Thursday 26 March
I’ve stayed at home alone for the last two days. Self-isolating is the new expectation, and I’ve had plenty of writing to do. Each day, I’ve spoken to two or three friends by phone or video link.
Yesterday, the speaker on Thought for the Day (on the Radio 4 Today programme) compared the government’s call for social distancing and self isolation to God’s call to Mary to be the mother of Jesus. Both of these, the speaker said, was a big ask.
Judging by the change in the town over the last two days, people are responding to the call. There was a short queue outside the Co-Op supermarket, three people standing two metres apart from each other, and we were allowed in only one at a time. Nearly every shop is closed and there are so few people on the street. The woman serving in the bakers’ was wearing a mask, and she had blocked the door with a table so that I had to stand on the threshold at a proper distance.
I’m sitting on the Den, a large area of grassland near the beach. Almost no-one is in sight. There is no noise of traffic. Two women have just come and sat on a bench near me, sitting in the correct distance apart. The sky is wonderfully blue with very light cloud, and no jet trails. The environment is drawing a deep breath of relaxation.