I should have been there! I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE!
As I sat on the couch on Tuesday, celebrating the Black Caps stunning win over India, I was wracked with regret. With the match extended into a sixth day, suddenly tickets had become available. A WhatsApp message from Rob offered to get me one – just £75 … did I want it? Hell yes, BUT…
What about the risk?
Unlike many of the sporting events going on in the UK this month, with packed stadia, this particular event did not have the same “no negative test, no entry” rules in place. Limited ticket numbers offered some protection, but maybe not enough.
Then there was the 1½ hour train journey each way to Southampton and back.
Our last train journey (to York) resulted in Peter having to quarantine at home for 10 days, his NHS Covid app pronouncing that he’d been exposed to a positive case (via the Bluetooth pairing function).
Bugger – that man on the train, coughing, sneezing and blowing his nose, without a mask on as he tried to relieve his feverishness with Fanta… yes, I knew it!
While we moved carriages promptly (the train manager having advised there was nothing he could do to get said man off the train), and wore our masks, and sanitised… having a pulsing red alarm on your covid app on your phone is pretty limiting, and means you really do have to stay home.
So Peter couldn’t go with me to the cricket (or anywhere else, for that matter), and reminded me rather pointedly that I really didn’t want to risk spending the next 10 days locked at home myself, as he had just done.
And so I did the unthinkable.
I said ‘no’ to the opportunity to witness in-person one of the great sporting wins for New Zealand. At this point, my good friends will be asking “what have you done with the real Debra?”.
But that’s simply life, right now, right here.
With about 1,600 new cases in London each day, currently rising largely due to the yet-to-be-vaccinated younger generation, who have only just been offered the vaccine, there is no “zero-risk” option. The ability to track cases “in your area”, literally by postcode, means you have a great deal more information to feed into your risk assessment of every decision to leave the house. Not that we’re actually doing that…
But nevertheless, as we head into the fourth week of our visit to London, I’m struck by how life itself shrinks when everything that you do involves a certain, but random, level of risk. We walk the dog (and the baby), we meet friends locally, we drink Guinness out of plastic cups in the Palm Tree pub carpark, we get almost everything we need delivered… a very different London visit from the ones of the past.
No theatre, no museum visits, almost no shopping excursions – not because they are not open, but because they suddenly seem unnecessary.
Life is good, is somewhat shrunken!