Don’t get me wrong: the Plague has been, is, and will be a nightmare. People I’ve valued have died, the world’s potential shrunk, the cost horrific. But…
Online grocery shopping: At first it was a scramble to book delivery slots. Now it's routine. I may never visit Tesco again.
Cold calls/scams on landline phone: Disappeared.
Glyndebourne Opera Festival: Swanky, expensive, exclusive. We'd been twice, at others' expense. This year we may watch Mozart's three greatest operas (Figaro, Don G., Cosi) in matchless performances, at any time of our choosing, lolling in our living room FOR FREE. Under normal circumstances, given the degree of comfort we will enjoy, this would have cost £900 plus three 400-mile round trips by car. A donation seemed in order.
Hay Festival: Three weeks of wide-ranging cultural experience (Science, philosophy, literature, politics, what-have-you) is online FOR FREE. But this is sadder. Hay is nearby and had become an annual social delight with two friends from London and grandson Ian. A donation seemed mandatory.
Local friendship: We are not normally sociable; our interests are not outgoing. In the weeks of lockdown I've said more hellos to people living on our estate than in the whole of the last twenty years.
Local generosity: Despite our surliness two neighbours have regularly done unforeseen ad hoc shopping for us. Reducing the Plague risks of shopping in person, given we are both in our eighties.
Family integration: Regularly, each week, three elements of our family (living 24 miles, 64 miles and 170 miles away from Hereford) foregather on Skype for meaningless chat. Except it isn't meaningless.
Singing lessons: On Skype. Even more intense than in V's living room. V's eyes bore in, critically. And ears, if ears can bore in.