I wake and my brain begins to load up like an old laptop. The surreal reality of the pandemic lockdown begins to take over my thoughts and feelings for yet another day.
The words Covid 19 play through my head in the style of Dexys Midnight runners.
As I eat breakfast my thoughts are of the shops and gathering supplies while making sure I do my best not to bring home something more than shopping.
With a hand sanitiser and mask in my pocket and a backpack on my back I pedal my way to Aldi.
Bike locked outside and I head in, there’s not too many people so I can keep the recommended distance, my nose is a bit runny from the ride and I begin sniffing.
The sniffing attracts stares, the stares trigger a coughing tic which by the new look on their faces causes people to panic as they begin to move away from me.
I continue to walk down the aisle and feel like Moses parting the shoppers as I go, I decide to put my mask on in hopes to reassure people but I dont think the black neoprene mask has helped, in fact I think it made things worse.
Now there’s people turning away, covering their faces and moving aside as I sniff and cough my way past.
I turn into the next aisle, at the end is a middle aged woman who stops and stares like a rabbit in headlights, she turns and speedily vacates the aisle, at the same time a young girl has turned into my aisle, she seems to unsure whether or not to turn back, instead she covers her face with her hoodie and leans away from me as she passes, now I feel like a leper, but can’t help finding this whole situation bizarre and funny.
I continue with my shopping and for once my Tourette’s has been helpful creating empty aisles ahead of me as I tic along.
There are no real issues at the checkout, they know me well enough by now, I joke about my tics and people’s reactions.
I chuckle to myself as I ride home, I suppose it’s not funny people being in fear, but I find humour is a great way to get through tough situations.