Today is our 80th day of lockdown here in Scotland. For the last two weeks we’ve thankfully had a slight easing of restrictions in that we’re allowed to meet another household out of doors only while maintaining social distancing, but as far as any semblance of ‘back to normal’ goes we’re still a long way off.
And to be honest, as much as I rail against being told I must still stay at home, I can’t imagine choosing to travel anywhere much right now. I muse to myself that eighty days is double quarantine, forty days times two, and I hear myself singing quietly in my head ‘Eighty days around the world, de-da-de-da-de-daaah…’
The original story of Phileas Fogg attempting to travel ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ was written by Jules Verne in the early 1870s, but I’ve got the theme tune in my head from a cartoon series my kids loved to watch back in the 1980s loosely based on the same story. In the cartoon the main characters are all animals, led by lion Willy Fog.
Anyway, the point is, I realised that I’ve not been further than about a mile’s radius from home in any direction for at least the past 80 days. I go out for walks locally, I walk alternately to three different supermarkets all close to home when necessary, and only once in that time I’ve ventured as far as across the bridge into town, to visit the chemist.
Like for so many others, my world for now has become my house and my garden. We don’t have a car, and the thought of getting onto a bus, a train, or a plane unnecessarily most definitely feels like a risk too far. I imagine that even after lockdown is lifted and I can go back to work (also locally) that one mile radius is going to remain for a while.
I’ve learned to feel safe in my own home, protected from outside harm, and the thought of travelling around the world just for fun no longer sounds such fun after all. It sounds reckless, almost – selfishly indulgent in the cautious mood of this current pandemic. After all our modern-day ease of travel is how the virus has spread so far around the world.
I wonder how much life will change after this – will we all go back to winging around the world on a whim without a backward glance, or will some of our current caution remain? Will this become a watershed moment in history, leading to an international paradigm shift in everyone’s psyche? Who knows, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see… 🙂