Rain drips steadily in the garden, although sometimes it thumps down. I have been steadily dripping inside the house too, also coughing and feeling unwell and miserable and alone and wishing someone, anyone. could come and make me a cup of tea. But they can't. So I do it myself and not tea either, but one of those lemon-type drinks with various medications that help you feel a bit better. Eventually.
I haven't really ventured out of my rather rigid degree of isolation, and now I'm back in it because I realise that I might be infected and infectious. Then I also realise that any time any of us gets a common-or-garden cold we are going to think, 'This is it! The end is nigh! One of those dreadful things with prongs all over it got through the holes in the face mask even though I have never been closer than a metre to anyone since this whole business began, let alone for more than fifteen minutes.'
Coming out of lock-down is hard to do. Harder than going into it, because at least we all knew where we stood on that. I don't want to know how long it has been, but I can measure it by the age of my youngest grandson, and he is now a bit more than six months old. We have not been able to meet yet. In earlier times I was sort-of joking about hoping to meet him before he starts school. That wasn't funny at the time, and now it's even less funny because it becomes a realistic situation.
There was a fragment of chance a week or so ago, but it evaporated rapidly because I got very cold feet about going through Heathrow and getting on a plane. The cold feet are not for my own sake, but out of a deep mistrust of almost any of the so-called safety conditions in this country. I am in the much-at-risk category, and my fear is of picking up infection during the journey and transporting it to members of the family who are otherwise safe and well in a country where rules are clear and (mostly) obeyed. In England they are neither.
This account is not strictly true, either. There have been two occasions when family members in this country have visited here for the day, and one recent occasion when I visited them and stayed overnight. All these visits were made after much thought and discussion, and with young children firmly in mind. We needed to see each other, and I had been self-isolated here for weeks on end so that I would not pose any risk to them.
As an accredited at-risk oldie I think it is my duty to be as well-informed as possible about the risk factors, and then to make the best decision I can in any situation. There are risks in close contact with young children who are at Nursery and playing with a variety of other friends, but what are the risks to them of not seeing their only grand-parent or, much worse, thinking their only grand-parent may not want to see them?
The only way to stay safe may be to stay in lock-down isolation, disinfect every scrap of food and wash your hands every time you touch anything. Being born is probably the most dangerous thing we ever do because the whole of life from then on is beset with perils, some much worse and more likely than others. Perhaps instead of wishing each other to 'take care' we should be saying 'take risks', small ones that we've thought about and balanced against the other odds, but risks all the same.
And then we should go out and dance in the puddles, socially-distanced and silent.