NHS claps are an odd way to measure time but seem as useful as any other method. Last night was the tenth one meaning we have all been inside for much less than the 45 years I had assumed we are up to.
Time has really melted away over the lockdown period. Much like people from the pre-historic era, the only things we need to do are eating and sleeping. Perhaps archiologists will find unearth items from our current period, perhaps bits of failed DIY projects, a discarded exercise bike or things panic bourght and never used. I know a lady who grabbed seven tins of tuna into her basket and then a week later remembered she was allergic.
The government have been turned into hype merchants. Rather than counting down to a big game, the release of a new Harry Potter book or tickets for Glastonbury, now we get excited for the reopening of the tip or garden centre, queueing for hours like autograph hunters at the final of a reality TV show. My local radio station sent a reporter to cover the opening of the tip, (a great use of their degree in journalism). I wonder how many people who went to look at bedding plants, didn’t even have a garden and were just looking for something to do. Next week car showrooms are opening, I can hardly sleep with delight.
One thing that has become a staple of my day is the government’s daily press conference, 5pm weekdays and 4pm at the weekend (unless the Prime Minister is doing it, in which case it can be almost any time). These briefings start with an announcement, if it is something important, it will have already been leaked, so I already knew. If not (something like a new taskforce or the launch of a website) I will not care but I will still listen. Then there is a rotating line up of scientists presenting a daily PowerPoint presentation, the slides are the same each day and I wonder if they sometimes use an old one to see if anyone notices. There is something oddly relaxing about listening to somebody describing a graph on the radio. Perhaps they could be clipped together and launched as a sleep aid.
The next part is a fun game, the journalist questions. I like guessing who the journalist will be (bonus points for predicting what they will ask). As a rule of thumb, the first three will be BBC, ITV & Sky and all three will ask the same question (I wonder if they realise) and none of them will get an answer. The final question will be from a local newspaper like the Stoke Gazette.
“What would you say to our reader Dr Brown who is very concerned about the PPE shortage, his hospital hasn’t had a delivery in weeks”
“I would like to thank Dr Brown for his valuable contribution to our national effort to get this terrible virus under control and thanks to the hard work of the people of Stoke we are now all able to go to the tip”.
Lucky us, at least we have car showrooms to look forward to.