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.