Life In The Time of Corona.

So much for our New Year’s resolution to get out and about more. At the end of last week we took the decision to limit all non-essential contact as much as possible. Not only is Freddie more vulnerable to infection due to his extra chromosome, but my husband and daughter both have chronic, moderately severe asthma, and then there are the frail, elderly grandparents to consider. My mother said: ‘don’t worry about us, we’ve had our time,’ but I’m not ready to let go of them yet.

Fuck off to hell Boris Johnson, and your unelected whatever-he’s-meant-to-be, Demonic Scummings. Fuck right off to hell you scruffy pair of posturing, populist, pseudo-science-worshipping, know-everything-and-know-nothing, duplicitous, elitist, eugenicist cunts and take your mass experiment in Social Darwinism with you. I refuse to keep calm and carry on and just blithely accept that I will lose loved ones before their time.

So this week I decided to do our weekly grocery shop online. Thanks to social media I already had an idea that there might not be any delivery slots left this side of the next blue moon, but click and collect seemed a reasonable option — I wouldn’t have to go into the store, just grab my order out of a locker on the car park and shoot off again. No human contact, just wash my hands when I got home, which, not being a grubby little sod, I would always do anyway. Luckily, they had slots available only two days hence, on Saturday morning.

So we rocked up on Saturday and I entered my order number, hoping that the previous person hadn’t sneezed on the keypad or been picking their nose whilst waiting in the queue of traffic to get onto the retail park. I was a bit surprised when it only showed two locker numbers because I’d ordered quite a lot of stuff (there are six of us to feed and clean up after), and extremely disconcerted when I opened them to find only a few chilled and frozen items inside. Where was everything else? Taped to the locker unit was a note with a telephone number to ring in case of any problems.

A woman answered. I explained. She said she’d be right back in two minutes, then left me on hold for so long that I was left in no doubt that she had thrown down the phone, run screaming out of the office and escaped through a toilet window.

Eventually a member of staff slouched across the car park and stood looking expectantly at the car, where I was still waiting for someone to tell me what was going on. I got out and explained again. He phoned someone and then said the rest of our stuff was in a van in the loading bay.

We drove round and a man was waiting for us with one of those plastic delivery crates. I said it didn’t look much, but he said that’s all there was, and there were several bags in there. But as we put it in the boot it was obvious that the bags contained three boxes of cereal and not much else. I went back to the loading bay and spoke to a third guy. He couldn’t help, so he said he’d fetch the section head.

The section head came, explained that, due to a technical hitch as our order was being loaded into the locker, the rest of our stuff was now trapped inside said locker, which had slammed shut halfway through and then refused to open. And they weren’t sure which locker it was.

So much for minimal human contact. I could’ve gone into the store and had close contact with fewer people.

At least there weren’t any bizarre substitutions — probably because there was nothing left to substitute my missing choices with. I had been half-hoping that in the absence of alcohol-based hand sanitising gel they would substitute it with something else alcohol-based, like vodka, for the same price.

But a bottle of hand gel costs more than a bottle of vodka now, anyway.

Stay safe, peeps.

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