This Coronavirus is no respecter of status, reputation or wealth.
The other day I heard of the death of Eddie Large, he of the famed Little and Large double-act in the 80’s. Then, this morning, I saw that Lee Fierro, who played Mrs Kintner in my favourite film, Jaws, had died.
This afternoon I was in the back garden when my wife came out to tell me that the mother of Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, had succumbed to the virus.
And now the breaking news is that Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister, has been moved to intensive care after his symptoms had tonight worsened, with Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State, deputising. In all intents and purposes, though the government won’t label him so, he’s now the acting PM in this time of crisis.
These are all notable figures, far removed from me. But, as the situation grows, the casualty list has crept ever closer within the last two weeks.
The sister of my next door neighbour, both parents of a child from my son’s school, and several people from my wife’s workplace, have all caught the virus. Also two people known to me, (not closely, I must add), have sadly died. And a couple, again, from my wife’s place of work, have also sadly passed away.
From this new and remote illness that we were first becoming aware of several weeks ago, we’ve now reached the point where a lot of us know someone who has suffered with it.
It is a diminishing circle that, with time, in our imposed isolation, we will break. It is horrible to hear of people dying alone, away from their families because of the nature of this pandemic and the required separating of loved ones. The thirteen-year old lad who both died alone and was buried alone; the elderly woman who said goodbye to her husband through a window as the hearse stopped outside her home on its way to his last resting place; people saying goodbye to loved ones as nurses hold a phone.
My lockdown in regard to these cases holds no comparison.
Listening to the Queen’s call for self-discipline yesterday, we should hold onto the part where she echoed Vera Lynne’s popular song from the wartime 40’s:
We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.