The UK’s coronavirus restrictions are beginning to lift today. As an 86-year-old American, Lynn Ruth Miller has been trapped in enforced self-isolation in a London apartment since the start of the restrictions. Like most Americans, she has a quaint way of spelling and turn of phrase…
My psychiatrist has confirmed to me that living indoors can be addictive.
The government is easing the lockdown. Now, we can all go outside and shout at each other if we stay six feet apart. What joy!
It was easy to lock us down, but letting us out is far more complicated. You must not rush to freedom all at once. You might trip.
And running outside and hugging everyone in the street without proper planning can destroy your psyche.
Iron bars do not a prison make but COVID-19 did.
We all need a carefully-considered procedure if we are to abandon the security of our homes, where no-one sees us and we are free to indulge our more primitive impulses, like sleeping until three in the afternoon and forgetting to wear pajamas.
You cannot do that in the outside world. Other people judge.
Begin your emancipation by wearing clothes.
Start out with any kind of covering – a pillowcase, a diaphanous scarf. Gradually, day by day, co-ordinate your outfits so they look planned.
COVER THOSE LEGS. The way you present yourself sends a message to others.
Up until now, we haven’t HAD any others to send messages to but, very slowly, we are adding them into our lives and, as we do that, we need to hide our bits.
It is the way it is done in a normal world.
Ladies! You are going to have to wear your brassieres again. Some of you men should as well. You cannot let those strawberry creams wobble when you are out and about.
Gentlemen! Zip up! Your John Thomas isn’t cute to strangers. Sorry.
And remember your shoes!
People drop unsavory things on the pavement.
So do dogs.
And take note… People will hear the unexpected sounds your body makes.
Control your sphincter. Back-end blowouts are not done in mixed company. Unless, of course, you have your dog with you. The trick here is to let it rip; frown at the dog; shake your head. This will not work with a Chihuahua – People are not THAT stupid.
Although we now can sit in a park if we stay 6 feet apart, it is important that your first move out of your home be no farther than your front porch. The air will have a different smell; there might be a breeze; a bird could shit all over you. Be very careful. Gradually, go down the steps into the front yard; and, in a week or ten days, venture out to the pavement. You can do it. REMEMBER TO WEAR SHOES.
But here is where the real danger lies. You have not seen an automobile for over a month and those things can hurt if you bump into one that is moving.
In America, it is illegal to run over a pedestrian but here, in Britain, it is every man for himself. Wear helmets. Invest in a suit of armor. Amazon has them for less than a hundred quid.
Acclimating your children to the world outside will be a challenge but, with patience and an open mind, you can do it. Explain to them that those moving objects on the pavement are people and touching them is not done. All that noise coming out of their mouths is called conversation. The rest of the racket in the great outdoors is traffic noise. That screeching does not mean someone is hurt; it indicates an angry driver who has not done proper maintenance on his vehicle.
This is a good time to explain the importance of proper personal maintenance to your child. Never miss an opportunity to teach civilized behavior to your offspring. It does not come naturally. Neither does effective anger management.
Nowadays, we are allowed to create a social bubble. At this point in time, it means you can visit one person, go into his or her home and use his or her toilet. This kind of socialization will soon expand to ten people (but not always ten toilets).
It is wise to have a good supply of TENA, ladies. Be sure to wear one when you go to the park. All public toilets are closed. Do not ignore your personal needs. The visible result of doing so offends others. And do not fool yourself. It is always visible
If you live alone and have no family to create a bubble, just go out on the street singing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles and you will get plenty of offers.
Once you and your family have mastered emerging into the outside, you need to re-learn your dining habits. No more eating with your fingers or licking the plate clean. YOU MUST USE CUTLERY.
It is fine to grab a quick gin and tonic BEFORE you leave the house, but people will frown if you are seen tippling before sundown.
Sadly, the pubs do not offer a carry-out service but you can get away with a lot if you bring your Smirnoff with you in a Costa Cup.
Remember, easing out of this lockdown demands proper preparation. But it is nothing to fear.
The only danger to letting your family go out your front door is convincing them to return.
As my grandmother used to say once they gave her false teeth: “How can you keep them in the kitchen after they’ve seen Paree?”
….or something like that.