Ages ago I became a contact-free zone. People no longer offered to shake my hand. Hugging has become almost extinct.
Today I reap the benefits of years of involuntary social distancing. (How good we have a name for it)
And to think I moaned, crept into a silent defensive shell or protested loudly – all depending on how much and how aggressive I perceived the distancing to be and how well I felts the time.
People backing away from me, flattening themselves against walls. People wrapping protective arms around loved ones and hauling them several metres away. People shouting warnings about my approach. All this plays to my advantage now.
“You should have a bell” “You should slow down” “You should speak up” “You should give way”
This kind of social distancing still doesn’t seem that useful, but then again, I might rethink my attitude to the bell. After all, everyone is now a COVID-19 “leper”
And yes, I look forward to watching everyone else claiming their 2 metres of space, maybe they will stop begrudging me mine…and maybe their gasps of surprise and horror at encountering a wheelchair (I’m invisible) will diminish with a new increase in spacial awareness.
Currently I’m investing in my personal wellbeing, I’m self isolating.
In earlier times I was informed “People like you should get off the pavements and stop taking up space”.
Well now I am.
While birdsong echoes
on silent, swollen water
each winter passes.