You may think that I've been a bit flippant about COVID-19 of late, but that's simply the way I am; I prefer to see the 'amusing' in even the most grim of circumstances.
However, things are now beginning to get serious, and I suppose I shall have to follow suit.
Yesterday morning I went shopping, not to strip the supermarket of everything edible or antiseptic, but to buy basic needs. There was no shortage anywhere (other than hand gel again), and I did a normal shop for one week. I didn't buy that much; above was my (our) meagre list.
At the same time I also filled the Compact Royce with petrol, and bought a bottle of Gas.
It was then that my only problem made itself known. Most non-food shops have now been closed, and I needed some special Chainsaw petrol. My last container is almost empty, and I had to replace it; we heat ourselves with wood, and as it comes in one metre lengths it has to be sawn. It's not a problem mixing my own petrol/oil, but I would have preferred to buy (the very expensive) ready made stuff. A minor inconvenience.
We are now beginning our period of self-isolation. As we are both over-70, we are advised to stay home as much as possible for the next FOUR MONTHS. Obviously this is impossible, but we shall try to oblige. We will still need to visit the baker, the pharmacy, and the plant/seed shop (if indeed they're open). We will also need to walk the dog, cut lawns, and hang out washing, etc. Staying indoors is not an option, in fact it's actually impossible.
Imagining that all non-food shops will now be closed indefinitely, what will we find when (or if) they should ever open their doors again? Could stores/shops really survive being closed for months on end?
region of France relies heavily on Summer tourism, and no doubt this too will suffer. How many Gite
owners will now find any June/July/August tenants, knowing that all the shops, cafés, and restaurants will be closed; and movement restricted. I feel very sorry for those who rely on an income from holiday cottages, but not so much for those who may go bankrupt before even opening the doors of their rusting empty shipping containers.
I am not over pessimistic about the future; I do believe that there has been a lot of exaggeration about. I don't wish to detract from the seriousness of the situation, but all we can do is to take it day by day. The Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 killed over 20 million people worldwide; I don't see anything on that scale happening in 2020.
Today is Tuesday 17th March.... I wonder how the world will look in a week's time?