Alas, we have held the last meeting of the choir for the time being. From now, gatherings of more than 6 people will no longer be permitted and that’s too few for a meaningful outdoor sing! Even if the scope of the pandemic changes and the restrictions are lifted, it is unlikely to still be warm enough for outdoor activities of this kind.

It reinforces my concern that our normal way of life, whatever that means, is very fragile. If it becomes too cold, too warm or too wet, will people still want to come outside and socialise? We are social beings, but being social and meeting together in person is now inherently risky. A young relative of mine, elsewhere in England, is finding school very stressful because, despite the best efforts of the teachers, some of the students are blatantly ignoring social distancing, do not wear masks and do not appear to take the pandemic seriously. My relative feels vulnerable and feels that attending school is risking the health of the family at home.

The Council is now meeting at its normal schedule, but entirely via Zoom. There is a question whether Zoom and similar systems help us to cope with life in the era of covid or are they programming us to live apart? I suppose it depends how long it all goes on. I’m not making any predictions but I think the best Christmas present for us all will be an effective vaccine.

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