“I’m really looking forward to seeing my parents later”, Rick Edwards told Rachel Burden this morning. The BBC Radio 5 Live presenters were discussing the gradual easing of lockdown, which begins today. “I won’t hug them though”, Edwards hastily added. “Hugging is still not permitted.”
Edwards hasn’t seen his parents in a long time. He’s been avoiding them for fear of killing them with covid. The planet is an open-air lunatic asylum now. Madness reigns supreme. Who’d have believed that such conversations would ever be possible let alone normal?
“How long is it since you saw yer mum?”
“Looking forward to it?”
“Yes, but I can’t hug them. Hugging isn’t permitted.”
I met a man in my local park this morning. Lovely bloke. Our dogs were playing and we had a natter. He told me he hasn’t seen his grandchildren in a year.
His daughter is a real stickler for the rules. They get on fine and pre-covid he watched them three times a week. They’re in Liverpool. He’d usually make the short drive.
Now he chats with them on Skype. His daughter won’t hear of them meeting up. She took the “don’t kill granny/grandad” nonsense to heart. The little ones are terrified they’ll make him sick. He has no say in it. He’s concerned that the fear-porn is damaging the kids.
It’s a madhouse. As I write this, Stephen Dixon on SKY News is telling viewers that he’s thrilled to bits that outdoor swimming is “allowed” and that he can now meet with up to six people, because the government said it’s permitted.
A new ad campaign, fronted by ITV resident doctor Hilary Jones, tells us all to “be firm” with friends and relatives if they try to hug us and give them “gentle reminders” about distancing.