After finishing work this evening we dared venture into town for the first time in two weeks. It felt strange – driving along almost deserted streets, but also kind of nice. We parked directly outside the bank to drop a letter into their mailbox. I didn’t even realise there were parking bays in the high-street – I thought stationary vehicles were part of the road furniture.
The supermarket was remarkably civil. We arrived a little before 6pm, and joined a queue in the sunshine – each family group arranging themselves behind taped lines on the pavement. The gentleman in front of us had a full face mask on, and brand new running shoes. While waiting to be beckoned into the store, he leaned on a painted pillar with his bare hand. I wondered how many hundreds of other people had done the same thing.
The supermarket was perhaps three quarters stocked – a direct reflection on a quickly recovering supply chain, and all the panic-buying idiots running out of money. I saw my first toilet rolls “in the wild” for quite some time – I thought about taking a photo, but feared it might cause a stampede. I forgot to look for paracetamol – I’m guessing there are people up and down the country sitting on crates of paracetamol like some sort of “Pharma Thanos” – still not knowing really why they bought them.
The checkouts and their staff are now partially surrounded by clear walls of perspex. Talking to the staff felt oddly reminiscent of sitting in the back of a black-cab – where your natural propensity is to lean towards the small cut-out window to talk to the driver. I wonder if the staff lean away from people when they do that ?
As we unpacked the bags back at home, the children emerged one-by-one from their hiding places – hoping no doubt for slightly less healthy food than we have offered them in recent days.