Corona Journal, 31 May: Day 76

10.30am Wake up slowly. The wind is rustling the trees outside and the birds are singing. I have noticed that the birds that sing at the back of the house, by the garden, are different to the birds that sing at the front of the house, by the road. I can hear the garden birds from my bedroom and the road birds from the living room, which are the two places I spend the majority of my life now.

12:30pm Meet sister online as she practices her first online lesson, as she is starting a new job tomorrow. She is a teacher and will conduct her first lessons at her new school online, so she wants to iron out any technical difficulties with me in a practice run. It’s super fun and I get schooled on the Battle of Hastings, on which my lack of knowledge is pretty embarrassing (I knew it happened in 1066 but only because of that advert from 15 years ago). I also got the Doomsday Book confused with the Magna Carta, and that’s after mistaking a picture of it for the Bible. Ooops.

2pm Walk to the park. Lie in the sunshine and read for a few hours, drinking canned G&Ts.

4pm Walk home because I need a wee and the park toilets are shut. I also need to top up my suncream because I’m a pasty bitch and I’m burning. Put the dishwasher and washing machine on while I’m at it. I’m such a housewife.

4:10pm Flatmate has defrosted the freezer and I’m not sure if this is a lockdown thing or an age thing but it is the best. Thing. Ever. I don’t have to wrench the draws to get them to open now, which I find out as I get ice from the freezer to make myself another G&T.

4:30pm Return to the park and continue reading. Feel super relaxed and content. Lots of people out, socially distancing if you look closely, but if you don’t look too closely it feels just like any other day.

5pm Got my Keep Cup that an NHS worker handed me at last year’s Pride when I saw him marching in the parade under an NHS banner and bellowed WE LOVE THE NHS at him (I think he gave it to me so that I would tone it down). I am using it how he would want me to; for a homemade grapefruit G&T.


6:45pm The park keepers are out again with their whistles which screech at such an intolerable pitch that nobody fancies hanging around after they start up. Feel slightly annoyed that they are closing the park at 7pm – couldn’t they give us one more hour in the sun? – but I suppose park keepers want to finish work too.

8pm Home, and have watched a feature-length ContraPoints video on Cringe Culture which was fascinating. I just love her videos; she’s so intelligent, concise, nuanced, self-aware and funny – and MY GOD those outfits, those backdrops! I could watch her forever.

9:10pm Yes, ok, I fell asleep. Ooops.

9:30pm Watch an episode of Sex and the City. Carrie is the worst.

10pm Reading more news and scrolling Twitter and Instagram, reading about the protests in America and looking up various recommended resources. I’ve been doing this on and off for the past few days. It’s horrible and overwhelming and from time to time I am tempted to just stop looking for a while; then I feel a horrible guilt that I even have the privilege to look away. I also have the responsibility not to. I worry about the protests and how Covid might be raging there, how the virus seems to disproportionately affect BAME groups and what these two crises happening simultaneously might mean. I see that protests are happening in London and want to attend, but worry about social distancing and putting others at risk. I worry that in an indirect way, I am putting others at risk by not showing up.

12am Still undecided about what to do, protest-wise. In the end, I e-mail my local independent bookshop to ask if they have Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad and/or White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo in stock and how I can order them. It’s not enough, I know, but maybe it’s enough for today.