Life has changed in the blink of an eye.
Blinking, that well known trick of the trade, for trying to get clarity on a situation isn’t working any more. So here are some helpful hints to navigate the new world order.
1. If you have been stuck at home, because of sight loss, for so long that the days blur one into another, and a well meaning person says that after a mere matter of weeks on lockdown, they know exactly how you feel; nod, smile and sympathise. A robust rebuttal will go down like a cup of cold sick.
2. If you have been kicked off priority access to on line shopping because people who can’t see are not in the priority shopper group, while those around you have got a delivery booked for Saturday morning, you’ve probably got until Friday evening to charm them in to adding your choices to their list.
3. Social distancing can be a challenge when you are trying to cross a road. If the person in front of you just won’t get on with it, seek confirmation by asking “Excuse me, are you waiting to cross?” if they don’t reply there is a good chance they are, in fact, a utility substation of a bollard. I should know.
4. If you receive a text from Gov-UK informing you that in the event of needing medical help for coronavirus you should stay at home, this does not mean you cannot attend a hospital should you need to. NHS guidelines are clear that not being able to see does not mean you won’t be treated. You are entitled to treatment. Don’t take any nonsense about being frail because you can’t see. Put your foot down.
5. Join a WhatsApp or Facebook group in your neighbourhood. People like nothing more than to help in a crisis. Don’t be coy about asking for help. They will shop for you if you ask. It will also provide you with hours of entertainment on subjects as varied as the scarcity of risotto rice and proven sources of organic dog food.
6. Commanding Siri to get you the number for such and such a shop, calling them up, placing your order and paying over the phone is a good option. You’re in a WhatsApp or Facebook group now so someone is bound to be able to collect it for you if you ask.
7. If the lurgy strikes and you lose your sense of smell and can’t read the label on the tin, you may yet be on the cusp of discovering a whole new way of eating that you can blog about. You might even get a column in the Daily Mail if it’s good enough.
8. On the subject of food, Bombay mix is the ideal accompaniment to prunes.
10. If you are a cane user, a quick swish should see off any improper socialisation. If you have a dog, teach it to bare its teeth. You’ve got time on your hands for dog training now.
11. This is not the moment to start to clean. Dust doesn’t get any worse after the first three years. It’s your own dirt after all.
12. If something goes wonk with the telly and you can’t get it to work, have no qualms about asking for help. People can always wear their marigolds.
13. You are about to find out who you friends are but you can be forgiving of those that come up short.
14. If you think our current leaders are bad, remember that in twenty years the country will be led by kids who were home schooled by alcoholics.
15. Wash your hands.