The time is coming I think, when we must choose to stop our gatherings for a while.
Coronavirus is here, and spreading. It may spread wide; it may be contained in a few areas.
But it is here, and evidence seems to suggest it will spread.
We, unfortunately, are among those most likely to die if we are infected. Many of us have several long term conditions, including heart disease, diabetes or COPD.
And we love hugs and holds.
We do it at every opportunity. Hold a hand, have a hug, an arm around a shoulder…
It will have to stop for a few months.
Can we really go on meeting around the country?
I’m going to London on Wednesday. So I will be on four trains, and several stops on the underground. I will be close to, or touching, probably a hundred people, and if the underground is as busy as usual, in very close proximity. Not hugging, just squashing. Hands on the rail.
And I will be meeting and sitting at the table with around 20 people from around the UK.
So…is this sensible?
What better way to spread the virus around the country?
Indeed, I have only just realised that while I may believe I am invincible, or that I don’t really mind if I die from the virus (after all, I already have terminal disease)… I could bring it back to my family, my friends, my towns people…
So, what to do?
One voice says: until government or NHS says don’t travel, cancel events and meetings…just keep calm, wash your hands and carry on.
Another voice warns: if everyone keeps on as usual we will certainly spread coronavirus across the UK. If we stop we might not.
And then there is this issue of being vulnerable. I don’t mind for myself while the risk of infection is low, but I do mind for others. DEEP gatherings, conferences, working groups…we will really be asking for trouble if we carry on regardless.
So I put it out there. Should we be cancelling our various activities and meetings for a few months?
This thing has hardly got started yet. We have no immunity. It will spread. And while few in total will die, a lot of us older, diseased ones could.
On several levels, then, I think it would be wise to stop activities as soon as UK infections approach a few hundred. And that might be quite soon.
I love going off to these meetings. It lightens my load, my life. It breaks what could become a lonesome monotony, however lovely my garden and dog and family.
But sense must prevail.
There will be costs. Cancellations. Wasted tickets.
And there will be savings. Not running these events! Save them for next year.
Anyway, how can you account for costs and savings at this superficial level, compared with costs of a shut down economy and lost lives?
I think I am inviting organisations to cancel events.
I think we should see the big world picture, not just our self contained lives. (Which are not in fact self contained at all of course.)
I think it is time for a pause.
By the way, I do remember the Corona lorry delivering fizzy orange in big, dot patterned bottles, up our road. Around 1958? Fabulous.