Another weekly report from Beetley, during the pandemic lockdown.
As I type this at almost 11 am, you could hear a pin drop outside. Activity is at the lowest level for weeks, despite a sunny start to the day.
One community spirit thing that I noted this week was people putting books outside in small containers. They are offering the books they have read to anyone passing by, free of charge. With the library closed in town, and the mobile library not coming to the villages during the pandemic, it is great to see so many of my neighbours giving away free books to those who have run out of things to read.
Yesterday when I was entering the nature reserve with Ollie, I saw that someone had rigged the latch on the large gate. It was jammed open by the use of a carefully-placed cable tie, which was impossible to remove without a sharp knife to hand. They had fixed a hand-written notice to the woodwork, saying that they had done that so that people could enter and leave without touching the metal latch, as the virus could stay on the metal for 72 hours.
I spoke to some other dog walkers, and they thought it was a good idea. I didn’t agree. Without the gate firmly latched, it would be easy for an excited dog to get out into the small car park, and the fast road beyond. It would also allow deer to exit through that route, and possibly be injured or killed by traffic. What one person thought was something good to do for walkers and visitors is not such a great idea, in my opinon. I would have just washed my hands when I got home, or used a dog-poo bag over my hand to open and close the latch.
Because nobody is driving around much, some locals have had problems with their cars. My next-door neighbour had to buy a new battery for his SUV, as the old one had gone flat from lack of use. Some cars have failed to start after weeks of not being used for commuting to work, and with many using delivery options for grocery shopping too. Some of the irritating side-effects of being in the lockdown that none of us ever thought about at the start.
Some ladies I meet out on dog walks are also concerned about their hair. With all the hairdressers closed until further notice, their regular hair-dying and trimming sessions have left them with grey roots showing, and ‘mad’ hair. Many have actually apologised to me for the appearance of their hair, which is weird. My wife’s hairdresser is closed until October, so I might have to cut her hair at some stage. I doubt she will chance letting me near her with a pair of scissors though.
As far as I am aware, nobody in this village, with its population of around 1300, has died from the Covid-19 virus so far. Our secluded location and lack of visitors may well have helped of course.
Or it may just be that everyone washes their cars so much, their hands are always clean. 🙂