Except we’re not. Today is Monday, the 23rd March and we’re in the middle of a minor (read your history books for the major ones) plague.
We’re in semi-lockdown, everyone is (supposed to be) off the streets. A situation resembling martial law, and in all likelihood going to get worse. For a super-cold. It’s a chilling reminder of how fragile all this is. The most technologically advanced civilisation the world has ever known, capable of what people just a few centuries ago would have considered miracles, and here we are, flattened by a super-cold.
What does this mean for our little group? In the great scheme of things bugger all. People are dying out there. People who’ve shown us support, who’ve backed us and given us space in their bars and pubs could see their livelihoods go to the wall. It is frustrating to see the progress we’d made stalled – we’d doubled the size of the group since Christmas, we were developing the Jam nights – but compared to what people we like and respect are going through our setbacks are trivial.
We haven’t gone away though, and the downtime and the lock in are giving us the chance to get the reading pile down. There’s a new trend in online activity which is interesting. It may well be that when all of this finally goes away we’re left with – I was about to say a changed world. That would be a very silly thing to say. The world is already changed, but our little corner of it is changed too. New opportunities are opening for live performance. Elsewhere people are talking about what a boom in going out there’ll be when the all clear sounds. I wonder. I mean you don’t want to see everyone morphing into Molocks (it is Molocks right, those weird underground people in HG Wells’ The Time Traveller?) but we’re evolving tools to take what we’re doing into people’s homes. I’ve attended gigs from the comfort of my own underpants, right here in this very room.
So there’s a changing landscape. More opportunities for reaching into people’s homes via online media. More opportunities for engaging with people long before they set foot in a class or attend a show.