Life on Tapp: I’m enjoying the fun but not sure for how long!
It would be fair to say that a large proportion of the UK population is making the most of its relatively new-found personal freedoms but one key question refuses to go away - how long will the fun last for?
When it comes to enjoying the moment, I really am having great fun but am also feeling hugely conflicted at the same time.
During the past week or so of not having to work from my kitchen table, I’ve entered the holiday spirit and behaved like a holidaymaker, visiting city and town centres, a nature reserve, restaurants, an adventure farm (which was as exhausting as it sounds) and a cinema, to name just a few places.
And for the first time since February 2020, we last week visited a soft play zone which, for the uninitiated, involves lots of red-faced children clambering over each other while excreting bodily fluids.
That wasn’t something that I ever thought I’d be comfortable with again, but seeing the look of pure joy on our little lad’s face convinced me that I’d made the right decision, even if Mrs Tapp still twitches nervously at the mere mention of the place.
One of the most popular narratives of the past 18 months is that it is our children who have suffered the most as a result of multiple lockdowns and subsequent restrictions, and it is clear that many parents are determined to make up for lost time.
Although I’ve long been in the we-need-to-learn-to-live-with-it camp, there remains a constant nagging doubt in my mind, which, of course, is the intention of the Government, who advised us to remain vigilant when Covid restrictions were lifted last month.
The trouble with this mind-how-you-go guidance is that it can be interpreted in many ways, although many of those that I have, quite literally, rubbed shoulders with over the past few weeks have taken it to mean “the pandemic is over” when it clearly isn’t.
Don’t take my word for it as the Government figures show that last week there were an average of roughly 31,500 new cases each day, with about 6,000 people being hospitalised, with some sadly failing to make it home.
Like a healthy majority of supermarket shoppers, I still wear a mask while plodding down the aisles but there have been several times recently when I’ve ventured into other enclosed spaces while wearing a piece of fabric over my mouth and hooter and felt exactly how women who walk around with their skirt tucked into their knickers feel - once it’s been pointed out to them.
While people haven’t stopped and thrown rotten fruit in my general direction, I have felt like the odd one out, but I continue to do my “bit”.
Many of us predicted that hugging, handshakes and generally invading the space of others would be consigned to history.
But we couldn’t have been more wrong, as anybody who has recently visited a lively town centre pub on a Friday night will testify. Watching groups of friends prance around a packed tiny dancefloor singing Livin’ On A Prayer was surreal to say the least.
While life without restrictions is what I and many others had long hoped for, I can’t help fearing that the current situation will deteriorate to a point that society isn’t prepared to take, meaning that we all have to live our lives through our laptops again.
I hope that I am wrong of course but it won’t stop me enjoying the fun while it lasts.