Retreat, Day 61: False Summit?

A false summit is when you’re climbing a hill, only to reach the top and see a larger hill was hidden behind it. As wikipedia puts it, they “can have significant effects on climbers’ psychological states by inducing feelings of dashed hopes or even failure“. There’s one at Beachy Head that’s caught me out a couple of times. I’ve walked to the top, glad I’m almost done, only to see I have a little further to go.

The Government announcement on Sunday seemed full of confusion. While the five tests for leaving lockdown weren’t yet met, the restrictions are being eased. People can meet for socially distanced activities, although the parks and promenade are already too busy. Garden centers are re-opening, but there is only the most basic dental care available, extractions for everything. And this, despite the cases being higher than they were pre-lockdown, and the disease being very close to spreading again.

The Daily Mirror has been trumpeting a paper claiming that 29% of people on the UK might already have the virus, and other claims say that London might have achieved herd immunity. I hope that is the case, and that I am worrying over nothing. But, just to be safe, I am going to continue my lockdown as before and see what happens. I can understand that business needs to start moving, but maybe the time since lockdown could have been spent coming up with better plans for this inevitable moment.

(To say nothing of the fact that the government has only just started hiring the teams of tracers needed if we are to return to normal life. A long period of continued disruption, and maybe even a second peak lie ahead of us).

But I’m comfortable enough in lockdown, despite the background of doom and deteriorating hairstyles. Today was the first day I managed to sleep past 5:30am since this started. Small Batch continue to supply me with coffee. And I am loving Emily St. John Mandel’s new book, the Glass Hotel. The slow, melancholy mood of the book suits these times.

Tomorrow, I am off for my first hike in some time, walking a segment of the South Downs Way. It will be good to get out of town for a while.

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