It struck me last week that there are people on holiday. Not staycations or trips down to the countryside, actual holiday. I’m not sure if it’s because I live in a bubble, or because there are some very resilient individuals out there, but I cannot understand how so many people have, in the middle of a pandemic, packed their bags and masked up and got on flights to other countries where they will have to acclimate themselves to a whole new host of coronavirus regulations.

I was similarly perplexed when people began going to restaurants and bars after lockdown eased. I understand that we need to start going out to get the economy going, but the sight of waiting staff in masks has been hard to swallow. Would these people come to work if they had the choice? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I’m not so desperate for a meal and a drink that I would sit through the discomfort of not knowing if the people who are working around me feel safe or protected.

Our differences are what will sustain us

I guess there are two types of people: an avant-garde, who forges ahead after crises and tries to establish normal life, and those like me, who are followers, and who see fun and leisure as extreme luxuries and indulgences in a pandemic.

Covid-19 has made me think a lot along the lines of how we are categorised as people to perform certain roles. Whenever we are expected, en masse, to observe strict instructions, these fault lines appear. There are the fatalistic among us: for them, life goes on as normal because whatever will be will be. There are those naturally sceptical of authority: the rebels and cynics. Then there are the extremely observant, like me.

In a pandemic, the differences between us create tension – the cynics don’t want to wear masks, the fatalists are impervious to the healthy fear they should have and so put themselves and others in danger, and the observant don’t want to question what sometimes is wrong government advice. But when I see people on holiday and going out to dinner, no matter how odd that is to me, I am comforted that the differences between us are, in the end, what will sustain us.

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