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WARD'S WORLD: Back in lockdown

So here we are again - a repeat of March, of the ‘lockdown’ procedure we had then that many thought would be the cure (hopefully) to the coronavirus situation but merely was the starting point for assorted antics that defied common sense and still do.

As I said not so long ago, if we the general public are told to do something then we collectively do the opposite based on the now age old theory that if officialdom says one thing, it’s safe to assume the reverse of it being right.

No need to panic buy was the advice given last time which included the almighty toilet roll as there was enough to go round which of course had the total opposite effect as people queued just to buy them.

Columnist John Ward (43017543)
Columnist John Ward (43017543)

Next up was assorted foodstuffs that people themselves perhaps didn’t really like, based on the fact that ‘if so and so is buying them by the trolley load, then we too must have them’.

So once this latest lockdown process start time/date etc was duly announced it was a case of ‘on yer marks, get set and go!’ as the very next day I saw assorted folk wheeling out trolley loads of – wait for it – toilet rolls to their cars.

Followed on next in the ‘wagon train’ by just about anything in a tin containing something remotely edible from ‘Mysteries of the East’ (the labels fell off the tin so it’s anybody’s guess) to kangaroo fritters to garden fresh, ‘fresh mountain stream’ instant bird bath water for animal lovers.

Most sectors are catered for with conservationists and the healthy eating sector not forgotten as there are bags of ‘oven ready bamboo shoots in their own sawdust’ to whet the taste buds.

Overall it would seem there are no shortages of anything apart from common sense, which is on back order until further notice but no idea as to when the next shipment – or at least a thimble full at best –will be in stock.

I must admit I thought, as well as many others I gather, that all this would/should have been sorted by now with so many professors, other learned and supposedly highly intelligent people who have wonderful theories about the strategy – close cousin to guesswork – involved on how to combat it.

Then the daily dollop of related death figures attributed to the virus are announced much like sports results.

However, quite how this was allowed to happen in the first instance is the biggest puzzle as where were these supposed titans of intelligence before all this exploded on our doorstep? Was there no forewarning that anybody cared to share with the population? Was it based on the usual arrogant ‘need to know’ basis?

In short, how or where did these super minds manage to kill the time of day before this strode onto the scene?

Although we are traditionally always treated with contempt as not being bright enough to be told anything by assorted governments of the day, although we are handy when something wants paying for.

Dave, a friend of many years standing – experience he gained by queuing up for cod and chips in his local chip shop over the years – was discussing assorted angles on this saga and he has just seen the start of another ‘Great Bog Roll Safari’ as people go hunting for toilet rolls.

Official line being: There are no shortages, shop sensibly, kay?

One thing that has bothered him is that he also saw somebody coming out of one store with three silver candelabras and if the boxes are anything to go by, they being of the three pronger or candle size models.

He described them as being the sort that Liberace used to have perched on his piano and is of the impression that somebody might have insider information of possible power cuts to come at some point.

Traditionally industrial action or power cuts (a.k.a ‘strike action’) are performed during winter periods, never in summer as lighting and heating are not really required during this warm part of the season.

With a possible month long (and counting) ‘lockdown’ in progress, he is now keen to keep his mind active by watching assorted ‘celebrity editions’ of mindless cheapo telly programmes.

These feature (?) people he – or possibly most of us – have never heard of, not a clue as to what they do normally or how they earn a living otherwise but coming from nowhere as being touted as ‘celebrities’ is the norm nowadays it seems.

He now keeps a notepad and pen at the ready, writes their names down, then afterwards to the computer to check online who he might have been just watching whose skills or ‘talent’ amounted to smiling and displaying a decent set of choppers at every question put to them.

He points out these programmes have ‘good and bad’ elements to them; the good news is they don’t last very long with the bad news there is a never ending supply of them sadly, but with lockdown it can get worse.

We both agree that this period of darkness we are going through will turn out to be inspirational in that it won’t be long after we get back to what will be the new ‘normal’ way of life, the show ‘Virus – The Musical’ will be on a stage in the West End of London with an all star cast.

The said ‘all star cast’ for ‘Virus’ will feature those from the ‘celebrity editions’ of mindless cheapo telly programmes or even those who were on the waiting list to appear but (thankfully) didn’t.

However, when it comes to tacky ideas for stage musicals, there are no shortages of subjects nowadays although a missed chance – so far – was ‘Brexit – The Never Ending Process’ as this could run in the West End for years, much like it has in the country for real.

Christmas telly will be more ‘doom n gloom’ in the form of festive (?) editions of the usual soaps, each trying to out-gloom each other in the ratings – just what we need.

Nothing has replaced the likes of Eric and Ernie, the two Ron’s, Del, Rodney and the Peckham crowd in the laughter stakes, watched by millions over the years.

However, while they may not be considered ‘trendy’ these days, repeats of their respective shows will be shown, perhaps tucked away in the schedules, but nonetheless still watchable even now.

On a sad note for me and old school friends, this year has seen ‘our class’ diminish during this current year as we have lost three of our school friends – none to the virus – with the latest just recently.

However, due to the ‘restrictions’ in place and numbers attending, many of us were not allowed to go to their funeral services due to being together in a ‘gathering’ although crowds go into shops to buy toilet rolls unhindered.

Am I missing something here?

Well yes, along with a slowly vanishing group of old school friends, three funerals to be exact.

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