbleful a day, even after we told him it was fine, and that milk shortages were unlikely to return. Milk quaffing has since returned mostly to normal, but a "please go gentle on the milk, we're running low" is now taken a little more seriously.

I've continued to work from home - mostly. I go into the office once a week. Ironically, the things I liked least about my commute before are now less of an issue. Walking through the West End no longer entails elbowing your way through hordes of selfie-taking tourists (it's now the occasional tourist looking lost, and a good few boarded up shops and restaurants). The trains and tube are also still really quiet, at least on my route. I've invented a new sport for myself, called 'tube surfing'. The idea is to stand in the open area of the carriage and try to do the entire journey without leaning against or touching anything. Extra marks if you do it with your hands in your pockets.

What else is there to say? The world's turned upside down, and even with vaccines looming, what will 'normal' be like in years to come? I'm grateful we're doing OK, so far. I know many people aren't.

{2020.12.02 19:20}

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