LETTER: Good job queuing is part of our DNA
A reader discusses queueing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Queuing is all part of an Englishman's DNA, it's what sets us apart from other lesser mortals. In buses, trains, and the post office, it's as much part of us as moaning about the weather, MPs, and congested roads, so when a month or so ago, Whitehall deemed it mandatory to stand several yards apart from the bloke in front, we all took it in our collective stride, I have to report from the front line, that has now morphed into something more sinister, and somewhat alarming.
Up here in middle England, in this semi-rural corner of empire, our little village (we like to think so, Google it) still retrains that friendly atmosphere of congeniality, and so rocking up at the bank, I found myself the 14th person in the queue, behind me were two flat caps, and in their broad Black Country dialect, were discussing the present situation. Half listening I happened to glance along the high street, and like something from a sci-fi film, dozens of other people, silent, standing in extended lines. The open fronted fruit and veg shop there were a few people, and the building society queue snaking away into the other direction, even the butchers had a line , so many people just motionless, standing, patiently waiting.
An almost empty bus stops, no one gets off, one gets on, on a normal day, the high street is bustling with shoppers, the street market is buzzing with expectant bargain hunters, and there is an air of purposeful endeavour, now today, silence, just the raucous squawking of a couple of black headed gulls, perched high on a street light. Its all very eerie, and somewhat creepy.
Reminders of those old TV series comes to mind "The Twilight Zone and, The Outer Limits" I'm half expecting a purple puff of smoke, and Beelzebub in the guise of Walter Houston to appear, offering all the moon, for our mortal soul.
Back in the real world, silently like convicts waiting in line for food, we all shuffle forward, as slowly one comes out, and another goes in. A man walks past, stops, looks at the length of the queue, mutters, about turns and walks back. I can read his mind, I cannot say I blame him. Patience is knowing that at some point, it will eventually be your turn.
Looking at my fellow sheeples, it occurs to me that we are all over 60+, maybe that's why the moaning is conspicuous in its absence.
A street in a nondescript semi rural bit of middle England with lines of static, silent, patient, world weary, stoic individuals. All inherently different, and now, all moulded by government dictate, into the compliant cast of a film of world wide death.
On a more happier note, her indoors strawberry plants are thriving, I've cut the grass, and the goldfinches have returned.
Tony Levy, Wednesfield