Something had to sweep Brexit off of the table and it just so happens that Covid 19 is the new kid in town. We now find ourselves living in a sci-fi film with leaders and presidents declaring states of emergency, panicking proletariat and an invisible virus stalking the world preying on the old and weak. It isn’t funny.

I ventured out today, away from people and the media, and in the warm sunshine it was easy to forget the troubles at large. I found myself at Denbies Hillside, ironically the same place I fled to after the Brexit vote debacle. A small northward passage of Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit, an enormous female Goshawk and a parade of freshly minted Brimstone butterflies bathed the soul in calming balm. I also had the pleasure of the company of fellow Surrey birder Steve Chastell mid-morning. We knocked elbows rather than shake hands - very 2020...

Canons Farm carried on my birding self-isolation in the afternoon. A Woodlark, flushed from the footpath that crosses Broad Field, was delightful, calling as it arced round before settling once again. I saw it moving between the lines of stubble, but only briefly, before it flew off to land several hundred metres away. I couldn’t relocate it.

Driving home the streets were very quiet. I passed a well known pizza restaurant and saw that just one table was occupied. Most of the supermarkets and food shops in Banstead and Epsom have not been victim to panic buying (if you discount loo roll and hand sanitiser). This is where 24 hour news and social media does not help, as they have both fuelled the fear factors that are causing the panic and greed. If it was reported that mushroom pate was in short supply there would be a run on it.

In the coming weeks - maybe months, some say even years - our lives are going to be very different. For some it will never be the same again. Hopefully enough of us can make up for any idiocy that may be on show, to help those that require help the most, and act as a support for each other.


Derek Faulkner said…
I guess many of us will have different views on how we're going to approach this isolation stuff, especially the over 70's like myself. Fortunately I'm not someone that needs the company of others that much and lost interest in foreign holidays some years ago and don't have to suffer the torment of going to work, so little will change for me in that respect. Myself and the dog will still enjoy our lonely and daily walks on the nature reserve, especially now that the weather is improving and migrants are starting to arrive. A trip to the supermarket will still have to be risked at intervals but apart from that my only real concern is whether I will still have a pension and worthwhile investments at the end of all this.
Steve Gale said…
Let us hope that when the dust settles things do return to some sort of normality. Worrying though, on many levels.
Derek Faulkner said…
I've just been in Morrison's buying my Christmas dinner.
Unknown said…
Asda & sainsburys in burgh heath and epsom have plenty of empty shelves, dont know why you report it as just loo rolls and antibac. Just had to buy babymilk from a company on line because selfish people are buying it then selling on ebay.
Steve Gale said…
Hello Unknown. I wrote this post on Monday, based on my shopping experience up until then. Things have changed, as I was able to see for myself today - even the home delivery slots and Click and Collect services are fully booked for three weeks. I hope that things are not a stressful for you as they must have been during today. Keep well and stay safe.

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