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I just don’t know how to feel about all this

After last night’s glorious coming together of the neighbourhood in applause for ‘our’ NHS, as we now seem to call it, I have started to wonder at the emotional chicanery I’m currently experiencing. On the one hand, the clapping/whooping/cow-bell clanging was tear-inducingly uplifting. On the other, was it a bit mawkish? It didn’t pay them any more or provide any new masks or ventilators, did it? But it did attract attention and it was a way of publicly thanking people. And we all cried together.

Why do I fight such internal battles? Who cares? It was a nice thing to do and we all waved at each other from a safe distance, before retreating rather uncomfortably back indoors to our TVs. I imagine I was not alone in being confused at my response. It is a very small thing to worry about – and perhaps easier to focus on than the HUGE worries others have right now and we might have at any point in the future. Get over it.

Suitably over it, this morning I marched purposefully to the local small supermarket, a branch of Sainsbury’s conveniently located across the road from a large hospital – even more conveniently, just a 5 minute walk from my home.

In the bright cold sunshine around 10am, the road was eerily quiet. No other pedestrians as I walked, no-one in their front gardens, and no road traffic. Truly like one of those post-apocalyptic films. Would there be a dinosaur or a futuristic alien round the corner?

In fact, no, no aliens*, just a small queue of obediently self-distancing people outside the supermarket. 

There are also confusing joys and pressures in food shopping, it seems.

On the plus side – more availability cheers me up.  Fewer shelves were empty today. On the negative side, when there is almost nothing left of a product, it makes me feel bad to take it, even if I genuinely need it.

The best bit of all, though – and here I am guilty of massive smugness – was when an ambulance driver turned up while I was first in the queue outside. Both I and the security guard on the door simultaneously waved her straight inside. Hurrah – we’re spontaneously DOING THE RIGHT THING!

Mind you, I then felt bad for feeling so good. Aaargh!

*Why did the spell-checker change ‘aliens’ to ‘clients’? !!  There’s a throwback for you.

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