And so the lockdown continues, this country town locks us in a cage like birds. Sometimes it seems so empty that I am surprised when I see the pharmacies and butchers open. As the old Morrissey song groans: “Every day is like Sunday”. And with endless constraints on how we can spend it, not a bit independent.
Although it feels like a “Fun Friday” at Dunphy’s Foodstore, where the staff are as optimistic as ever. Maybe that has something to do with the attitude of the owner. “I’m lucky to have such great people working for me,” he says.
Never a more appropriate word, because we certainly pay lip service to so-called frontline employees, who are rewarded with little more than this sentence, even though they have been working at full speed since the beginning of this crisis. Going crazy at home is better than playing Russian roulette – or Chinese odds – with a potentially deadly virus. Especially since there is clear evidence that Covid can be trapped in stores, adding to the stress of employees who also struggle with carefree and even disdainful customers.
A guy who works at the local supermarket railed under his face mask about people who “move in and out all day to pick up an item or two” and are disrespectful when employees dare to question their protection protocol. And a woman at the checkout in the other supermarket had to ask customers to leave because they weren’t wearing face covers.
Although some only make the moves when it comes to masks, they walk around with a disposable mask under their chin all day and pull them up when they enter stores. Dirty masks do not offer any protection; they can spread the virus.
The young at heart better stay away from the heartless boys who prefer hedonism to heroism, according to a part-time assistant at the local store, one of the thousands of students cheated out of a real college experience because of Covid. She cooked after serving a teenager who was bragging about the house party she was going to that evening.
No wonder more and more of us are buying online – although the growing pains of Brexit made this a bumpy trail, as I found when I tried to order my normal high protein birdseed from the local Petmania, where Deirdre revealed that “Even my parents renounce me”. “Feeding the birds has been one of the few joys during a pandemic that has captured them in their homes.” We are doing our best, “Deirdre said,” but we cannot beat Brexit. “
But, in fact, Deirdre tricked it by scouring other stores to find excellent replacements, which were promptly delivered, along with a note of an unnecessary apology and the hope that “the birds will be happy in Thomastown”.
What, you mean those winged warblers who don’t wear masks and can fly 3 miles and now eat the finest food? Oh, so that Covid ends, so that we can all finally be free as a bird!