Virtual School – essential shopping. 25.3.2020

25 March 2020. Today was for essential shopping. A tricky thing to define. Yesterday I popped round to the supermarket but when I saw the long line of people patiently waiting my short list of bread, milk and cake didn’t seem so necessary after all. Today a more thought-out plan. I joined the long line, all politely and calmly waiting, carefully maintaining a distance of 2 metres. A lovely sunny day. I do feel sorry for the elderly who also stood for a long time. And I was seriously bothered by the man just ahead vaping. Suddenly the sight of how far the cloud of vapour spread seemed more irritating than just the smell. A lot of jumping around to avoid where it had been until the masked man behind me asked whether I was in the queue at all. At the door a staff member, equally politely and calmly, offered a newly sanitised trolley and invited me to take a bunch of daffodils.

Inside the shop was total relief. Stocked shelves. Everything needed still there at 11.30 am. I passed a colleague shopping for someone in the village and perplexed by the hunt for Vegan ingredients. He, too, had waited 20 minutes in the line just to help someone else.

Later I put up a joke on Facebook – what is your weapon of choice to maintain social distancing? After falling over the dog’s bowl and having to mop up the kitchen, I’ve decided a wet mop will do me. A friend replied with a poster – the corpse of your family member. So that finished that joke off before it started.

This is an important time in our history as we become a virtual school during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will probably never operate in quite the same way again. The Archive is about us now.

This is my personal Mass Observation blog.

© Clare Sargent