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For the Love of (Safe, Legal) Beach Days, Just Stay Home

Summer is the time of year when the human spirit becomes naturally rejuvenated. Cider-suffused festivals and caravan holidays offer us a respite from everyday responsibilities. But the longer we keep breaking social distancing rules during our current pandemic, the further such a season’s richness is going to flee from us.

Look, the following plea is coming from an ambivert who used to be a world-shy introvert. I’d rush to close my curtains as soon as the warming sun bled into my room. However, with my newfound juggling act of balancing solitude and sociability, I’d sacrifice a LOT of my books to experience life’s richness these next three months. I don’t say that lightly. Being asked to discard one of two paperbacks randomly selected from my bookshelf would be hell on earth.

Still, I’m trying to be a respectful citizen. As boring as the same old trees get on my daily walk, I know I shouldn’t be heading to the arboretum to meet twenty-three-year-old Sebastian to spark a late-spring dalliance. In case you’ve recently moved into the basement of a rock, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and over 37,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK alone (as of 27th May 2020). Medical officials are imploring all of us to stay inside our homes and leave only for essential excursions.

I couldn’t see a loophole that allowed massive street parties to come to fruition

The last time I reviewed the regulations, I couldn’t see a loophole that allowed massive street parties to come to fruition. Nor could I see the sanctioning of barbecues on the beach where people can stand less than two metres apart. So, I’m a little bit confused as to why up and down the country, VE Day gave rise to people doing conga lines and hugging their neighbours as though everything has been fine and dandy.

I despise lockdown as much as the next guy. We’re not supposed to be hermit crabs who shelter ourselves away and only come out when it’s paramount for our survival. In all honestly, there’s only so many episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills I can take before Lisa Vanderpump becomes more grating than a kitchen utensil. And that’s coming from a Vanderpump fan!

I’d love nothing more than to see my friends and head out to the beer gardens with them, drunkenly perform karaoke at a rooftop party, ride a roller coaster on the pier and then nearly have my candyfloss stolen by a wretched seagull. These things make summer the magical time of year that it is.

But if we continue to be complacent about our health and show no regard for social distancing, none of us are going to have a particularly fun summer. There’s going to be little escape from the ear-piercing baby birds that are nested right outside our bedroom windows. The house-favouring mosquitos are going to love the fact we’re home twenty-three hours a day.

I’d dare to assert the UK government should have acted a lot sooner, but we still have a part to play in our nation’s recovery.

Ever heard the old proverb “patience is a virtue”? You’d think for a nation that has been bedevilled by previous pandemics and world wars we’d be less ideologically fragmented. We keep saying we want a summer that will glimmer like diamonds, yet we’re systematically flushing it away.

So many people are dying from this affliction, too. If you found out you have been a carrier and accidentally transmitted COVID-19 to your elderly neighbour, imagine the guilt that would fill your veins. Yes, we live in a Western country with exceptional healthcare technology, but we still know so little about this illness. Refuting mainstream scientific advice and gorging on conspiracy theories may seem astute on the surface, but it’s an act of ignorance that could spell the end of your time on earth, as well as others’.

Please just be sensible. I know it’s tempting to meet up with your boyfriend and get all that affection out of your system via… erm, hugs. Listen, I’ve been without the touch of a man for nearly three months now and I’m starting to forget what a kiss feels like. But if we want to vanquish this bellicose monster, save lives and enjoy a (safe, legal) beach day in the sun, we have to start pulling our weight. Or, I suppose, more accurately, not be pulling it at all.

Ryan James Keane

Featured image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski via Flikr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In article video courtesy of @MerseyHack via Twitter. No changes were made to this image. 

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