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16 April 2020

All the things I’m looking forward to doing when lockdown is over

Enjoying a long, aimless walk, without worrying that I am breaking the law.

By Jonn Elledge

  Wake up in the morning without my first thought being that there’s very little reason to be awake at all, and this entire consciousness thing has been a huge mistake, and then actually choose to leave my bed.

 Notice that the sun is shining and greet this as a positive development, not merely an inconvenient meteorological phenomenon that exists purely to turn my home into a sort of live-in microwave.

 Resurrect some quaint, old-fashioned habits, such as showering or even wearing clothes, and perhaps even indulge in them every day.

 Cover up my flesh with cloth, say a tearful goodbye to my cheese plant, Joe Biden, and then leave my flat, without even bothering to check official government guidance to see if I can.

 Go to Pret.

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 Enjoy a long, aimless walk, without worrying that I am breaking the law.

 Pass within two metres of somebody.

 Go to a pub.

 Pop to a shop, on an impulse, without even worrying about scheduling in the hour I need to spend in the queue outside first.

 Realise I’ve now been outside my flat for a whole 75 minutes, and not even care.

 Get on the Central line – just because I can!

 Find a wall that isn’t painted magnolia, and stare at that for a change.

 Spend too much money on a single, overpriced coffee, and feel it gladen my heart as well as raise my blood pressure.

 Go on a pub crawl.

 Complete a day’s work and reward myself by seeing a friend or going to the movies, perhaps, rather than realising that such options are not available to me and momentarily consider the possibility that I might as well keep working in the hope that such diligence today will enable me to, say, take the whole of June off.

 Forgive the intrusion of sincerity into this silly listicle, but: see my mum.

 Sit in a pub beer garden for the entire day, very possibly with one of the multiple people who have over the last fortnight said to me, “You know what I want to do? Sit in a pub beer garden. For an entire day.”

 Watch television – not because it’s the only way to fill the time, but because I am actually choosing to. 

 Decide to go out to enjoy the sunshine, and feel immediately frustrated by the fact that, inevitably, it was replaced by several months of rain the very day after lockdown ended.

 Attempt to go to that restaurant I always liked, AND wonder vaguely why it’s now closed forever.

 Worry about the complete collapse of the global economy that now seems inevitable, but which I just don’t have the brain space to think about right now.

 Get a haircut.

 Curse the fact that with all this time and no social life to speak of I still didn’t read all those books, but did spend a lot of time scrolling anxiously through Twitter.

 Helplessly watch the Labour Party tear itself to shreds. (I’m not actually looking forward to this one so much as accepting it as a grim inevitability, given the history of the Labour Party from 1900-date.)

 Wake up and realise that I dreamt all the above because this is not over at all. This is not even close to being over. This may never be over. This is just our world now.

 Give my cheese plant Joe Biden a comforting pat, return to my desk in my superheated flat, and settle myself into staring at my magnolia walls in my underwear for another long day of lockdown.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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THANK YOU