Friday 13 March 2020

Sent home

Well now. Hasn't the world become an interesting place?

Where I work has been split into two teams in order to preserve some ability to continue what we do. One team works in the office, the other works from home, and then we swap. The idea of course is that we never meet, so this lessens the odds of, say, a very infectious virus sweeping through all of us. I've been in this week, and so have been braving the tube every morning to get to the office. A man coughed next to me today, I was not impressed. My line of work involves the fun of global financial systems, which even somebody completely disengaged from world economics cannot have failed to notice have been a little rocky lately. As in 30 years rocky.

Anyhow, as I was chomping on some breakfast an email popped into my inbox. The latest centralised update on Covid-19. We have been getting these daily of course, in common with many other organisations large and small. I started scanning....and to cut a long story short I have been quarantined. I went to France within the last two weeks, and thus the latest guidance/order is that I remove myself from the office. I finished my breakfast, gathered my things, and headed back to the tube and the isolation of home.

Which means I can bring you this.

Not one but two Red Kites circling just above my house in Wanstead. They represent my 19th and 20th Red Kites in Wanstead, and the 7th and 8th from my garden. This is of course the prime time for them to be having a bit of a wander, and in between metaphorically feverish bouts of work I had been poking my head skywards out of an upstairs window looking for precisely this kind of thing. My pension pot might be sinking like a stone, but there are still silver linings to be found in global pandemics.

As fear grips the nation and this virus gets worse (and without wishing to sound overly doom-mongering, it is going to get a lot worse), there could be a lot more of this. By which I mean local birding, somewhat a thing of the past as far as I have been concerned. Needless to say almost all of my planned birdy travel has been cancelled, generally by the places I was going to - I am persona non grata for both Israel and Argentina for instance. So staying local is likely to be the name of the game, and actually that's not the worst thing ever. It is pleasantly timed for small African birds with white bottoms for example. 

The issue I see is one of sustainability and endurance. Next week was my week at home anyway, but what if that extends to two weeks? Or a month? Or two months? I am going to go stir crazy. And what if Mrs L and the children are also all sent home? And frankly this is a when not if and I think we all know that. What happens when all five of us are cooped up for several weeks in Chateau L? Family harmony and happy matrimony, that's what. But it may at least result in some blogging.

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