Coronavirus Chronicles 4

1 April 2020- Day 16

The new can of preservative is empty and the three trellis panels have stood drying in the garage for a day or two, so today I started fixing them to the wall. Taking down the existing weather ravaged panels was easy, but I had to find storage space for them as the Council Tips are closed due to the lockdown.

My idea was to use the old panels as templates for the holes in the new panels. That way I could re-use the plugged holes in the brickwork to attach the new panels. Well, it sounds a good idea, but as the morning progressed and the job didn’t, I had to change my method. The accuracy needed to marry up the new holes in the timber to the existing holes in the brickwork was akin to assembling something at NASA, and beyond my skills.

So, it boiled down to new holes all round, this work on top of the aborted first plan, meant that when time ran out, I had fixed only one panel.

After lunch and a zinc tablet, I set off for my daily walk. Zinc reinforces the immune system, so it’s just in case. Without a blood test, I have no idea and it may be a waste of time, but perhaps it’s doing some good. Zinc was recommended on the internet to help combat the Virus – so it must be true.

There were others walking the country lanes but they swopped sides to pass me at a safe distance. People are greeting each other with a few words and knowing smiles. We’re in this together, the slogan of the World Health Organisation has spread too.

The massive reduction in road and air traffic has reduced pollution and noise. The trill of a skylark and the tic, tic, of robins were the only sounds. A small herd of Highland cattle grazed the lush grass, one lifted his heavy head to watch me… watching him. An idyllic setting and the beginning of what could be a glorious summer. ‘You wouldn’t think that anything was wrong, would you?’ called a voice from across the lane. I agreed. Nature is drawing us into a new season, regardless of our problems.

That night I took a break from writing and from a darkened bedroom looked out at the sky. Around 9.30 pm it was overcast but one star shone brightly. It was close and I decided that it was not a star but perhaps a planet. Back at the computer I discovered that it was the International Space Station, visible only by night.
I went outside to look at the dot and marvelled how man had created an environment where he could live, within a small bubble, orbiting over 200 miles above the earth. Clean and uncontaminated. Is this our future?

‘If you have a temperature or a cough, please don’t board the spacecraft.’

Surely such ingenuity can beat Coronavirus.

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