Being Confined to Barracks

It’s been some considerable time now. Long enough for most of us to forget when it all began. The Great Confinement will undoubtedly become fabled like the stories of old, which started with the immortal line, “During the war…” and were swiftly followed by other such lines as…

“Do you remember…”

     “…the crispy bacon?…” 

     “…the whistling errand boy?…” 

     “…cutting loo paper into squares, to hang on a string, in the privy, down the end of the garden?…” 

     “…cracking the ice on the pail of water at first crack of sparrow’s fart and having a quick wash-down or a spruce-up?…”

     “…Carbolic soap? My nan swears by it!…”

     “…where the pudding bowl is? Dad needs a haircut!…” …and all the other sayings that are from yesteryear…

     “…in my day, we ‘ad to walk seven miles t’ school in six-foot o’ snow!…” Which was responded to in like fashion by the line “…you’re lucky, we ‘ad it tough. We lived in’t’ shoebox in’t’ middle o’ road, n’ ‘ad t’ lick road clean wi’ tongue!…”

Why that was always said in a Northern accent is beyond my recollection, although the dividing line between us still exists, somewhere north of Watford (North London), where your passport will be needed if you intend heading any further up into the Black Country, allegedly. We apparently are ‘Softy Southerners’ to Northern folk, as they are ‘well hard’ – pronounced ‘ard – as the ‘h’ appears to have been left out of their curriculum (allegedly again,) on all but a few of their words that start with that letter. 

But this missive isn’t about accents or language differences between us, as our American brethren will testify. Spoken English language, although being different depending on geographical location, on the whole, we still seem to muddle through together somehow. 

No, wherever any of us are living in this Great Confinement to Barracks across the world, my concern is that whilst we live in the hope that we ourselves are staying protected by adhering to the requirements, that also, we are protecting others too. Under sufferance at the restricions, borne with stoicism and fortitude, with a spirit that is strong-willed, to stay for the duration of the fight, seeing it through to the bitter end. In keeping to these regulations we are ALL Staying Safe.

So to those who think primarily about the financial aspects of this time, I say look and think again. 

The cost of this global disaster is far higher than merely financial. 

The effects of this Lockdown will etch upon the hearts and minds of all of us, young and old, who live through it and when we can again smile and bask in the warmth of reunification with family and friends, we will still have a wary eye on next year, or the year after, or the year after that. The next cough or temperature we or our child has, bringing memories flooding back, will make us check and recheck our personal spacing, cleaning and social-distancing all over again. There will not be any part of our lives that won’t be affected by this pandemic as we think of ourselves and those we love and care for. 

So next time you need some paint from the Garden Centre or some other non-essential item and ask someone else to get it for you, please think again.

I cannot strongly enough warn, from my own perspective, that any measures currently in place are only just enough. 

As I am working throughout this Lockdown, I have been witness to unnecessary burdens placed on us, by those who flaunt the regulations. The unnecessary travel. The unnecessary purchases. The unnecessary meetings. The unnecessary risk. 

If for one moment anyone who asks another to carry out an unnecessary task could see what I am seeing, on a daily basis, you would not ask. And to those agreeing to fulfil the unnecessary wish, you would lock your doors and batten down your hatches. 

I really need a decent haircut and Charlotte has been threatening the dog clippers on me. Just like everyone, I am hoping for a lifting of the restrictions and getting back to normal, but only if the number of community deaths are reducing. Just because hospitals are seeing a decline in admissions should not be the only factor in lifting this Confinement to Barracks.

What is it you think you are achieving, by risking yourself and others? 

For those who say they are young and fit and the risk is minimal, I agree. Probably, the risk to you personally is slight, but to anyone you come close to, there is a chance that you are a carrier of the disease and able to spread it, although unwittingly and unknowingly, as you do your ‘good deed for the day’.

I want us all to be in a position in ten or twenty years from now, where we can look back and say, “During the Corona War, do you remember when…..?”

Once again, please, Do Not Carry On Regardless…


One thought on “Being Confined to Barracks

  1. Wise words indeed especially relevant to a personage as me (age being the relevant part of the word). E rest assured I am doing my best so as not to contribute to your personal coffers by way of an invoice that the inheritance committee will have to honour


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