Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Where’s the slogan saying ‘Lose Weight. Stop Boozing. Survive the virus!’?

When apathy is the new normal, this country is in a dangerous place

Lockdown is a licence to get fatter and lazier [Giuseppe Lombardo]

Panic at the country feed store. Panic in the horse and pony aisle. I wonder to myself: could life ever be sane again? With apologies to Morrissey and Marr, I started singing a version of their seminal hit on the way back from getting the horse and dog food and I have been humming it ever since. I feel very jaunty, all of a sudden. I know I’m supposed to be paralysed with fear and hugely depressed, but I’m not. Sorry.

I arrived at the feed store just in time, getting the last space in the car park before the place became besieged. A little old lady behind me in the queue reached out as I lost control of my trolley. While holding on to her own trolley heaped high with cat food, she grabbed the handle of mine with one tiny, wrinkled hand before I could do anything to stop her and pushed with a freakish strength, sending it back in the right direction.

The fearless force of that little wrinkled hand made me proud to be British for a split second. It moved me more than any passive-aggressive poster boasting hero this and thank you that. She couldn’t give a damn for Covid, she said. I didn’t argue. We shared a moment as we grappled with my trolley. Then we went back to standing silently behind our masks.

In front of me, a big man in wellies pushed his trolley up to the cashier. ‘Hello, Frank, you all right?’ said the manager as he rang through cartons of dog food. ‘Yeah, I’m still on the furlough from last time,’ said the customer in wellies. And he shrugged, as if the whole thing had become meaningless. No matter what the government said, it no longer stirred any emotion in him, nor interest, nor curiosity.

It’s all right to get fatter, drunker, lazier and more depressed because we are doing it to ‘beat the virus’

This is a dangerous place for a country to be.

That morning, the builder boyfriend put £100 cash in my hand after I said I was going to stock up on food.

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