A subtle spirit of celebration appears to have descended on the capital after some of the toughest three weeks in living memory.
The near empty streets, when you could go for minutes without seeing a person, are now near buzzing.
A delivery van stops right on his lane, without any attempt to park, used to what just a few days ago were very spacious roads.
The bus behind him however crosses to the opposite lane, the bus driver perhaps too used to the empty roads.
Yet the car on the opposite lane drives on. He is used to the usual rules. And so we have nearly a collision which is just about avoided in a moment that encapsulates the transition occurring to normality.
The above really happened, and to the dot, and today, but we mention it more due to the metaphor that can be read from it, or rather the interpretation of the human spirit that it contains.
The car driver was claiming his lane, his normality, the usual rules, and though far bigger was the bus coming his way, he was not going to let it, and did not let the bus act as if there are new rules.
The small car managed to squeeze through its own lane, and went off, and the bus now in the middle of the opposite lane, was given way too.
The old normal, and maybe even better. The local shop was suddenly packed with such nice potatoes and tomatoes that have never been seen in that shop.
They even had proper bread, unlike the sugary one that tastes like plastic. Even eggs were there. They’re gone run out, the shopkeeper said who keeps alternating between wearing a mask and not, and they did run out as the present writer walked out because someone came and took whatever was left – about 3 packs of six eggs.
People running, walking their dog, a guy just sitting at the crossing in front of a church, a couple walking with face-masks looking all shifty, like some Hollywood actors, feeling presumably a bit silly.
It’s night and day to when we went to the supermarket about four days after the lockydowny. To do so back then, we got fairly tipsy first to get some beer confidence.
Now, one is beginning to feel safe. The spread of this in the general public has dropped below one, meaning it’s no longer spreading.
We suspect London probably has herd immunity by now. One cough in the tube was enough for it, and there were probably many such coughs.
They also probably got the timing right here. When they imposed the curfew, people kind of new they were near the peak, and so they complied and to 95%, far surpassing the expectations of 75%.
About three weeks ago, so a week after the curfew, London was going through the peak of this spreading. It was also going through the peak of fear. That was the toughest time.
A week after that, when Boris Johnson was engaging in what some say was theatre, although he does need to lose weight so perhaps it wasn’t, hospitals were going through the peak and managed it apparently very well.
The great British public waited both of them out. Hospitals were running at 1,000 new admissions during that period. Last week they dropped to 600. As of yesterday’s data, they’ve dropped to 300.
This lags because it takes time for the second stage to kick in and it takes time to test, but it is the most objective measure, and thus it is clearly saying this is pretty much over.
There are then the far sadder figures which lag a lot. Every untimely departure is of course very sad for the families involved, but where the general public is concerned, these are more personal tragedies than public tragedies at this stage.
And the general public is facing their own personal tragedies which have nothing directly to do with what some might even call an obsession.
Fathers who might drink a bit, and control it through schedule, might have drunk too much due to the requirement to stockpile.
Young men or women, who might ‘relax’ now and then, may have taken too much ‘stockpiled’ drugs.
Environments tolerable may have become intolerable. A spike in the month of April has half of them not directly related to the media’s obsession.
Of course everyone wants their grandfather or parents to live as long as the mountains, but a young woman and her children may be far more affected by the departure of their potentially at prime husband, or vice versa.
In short, we are at the stage where everything else besides the media’s obsession is affecting everyone more than what the media is obsessed about.
And so at this stage they can’t be heard any further, and if they want to send our boys in uniform to meet their own brothers and mothers, then of course we’ll greet them with the courtesy we have always given them and if they act against the public’s judgment, we’ll shame them when they come back at home.
We must say however that our boys, as far as we are aware, have handled the situation even in an exemplary manner for, at least in the capital, we are not aware of any incident.
Now after all we all have done, those donkeys on TV need to try and not make fools of themselves for the British public of course does not want to embarrass its own government, but also expects that the government does not embarrass itself.
The message is clear, and easily readable by anyone that can read. This is over, regardless of their diktats, but it would be useful if they can show a semblance of intelligence and far more importantly, if they show they do actually work for the public.
Because all these people are our servants afterall, and there will be no masters at number 10 in this land that has for 1,000 years remained free and independent and shall do so for thousands of years to come.
Get the microphone Boris. We all know you’ve recovered by now. Address the nation, thank them, and tell them we are opening up as everyone wants off this trash show by now.