Strange New World

A year ago (plus two days) Margaret and I entered into the strict lockdown that the PM was urging on us. I think it wasn’t yet required; at least it wasn’t the two days before, when Margaret went on an overnight field visit for her research project. 18 March, though, marks the beginning of our island of isolation — intensified by my having been on study leave for the term, so that I didn’t have even digital contact with the people I ordinarily live, teach, study, eat, and pray among.

Next term will — barring surprise changes from the government, which is comparable to saying ‘barring grey rainy days in Oxford’ — be taught in person. We’ll be wearing masks and sanitising our hands, of course, but it will once again be a living, praying, teaching community. That will be intensely restorative to me — the flatland of 2D screen interaction drains me of vitality. Zoom doesn’t afflict me with headaches, but stupefies me.

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