One thing I realised, this morning, as I had to enter into a shop for the first time in however many months, is that I have not missed entering into shops one little bit during lockdown.
I know this is not what the higher-ups will want to hear, but I think pre-lockdown me was a lot more frivolous when it came to just popping into Sainsbury’s before and/or after work that post-lockdown me is. And that’s not because I’m scared I might come into contact with an ill person – if I’m going to do that it’s most definitely a non-masker coming to work or just any of the germ-ridden gobshites on any one of the mask-lottery bus rides I’ve taken – it’s just because I don’t need to go into a shop to kill some time before or after work and buy things that I don’t need or want but will just eat anyway…
In the same was as, unlike a gazillion other people, I haven’t missed a McDonalds. Or whatever else.
Maybe, subconsciously, I’m just preparing for 2021, when we’re in the grips of our first post-Brexit year of destitution and people are fighting for scraps of food thrown out of the ivory towers all the vote leave cock-biscuits live in.
Or maybe it’s just that I don’t need that gratification in my life anymore. I didn’t gain anything other than a bank statement made up of small amounts to supermarkets and bus fares. I mean, sure, maybe a bag of cookies kept the boredom away for a couple of hours at work inbetween games, but did I need it? No. I did not. Could I have kept that same boredom away by being better prepared with a book or a film and a nice cuppa? Yep, absolutely.
I’ve had gaps since I’ve been back to work and I haven’t journeyed out. And, like I say, it’s got nothing to do with the walking germ factories or the 8000000 stairs between work and the pavement. I just don’t want to, or need to, so I don’t.
I’m not really sure I can see it changing, either. Even when everything’s a-go again. I can’t be the only one. Judging by how quiet Sainsbury’s was this morning on my ciabatta run (and nothing else, yaay me) there’s a lot of people who just aren’t coming in for no reason any more.
If nothing else, for the moment at least, Covid-19 has put pay to the groups of pensioners who used to congregate for a chat in shop doorways. Or the people who just mill around looking at stuff.
It’s a lot more clean and clinical. And not just because everything smells of antibac these days. I’m sure they’ll return. I’m sure the people who come and clog up the aisles while they have a chat will return. All of that.
I don’t think I will, though.