Taking precautions in Palma. | ALEJANDRO SEPULVEDA


I’ve been calmly considering some of the more interesting side-effects of this coronavirus outbreak to keep myself amused as the island sits-out the consequences of a total lockdown. Well, I say lockdown, because while Majorca and Majorcans are banished from all but extremely necessary contact with other people, other parts of Europe seem to be doing their own thing. For instance, in most parts of the United Kingdom where I am at the moment, you would be hard pressed to even notice a hint of some of the rather tame measures that the British government have introduced so far. Nevertheless, I suspect that in the near future we can expect a tightening of certain protocols as medics and scientists readjust their positioning in the light of proper evidence. But, there’s the rub! Whilst certain sections of the wider community see the whole business of regular hand-washing and the avoidance of human contact as “stuff and nonsense” those on the other side of the debate are calling for a total lockdown, such as in operation in Spain and other european countries. Indeed, if you wanted to point to real evidence of divergence in how Great Britain and the rest of Europe are always somehow separate - the initial reactions of mainland Europe and the UK to the coronavirus outbreak is certainly a case in point.

However, that’s my ‘sensible bit’ over and done with for today, so now I can pose a number of imponderable questions and at the same time seek some answers to what has been intriguing me over the past week or so. For instance, how many of you have recently been strangely attracted to that rather redundant bidet in your bathroom; you know, the one that has been sat there untouched and unused since you arrived at your place? Come on, with a severe shortage of loo paper caused by moronic hordes of - er, moronic hoarders, that “waste of space” in your bathroom, could now, after all these years keep you smelling fresh as a daisy down-by-there. I’m sorry, but I laughed out loud when a mate of mine meekly confessed to spending a small fortune having two bidets removed from his gaff last year, which wasn’t very nice of me at all was it?

How many of you out there in Majorca-land have already taken to emptying bottles of assorted liqueurs that has sat at the bottom of your stockless wine rack for the past decade or so? A bottle of Calvados perhaps that hasn’t been touched since you went through that rather pretentious and short lived, French phase of yours. Maybe it’s a bottle of Herbas that’s gone all gunky, but still tastes okay(ish), or perhaps you just give up the booze for the duration? Don’t be silly. Personally, I have been tempted by a tin of Glenryck Pilchards circa 2015 - which has a sell-by-date of 09/2020 engraved on its lid, but have been warned of dangerous repercussions, by a woman of my acquaintance, if I should attempt to eat - “that disgusting stuff” and wasn’t pacified one little bit when I explained to her that the aforementioned pilchards were ‘High In Omega 3’. Some people! But worst of all - we have no sport, absolutely nothing; as in.. nada-nein-niet-nought-nothing absolutely bugger all.

On Saturday, I moped about the house in a listless fashion for most of the day. My weekends usually have a certain, rather limited, radio and televisual schedule to them. This means that if I am not actually watching sport on the television (or the buildup, which is essentially the same thing) I am listening to it on the wireless. In the past, I have drawn back from doing the same all-day on a Sunday when threatened with violence - but, what to do with yourself?

I know we have to be patient, but doing virtually nothing for the next couple of weeks is going to be horrendously dull. A friend of mine has spring-cleaned her house from top-to-bottom in a day and apparently will not let her feller sit anywhere in the house until this current malarky is all over. He in turn, has promised to undertake some DIY, whilst I believe she has begged her very own Mr Bodger to do no such thing. I suppose that we could all tidy-up our computers, filing away and perhaps dumping anything embarrassing from our overflowing files, but that’s got to be a desperate chore of last resort and for most people their enthusiasm will last for only 10 minutes at most. I have to say that here in Blighty at the moment, when you go to the chemist to buy some lozenges, at least you’re not confronted by counter assistants dressed as astronauts as in Majorca, which must make a person a tad nervous to say the least. Anyway, during all this angst what seems to be the ‘norm’ are the over-reactors on both extreme sides of the argument - either denying that there is anything medically amiss at all and the whole affair is a giant conspiracy or, - on the other hand, we are all going to hell in a handcart because of a - giant? Yes, you’ve guessed it, a giant conspiracy got up by the Chinese, Donald Trump, Mossad or the Martians. Anyway, all I would say is this - please don’t keep saying in a soppy voice - “Keep safe” as this not only sets my teeth on edge, it also makes me very cross. Next week - how about Zen for beginners?