Modern Morals

It’s the middle of the week. Hurrah. Still getting by. Made jambalaya, because that’s the rule: when I get a new thing I can make jambalaya in, I must immediately make jambalaya in it. Might write my recipe up here, just because. It’s hardly inventive or exciting, and it’s certainly not vegan, but I do love to cook and eat it.

This has definitely become the new normal at this point, and it’s due to go on for a few weeks yet. We all miss our friends and family. I desperately wish I could be there for my more isolated friends, but we’re all trapped where we are.

Some of my local friends have suggested ways we could see one another in appropriately socially distanced ways, and I would love to take them up on it, but I honestly feel a moral imperative not to. I’m not usually one to be “the rules are the rules, and we can’t bend them” but in this case, it’s both easy and tempting to bend them just a bit, but to get all Sam Vimes about it, if you’ll bend the rules for a good reason (like mutual support of one another’s sanity), you’ll bend them for a bad one. (We’re listing to Thud! in bed at night at the moment.)

And there’s an extent to which all that is so much over-thinking nonsense, but I keep coming back to the bare facts. There are many people out there, including my brother and several friends, who, for one reason or another, cannot maintain full social distancing – they’re NHS workers, they have vital jobs that cannot be done from home, they have responsibilities to care for others, whatever the reason, they are, to one extent or another risking getting a sickness that probably won’t kill them.

That probably is simultaneous tiny, and unacceptably, vastly, huge. So, if you come to it, is the actual risk of catching it at the moment, at least for most of the non-NHS ones. But part of keeping that risk down is literally everyone else staying home and not increasing their risk.

And I have the ability to do absolutely everything I can to maintain that distance. I have this pile of privilege, and it would be churlish of me to not use it to sit on my arse and do nothing, when that’s literally what’s being asked of me.

I know others aren’t as lucky, and I’m not judging anyone else who can’t, and if the reason for “can’t” is “I’m just going stir crazy and need to manage my mental health” that’s totally valid to me, but I’m (mostly) not. I’ve got my worries, and yes, I’ve been having stress dreams about them. But right now, I, personally, can 100% stay home and see no-one.

Because overall, while I do miss my friends, and am really looking forward to seeing some humans again, I’m actually quite enjoying myself. I’m coding, cooking, even doing a bit of writing, and playing games. I don’t want much more from life than that.

Like I say: I’m lucky. So in exchange for that good fortune, I’ve got to do the pathetically easy all I can.

That was a totally pointless load of waffle that no-one asked for or needed. My brain is clearly softening in isolation. But at least when I read this back in ten years time, I’ll remember the arguments I used to convince myself to stay indoors, on the days when all I really wanted was the physical presence of my friends.

That’s assuming society doesn’t collapse, of course. Stay tuned, we’ll all find out.

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