The Coronavirus Diaries, 28th April 2020

When Celia and I were walking in a rainy Burgess Park this afternoon, a man walking towards us said, “Hello, my name is Corona Virus”. He was smiling, as if it were a joke, he didn’t stop, he just walked on. Celia and I looked at each other. I said something like “unfortunate name” and then, “why would anyone say that?” Under her umbrella, Celia shrugged.

Rain was forecast for today so it was hardly a surprise. It hadn’t started when I woke up, but the temperature had definitely dropped and the skies were that exhausted greyish white. Rather like someone who has been badly ill now I think of it. When the rain came it was serious. Your average London rain is a desultory drizzle or an intense shower that drenches you immediately and then stops. This was the real deal. I found it rather exotic after days and days of blue skies and sunshine.

My intention was start my tax return several months earlier than usual. I opened up a file, sorted out headings and stopped. You’d have thought a rainy day ideal for starting a tax return, but something in me was refusing. I read some of The Mirror and the Light, stripped the bed ready for when the rain stops and I do the weekly linen wash, finished Saturday’s Guardian. I bought a hard copy for the first time in weeks. The thin Guide was a startling reminder of how all entertainment venues are closed.

At eleven, I joined Celia and Charlie at the end of the square where we observed a minute’s silence for the key workers who have died in the UK so far during this pandemic. Celia had directed me while I was still drinking my morning coffee to John Crace’s piece in ten Guardian. She is kinder to/about Johnson than I am, and felt Crace had made the point while still respecting Johnson is recovering. Make up your own minds. You can read it herehere.

I used to merely despise Johnson. As Mayor of London he was a disaster. Now I loathe him. I didn’t want him to die when he fell ill, but I should like to see him retire and do something harmless. However his return to work, or rather the office, since work and Johnson are not well acquainted, was apparently desired by senior Tories who felt his charm was needed to get us, or at least the government, through this crisis. Johnson’s charm eludes me. He must have it or why would people vote for him? They certainly don’t vote for his coherent policies and strategic planning because he doesn’t have any. I suppose it’s like fox pee. Some people can smell it. Some people can’t. I can, and I infinitely prefer it to Johnson. I do however feel if he needs to convalesce he should be allowed to do so.

Anyway, that’s enough about him for the moment, or possibly for ever.

I read a bit more of The Mirror and the Light which is superb. I don’t know what else is in the running for the Man Booker this year, but Mantel has to be a contender. If she doesn’t win it’ll be an outstanding novel that gets the prize. However, my concentration since lockdown is not great, so I stopped. This book is too good to read with less than full attention. I broke up the last jigsaw and decided to do one I received for my birthday last year. It’s less than half the number of pieces than the ones I’ve been doing these last weeks, but the pieces are extraordinary shapes. There are dogs, birds, strange things that look like undersea creatures. they’d make beautiful jewellery. I’ll take a picture tomorrow.

Then I called Celia. When we met in the morning we agreed we’d go out if the rain eased. It had. Like me, she felt she hadn’t achieved a great deal in the day. The only goal was a trip to Longdan to buy tofu. We set off to Burgess Park. I have been avoiding this open space, and I think Celia has too. Bordered by main roads it gets very busy. Too busy for my liking. We guessed correctly that the rain would have reduced the number of visitors. It also reduced the number of photos I took, but I did manage these.

I’m not sure what this is about but I liked it.

Love foxes and lions

The flowers looked beautiful in the rain.

Beautifully blue


When we left the park we saw this combination of flags and a banner. The flags made me uneasy, they suggested a nationalistic mindset.

St George for England and the NHS

I was happier with these window boxes in a nearby street.

Stand out window boxes

Longdan is never busy, but there are usually several customers roaming its aisles. Celia has not been shopping since lockdown. There is a new plantbased section with its own entrance next door. I suggested Celia shelter there as I have never been in there with more than one other customer, so it seemed a safe option. Also I wanted some pizza bases I could get there, and I’d be popping in there once the tofu run was complete.

Well, what a success. Celia was the only customer. She had the run of the shop, a shop she had never been inside before, and she liked what she found. By the time I joined her her arms were full of delights. Next time she’ll need to borrow Charlie’s trolley, or hire a van.

So we began the walk home on a high, stopping to watch the rolling video showing how we should be washing our hands plus a message from Her Maj looking fetching in a green dress and pearl necklace.

I can’t speak for Celia, but our walk and little shopping trip brought a shine to the day, even if I did have to change my jeans for something drier when I got in.

Stay well, keep safe.


10 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 28th April 2020

  1. I laughed my way through the fugue. Of course you know I would change the name, but we are united in loathing useless, lying, egotistical and dangerous shits in office. I assume Trump suggesting that scientists should consider studying the effectiveness of people injecting household disinfectants as a cure for covid-19. He said he was being sarcastic (and we all need sarcasm from our leaders during a pandemic) but I saw the tape and he was dead serious.

        • Quite. He and they terrify me. The photograph of people protesting against social distancing, standing next to each other and carrying enough weaponry for an army of a moderately sized country, people whose actions Trump refused to condemn because they are his supporters, is frightening enough from this sized of the Atlantic, to be on the same continent would be the stuff of nightmares.

        • Yes – but it is every day so we have become numb. And waiting for the election. I am even funding people running in other states for congress.

        • I think he is very well prepared for the job, he will be able to heal international relationships, and he knows how the government works. He will be able to get excellent people to serve along side of him and will let them do their jobs. I think he will clean up the mess caused by Trump and will improve our healthcare system. I have a concern that he is emotionally and physically tired and seems to have mental lapses that are common with aging but because he can get the best people our country has to work with him, he will do okay. Overall I think he will be better for our country than Sanders. He will pick a female for Vice President, will serve one term, and then help her in a run for the presidency. Maybe it will lead to our first female in the Oval Office.

  2. There’s the danger of allowing lousy leaders to fail up when they manage to present the merest inkling of sympathy for the masses they lead. While I truly hope that Boris has learned some profound lessons from his dance with death the proof of that will come out later. As for our president, well, he has yet to reach those lofty heights. Happy to hear Celia had her personal food shopping fun fair. I’ve thought that this lockdown would even out for me: zero transportation costs vs. massively increased impulse food purchases.

    • Johnson is allowed an extraordinary amount of latitude. He is a proven liar, a serial adulterer, a man interested in power not for how he can use it for good, but for how it makes him important. None of this is unknown, yet over and over he gets the chance to do more damage. Teflon coated doesn’t begin to describe it.

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