Joggers? They can jog off!

by Pseud O'Nym

The news that Boris’s Johnson has got coronavirus, weeks after boasting that he’d shaken hands with a coronavirus patient was nearly as surprising as my walk this morning where I discovered that my definition of lockdown isn’t universally shared. In fact, it seems that everyone has their own definition, based largely, it seems, on everyone’s needs, which handily for them, changes from day to day.

This is the only possible explanation that accounts that the park, far from being essentially deserted, was as busy as it might be on any other Saturday morning. Albeit with a few less yummy-mummy’s with prams, it has to be written. But other than that? No. What in name of sanity and self-preservation is wrong with these people, joggers being by quite a wide margin the worst offenders?

What with all their deep breathing and wheezing as they do it – never a pleasant sound at the best of times, and these are far from being the best of times – now they sound like what the are; mobile health hazards We don’t know yet exactly how coronavirus is transmitted. Remember how in the early days of AIDS, there was all this nonsense about how you could catch it from sharing a glass of water, from a toilet seat, or by breathing the same air as an AIDS sufferer? But eventually science prevailed and we learnt how actually it was transmitted, through bodily fluids – a charmingly polite euphemism – and blood.

It has been the same story with all diseases. Eventually science discovers the ways in which a disease is transmitted, but as yet, we don’t know for certain either way if it has an air-borne transmission capability. I don’t know, the joggers don’t know and my housemate who was in the park with me and has good cause to be concerned for her health, most certainly doesn’t. In time we’ll know, but now, given we don’t, exercising prudence – she needs to get out more – by not exercising would seem the only sensible thing to do.

Because these are times when the individual has to subsume their own needs for the good of the collective, where activities that previously brooked only a response of ‘Is he sure about wearing Lycra? He looks like a bin bag full of yoghurt.’, now are deeply anti-social, if not actually borderline criminal. I mean, it’s all well and good the police stopping motorists to question them about their journey and if the answer isn’t satisfactory, to fine them but what about joggers? They present a far more immediate threat of infection to a far greater number of people than motorists. But, in this media age, front page ‘photo’s of police checkpoints conveys the sense that ACTION is being taken to combat the spread of the disease, rather than just create the impression that something is being done.

And garages! Why are they still open? Not petrol stations, the ones that do M.O.T’s, hidden away in side streets and located almost always under railway arches. I mean come the forthcoming exodus from London, everyone will want their car in good working order. That’d be the last thing you’d need, with your car packed with food and toilet rolls and a route out of London that you’ve programmed into the Sat-Nav and uses only minor roads -the yellow roads on maps – not the ‘B’ roads like everyone else, for it to breakdown. In that respect it’s the same as a printer which works perfectly well when all you’re doing is printing off ‘amusing’ pictures of cats that look like Hitler, but when you need a copy of your C.V printed off so you can catch the last post and apply for a job you want, it decides then, when you need it most – or least – to inexplicably stop working. You have no idea why and that only adds to your frustration. Imagine that frustration multiplied by infinity and then add, for good measure a couple of unhappy children in the back, shouting and screaming at each other and a partner whose this close, this close, to committing acts of sustained violence on your person.

My housemates have already bought two jerry cans that they’ve had filled with petrol. That was couple of weeks ago, back in the olden days, when I naively thought they were being all ’28 Days Later’. However when earlier this week they bought a roof bag for the car; I thought ‘You could get a lot in that.’

But in a brighter note, here’s a ‘photo of the scene that greeted my house-mate as she arrived down to breakfast this morning; me and LMS slurping the last of our porridge.


Mucking about. More important now than ever.