I went for a run this afternoon. Normally I would be up earlier as it is a Sunday and there will be people milling about; either going for long walks, cycle rides, or to the local farmers markets and they do tend to get in the way.
As the country is in a nationwide lockdown I thought it would be OK to go out a bit later. I have never seen my local park as crammed as it was today, there were queues to get in and out of every gate, huge queues for ever stall, and the canal towpath was so crowded that I was amazed nobody fell in.
Whilst I was on my run I passed another runner and he called out “Oooooh proper old school runner, you’re wearing Mizunos”. I didn’t really know how to reply to this. Was it a compliment? Was it a heckle? Was it nothing more than an observation? I decided to take it as an observation and merely called back “Thank you, they are nice and comfy” and then disappeared into the packed park.
I made a quip about looking forward to lockdown ending so everyone will bugger off back inside. It was meant as a humorous aside, but the more I thought about it the more I think there is a bit of truth to it.
We have had two nationwide lockdowns in this country and both times we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of people going out. Parks are crammed full (most without wearing masks I should also add) and long lines outside pubs (for takeaway beers) and supermarkets (for hoarding toilet rolls).
Please do not think that this exhibition of defiance is us displaying the world famous true British grit, because it isn’t. You only have to look at people fighting each other in the supermarkets, while clearing the shelves of toilet rolls, pasta and tinned food, to see that it is nothing more than every one for themselves.
It still troubles me that I can not race with a handful of other people, I can not go to the pub, I can not go and visit my friends at their house or have them over to mine, I can not go to non-league or grassroots football games, I can not get my hair cut, BUT I can go to parks and markets with thousands of other people squished up against me.
Mark my words, this is going to stay in place for a lot longer than December 2nd.