However, online, these self-centred goons cannot be silenced. Just one look at the snivelling Sam Smith, weeping in his mansion about self-isolation (beautifully posed in front of his camera) or the grim squawking of Imagine by opportunistic celebs in the US, was enough to make me want to close down Google. And then there’s Harry and Meghan posing for paparazzi pics, donating lunch bags to the poor in LA (who cares?), Madonna pontificating about us all being equal (yeah, right) from her rose-petalled bath tub and idiotic chef Gordon Ramsey moaning about his living hell in his multi-million-pound Cornwall holiday beach house – which he shouldn’t have fled to in the first place. People-in-the-public-eye, get a grip!
Bare-faced Beckham Cheek
If that wasn’t bad enough, we have the likes of Victoria Beckham and Richard Branson asking for government bailouts to keep their ailing businesses afloat. No, no , no. Thank heavens in the midst of such buffoonish behaviour there is a beacon of light in the form of comedian, Ricky Gervais. Cutting through the hypocrisy, insincerity, vacuous and fake platitudes, Gervais says it how it is and has lambasted celebrities everywhere for cashing in on a crisis and filling the general public with rightful fury. While tireless and no doubt terrified NHS workers risk their lives on the frontline, we are fed nauseous wittering from those who should just shut up, keep their heads down and be grateful for living in such pampered, fur-lined cages. Instead of bleating about their boredom and isolation, why don’t they donate money or volunteer to work for the NHS, as that way they’d have plenty of company and stimulation away from their heated pools. It would certainly concentrate their minds but iPhones would have to be handed in before the beginning of each shift or they’d be touting endless Joan of Arc selfies later online.
Real Life heroes
One of the very best things that has emerged from the horror of Covid-19, is how real-life heroes such as Captain Tom Moore have stolen the heart of the nation. A 100-year-old war hero gives back to the NHS and selflessly walks his garden for the good of humanity. How many laps is Ramsey doing of his beach pool or Madonna of her voluminous bath tub for charity? None? Ah, thought as much. Other heroes include the likes of Michael MacDonald, 30, who set up his guitar outside the Churchill Hospital in Oxford to sing uplifting songs for his close chum, Steve Vincent, undergoing chemo for lung cancer at the age of just 26. He lifted his friend’s spirits and that of all the nurses and care workers too. We so need more of this: real people, real lives, caring about others without artifice or a cynical exploitative agenda.
Let this be a revolution, a reckoning and a time for giving back power to real heroes: ordinary people. Let’s cast asunder the fatuous and ghastly celebrity fodder that has clogged up our minds and clear thinking. Let’s wave goodbye to the Kardashians, and their like. We must tell Harry and Meghan to politely plough their own furrow and leave us alone. When this testing period in our lives is waning, I hope it will herald a new way forward where the erstwhile superficiality and me, myself, I-ness of online chatter is diminished and where there is more focus on nature, new life, beauty and hope.
With luck, people will begin to realise the value of their neighbours and colleagues, the kindness of strangers and the importance of productivity at home away from the ghastly goggle-box. Yes, many of us must work to earn a living but outside of our working lives, there is so much fun stuff to be done. Reading, learning, knitting, mending, cooking, cleaning, sewing, repairing, gardening, playing with the kids, exercising, laughing, playing the piano, singing, doing jigsaws, caring for animals, keeping an eye on older neighbours, dancing, doodling, painting, walking, running, skipping, juggling….where’s the time now for anything else? Films and favoured shows have a place, and possibly TV, but surely just at the end of the day as a special treat? We must grasp the nettle and change for the better. This is probably a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for change and we cannot ignore what may well be nature’s wrath. If we do, it will surely be at our peril.
Quick off the mark
If you were thinking of making a mint writing your Covid-19 memoirs, you’re already too late. There are many books and personal memoirs already in production with writers such as Craig Brown leading the way with his anticipated best-seller, Coping with Lockdown. I’m not sure who’s going to read them all as surely there can’t be anything worse than reading a bunch of authors’ tales of woe about their thoughts and lives during lockdown? All of us will have had our own very unique experiences and journeys during this time and perhaps it’s best to keep it that way. We may not make a quick dime as these chaps will, but at least we’ll emerge with our integrity hopefully still intact.
Anna Nicholas’s first Majorca based crime novel, The Devil’s Horn, is out now. It’s available at all good bookshops & via amazon.
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