Sunday 20 February 2022

Resilience by Joan Lennon


Peter Hansen (1868-1928) Children Playing

I'm uncertain about telling this story, but here goes. 

There is a grassy courtyard area outside the flats where my son lives. He was just coming out the other day when he saw his neighbour across the way, talking through an open window to her grown-up daughter standing outside. The neighbour had Covid, and they were being careful. The two grandchildren were chasing each other around on the grass, giggling and happy, making boogey fingers and shouting, 'I'm going to get you! I've got Covid!' And sometimes 'I am Covid!'

When he told me this story I had an immediate knee-jerk ARGGGHHH reaction. And then I thought, 'Hang on' and I was bowled over by a wave of admiration. The resilience - the cocking a snootedness - the carefree joy that can make a game out of a horror. These kids were awesome.

I'm really scared of getting Covid, partly because I'm really scared of Long Covid, and partly because I'm trying to get to Indonesia to meet my new grandson. And I'm scared of maybe giving it to someone who might give it to someone who really can't get Covid. So I'm careful. And I'm not going to stop being careful.

But maybe I could try cocking a snoot myself, just a little, at it all.

Joan Lennon's website
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Nick Garlick said...

Good story. I'm as nervous about getting Covid as you, but I'm glad you posted it.

Andrew Preston said...

In 1962, when I was a kid, there was a smallpox outbreak in Wales. My mother had recently returned from a visit to her sister in the Rhondda Valley, where most of the deaths occurred, so she received a vaccination. I vividly recall her showing the family where she'd been vaccinated.
Red, yellow, glowing pustules all across her upper arm.
I was deeply impressed, and thought it was absolutely brilliant.

In contrast, some months ago, my sister informed me that one of her grandchildren had caught Covid. I emailed back with the suggestion that the most appropriate place for him might be the woodshed.
No response to that.

I share your concerns about Long Covid, and only now beginning to lighten up. Slightly.

Nick Green said...

This may be a reckless prophecy, but I reckon if you haven't had it yet, then you probably have had it without knowing it, and probably never will get it seriously. Mainly because I managed to catch it at least twice despite minimal contact with the outside world, including once at a time when I virtually did not see anybody. So... looks like you have escaped. :-)

Penny Dolan said...

I love the way that children can take words & fears and make them into a game whether lurgi, nits, cookies or covid. And more. Not always the kindest of playing.
I'm now half recalling old singing games where people lay dying or weeping or being given a whack" ie hit very hard.