Freedom Day? Well it’s not what I expected when we awaited its dawning some sixteen months ago. When we thought – and hoped – it would happen when a vaccine was found, I made my choice of tune to be played upon the day. Not ‘Freedom’ sung by Aretha Franklin nor ‘Freedom Comes, Freedom Goes’ by The Fortunes ( though this may be more appropriate) but ‘A Brand New Day’ from the Musical ‘The Wiz’. Playing it on Sunday a couple of times instead of Monday, being rather wary of what exactly dawn would bring, it would have been so perfect, if only it meant complete freedom.
Trains and buses in anticipation of many more passengers – the latter certainly increasing numbers onboard to full capacity – must have been quite disappointed. I travelled to town during the ‘morning rush’ to find the same numbers as before and thankfully all wearing masks. Walking around Morrison’s the only customers not wearing face coverings were, shall we say, probably amongst those who discarded theirs long ago. So far so good. A cuppa and catch up with a friend in M & S Cafe was enjoyed, observing how tables had been maximised but not the number of takers.
However, I got the gist that the majority of people are continuing with their daily routine as they have chosen so to do until now, never mind what our Prime Minister said was available to us in relaxing the rules. Certainly queuing to enter a nightclub at the midnight hour held no interest to me but there again I would have had to have been approximately 50 years younger to appreciate that.
My trolley will be at my side on the bus or train so I do not have to share a seat with a stranger, consequently I am nervous at the thought of sitting close to anyone unknown to me in a theatre – for the time being. One thing I did notice in town was the signage still indicating ‘keep left’ or ‘no entry’ plus the floor stickers at one or two metre intervals reading ‘stand here’ although it could be they are stuck fast by now and will stay for the remainder of time.
I’ve never been ‘pinged’ but without the App there’s no chance of that anyway, which is probably a good thing. I still don’t fully understand the workings of leaving one’s name and telephone number as surely the only way one can receive a call to “Isolate” is in the event of someone calling particular establishments to report a case, and how many actually do? We will probably never know with any accuracy.
The Country is in a mess now with short staffing through being pinged, even being referred to as the ‘Pingdemic’ but so far no-one has come up with a name for the rest of us who leave our details on a piece of paper with the assurance that after 21 days, all evidence will be destroyed. Rather like the disappointment of “if you haven’t heard from us within 21 days, your application has been unsuccessful”, except in this case no news is good news . So I will continue with my regular lateral flow tests, wear a mask, observe safety measures and carry on as though ‘Freedom Day’ hasn’t happened. What a joyous day it will be though when eventually I can play my favourite ‘Wiz’ tune “A Brand New Day” when all this is behind us. I may even join in with the Hoedown section.