The Coronavirus Diaries, 25th March 2022

I am not going to talk about the war, or at least not much. Tonight’s news has awoken a flicker of hope that Ukraine may have withstood its powerful neighbour. Withstood may be too strong a word when you see the scenes of devastation in cities which were, just four short weeks ago, full of people going about their daily lives, returning to their homes each evening, cities which are now just so much rubble.

Rebuilding is going to be a mammoth task, not just the physical rebuilding of all those ruined buildings, but the rebuilding of hopes, of normality, of belief in the ordinary humdrumness of life. But compared to Afghanistan, compared to Syria, or Yemen, Ukraine may have a chance at normality sooner rather than later. Girls in Afghanistan refused the right to education were filmed weeping on a day they hoped to return to school. Their ambitions, their future, our future with them playing an active part in it has been placed on hold.

Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe has at last been freed, is back with her husband and daughter and is no longer wearing a tag. She spoke at a press conference a few days after she got back. Composed, gracious, assured, articulate, she was apparently insufficiently grateful for some, insufficiently grateful that it had taken six years to get her release, insufficiently grateful to a foreign secretary, now prime minister, who had not bothered to read about her case properly and asserted she was teaching journalism when she wasn’t.

Given a choice between that prime minister and Nazanin I know who’d I’d vote for.

Octavia is on the mend, slowly. Reinhild and Mark have tested positive. I had a PCR as part of the ONS survey. I tested negative. I hope it stays that way.

MasterB has decided he wants to be an outdoor cat. Each evening he meows piteously until I accompany him down to the front door. Then he takes flight. The nervous, unsure ginger who peers out into the street and decides discretion is the better part of valour has been replaced by a boy who, if there is no other cat about, and on occasion even if there is, is revelling in the smells and possibilities of the garden. Getting him in again is a problem. He’s outside now. I’m giving him until I have finished this post before I go in search of him. I really hope he’ll come in readily, and that i don have to catch him. It is wonderful to see him enjoying himself so much, and I don’t want to curtail or discourage that.

The black cat, named Treacle by Helena, is still visiting. He is giving me slow blinks, and is allowing Joe to approach but not not touch him. I should love to know if he is chipped. Emails to the neighbourhood group have not turned up an owner or resulted in any information about where he might have come from. Two days ago another cat appeared. It sat on the wall watching Treacle eating his breakfast, while Hartley sat on the path watching him. My heart sank at the prospect of another cat needing a home. Are these cats lost or abandoned? I know the animal charities are reporting record numbers of the latter. Animals suffer so much because of humans.

There are rumblings about Boris Johnson making sure animals were flown out of Afghanistan. The way it is reported sounds as though it was a choice of animals over humans. Then there are other reports saying, no, the animals were as well as the humans, and many animals and many humans were left behind. To me this sounds a distraction, a divide and rule message that takes our focus away from the real issue. Both humans and animals needed rescuing. To pitch the needs of one against the other makes no sense. We shouldn’t be upset that animals were rescued. We should be upset that people and animals were left behind, that plans to evacuate both were chaotic and badly executed.

In extremis, would I choose MasterB over a human being? Quite possibly. It isn’t a choice I should like to face. He is my responsibility. When I took him on I signed up to looking after him, and that includes saving him from danger. If London were bombed and I were told I could be evacuated but would have to leave him behind, I’d probably stay. I don’t think I could live with myself if I abandoned him.

Time to try to get the boy indoors.


5 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 25th March 2022

  1. MasterB sounds like people I know embracing their new “post pandemic” adventuresome selves while I’m still standing on the door sill sniffing the air.

    • It’s like the days before Hartley and Romeo took over his space. He’s enjoying the great outdoors. Though I have yet to see him on the wall, looking into or jumping down to neighbours’ gardens.

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