Lockdown – Round 2……

Well, here we are back in good old lockdown. The beast is back amongst us and few would argue that the Manx government’s directive isn’t the right approach given what is happening on the adjacent Isle.

It’s good to see though that the deep-rooted ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude of many people is alive and well given the way in which they have ransacked the shelves of local stores and supermarkets. What part of ‘There is plenty to go around and supply lines are fully maintained’ do they not understand?

The lockdown rules say we are allowed out for regular exercise as long as we apply common sense, avoid busy areas and have masks for when we might come into contact with others. In March and April last year the unseasonally long, warm sunny days made this a joy. This time around it’s cold enough to lose a limb if you stand idle for more than a couple of minutes, so the enthusiasm for long country strolls has waned a bit.

Maybe I should turn to Joe Wicks?…. Maybe not. 

There is of course another option; do bugger all, eat loads and turn into a seal. Not so sure I fancy that either.

I saw a couple of episodes recently of the Netflix series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a young girl who is a genius at chess and starts beating all the grand masters at major competitions. I remember being in the chess club at school. I only joined so that I didn’t have to do art. I played the game twice weekly without any real understanding – make that any understanding at all – of what I was doing. I even won a couple of games, though purely by accident you understand. 

Maybe I should take it up again – there might be an inner, hidden talent waiting to be discovered. On the basis I haven’t uncovered anything else I’m particularly good at the law of averages suggests there could still be something lurking in there somewhere….? My wife’s not so sure.

A regular daily activity for me is taking part in the government’s now daily Covid media briefings on behalf of Business365. They are broadcast live on Zoom – which in my case means tucking myself away in my little spare room office.

For ten minutes or so before the briefings we hacks from the various media outlets have a bit of banter amongst ourselves. The batting order for the briefings is key. If you are near the top of the list there’s a fair chance your carefully crafted questions won’t have been asked before it’s your turn. If you are near the bottom though it’s a different story. When Howard introduces number eight on the list …. ‘Last but not least it’s…” Your heart beats a bit quicker as you realise you must come up with an intelligent question – one that the previous eight journos haven’t already fielded. Given that we all get two each – or in the case of Paul Moulton, twelve  – it’s no mean feat.

I guess the thing to remember for now is that this new lockdown is for just three weeks. If it succeeds in stopping the virus in its tracks it will have been well worth the sacrifice.  It might even re-kindle that community spirit and sense of togetherness that was evident last Spring….that’s as long as people stop filling their sodding freezers with bread and their garages with loo rolls. There really is plenty to go around – Howard says so!


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