The Prime Minister has looked at our practice and has decided that the whole nation would benefit from emulating us. From now on, all Britain will be confined to quarters (as it were) except for one venture outdoors for exercise and one grocery trip per week (and of course, medical emergencies). Since that has been our regimen since last Wednesday, we’re a bit ahead of the game.
Looking forward, I wonder how the transition from everyday life to national quarantine will be remembered. Our internal household economy hasn’t been affected that much; during summers and study leaves it’s not especially rare for us to spend a day camped at the dining room table, typing away opposite one another, and watching the television in the evening. At the same time, we already miss going to church for weekly Mass, going to our favourite cafes, studying in the Bodleian or even simply strolling into the city centre. We would probably have been to the Botanic Garden for a walk. And of course, the large wave of casualties hasn’t hit Britain yet; we don’t know anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
I had been thinking that we might miss the funerals of any of our dear relatives and friends in the USA who may die in this plague; it has only just begun to dawn on me that the same applies to friends and neighbours here. If one of our closest UK friends were to die, it would be extraordinarily difficult to attend their funeral under current circumstances; from the government’s point of view, it should be impossible (this is currently unclear, as far as I can tell). And of course, if Margaret or I were to be stricken, our family would not be able to come to our bedside to comfort us, pray with us, console themselves, and sit with us in the lonely hours that lead to death. Were we to die, they would not be able to attend any service here.
I’m still modulating from term-time habits (no reading, short attention span, feeling exhausted and stressed) to leave-time habits (reading for long intervals, writing down thoughts, composing essays and articles). I wrote the first half of a tiny squib for ERB, and I should finish it today. Then I have articles on the epistle of James and the miraculous, and on Anglican hermeneutics (both will be complicated by lack of access to my books, which I may be able to finagle after I prove that I’m healthy in a week or so).
Margaret and I are COVID-asymptomatic, though Margaret still has her head cold. I took my morning run earlier today, my knees protesting during warm-up but responding favourably once I launched into stride, 3°, clear and calm, and despite my feeling that this might be my best time yet, an ordinary 10:13.