Looking back a few weeks, it all looks absolutely perfect…

South Anne Street
South Anne Street on a normal, sunnyish afternoon a couple of days ago.

I am beginning to really hate this “new normal.”

And one of the reasons I’m beginning to hate it is precisely because it is becoming the “new normal.”

I’m getting used to it.

I just drove to Dundrum Town Centre. Connie was doing a bit of shopping and I drive just to get out of the house. I don’t get out of the car.

But even driving along, it is bizarre to see people stepping out literally into the middle of the road to avoid other pedestrians on the footpaths.

It is utterly weird to see families walking along a suburban road in Dublin in blazing sunshine, with mothers and kids all wearing facemasks.

It is very unsettling to drive into the car park in Dundrum Town Centre to find cones and tapes blocking most of it off, the lights turned down almost completely on some levels, and barely a car in sight.

I don’t drink a whole heap these days. But I find it utterly weird that the pubs are closed. This is Ireland. We like our pubs. We don’t have to be on the lash. We just like them. And there aren’t any.

And there’s no live music. Not a note. Between my illness and Covid, I’ve missed ten or eleven gigs I had tickets for.

Shuttered shops on Grafton Street – I went for a short walk in Stephen’s Green last weekend and had a look down the street. Unsettling to say the least.

Queues at supermarkets. I counted more than 30 outside Tesco in Rathmines the other day. Across the road, 20 queued outside Boots, further down, a few stood outside Burdock’s and coffee lovers were lining up outside Ernesto’s.

We can’t even visit friends or family in hospital. We can’t offer sympathy at a funeral. We can’t hug. We can’t even shake hands.

We appear to be taking it all in our stride.

And that’s probably the scariest thing of all.

We’re saying it’s all grand and it is. It is fine. It’s keeping us safe.

I’m just surprised that apart from a few utter fruitcakes, we’ve generally speaking sucked it up.

Sure, there are teenagers out there in bunches and they sure as hell aren’t social distancing. Of course they should. But I was a teenager. Honestly. I was.

And not a very well behaved one at that.

New normal.

I hate that term. It seems to suggest that things will never return to the old normal.

Yeh, we complained about the old normal.

Right now, though, it looks close to perfect…

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