WELL, it’s been a whole month now. Four weeks when everything we took for granted disappeared from our daily lives. And no likelihood of the new normal being ushered in yet awhile.

Particularly devastating news for those with school age children who found the “summer holidays” essentially started in March this year.

There are gradations of deprivation in any situation like this. For people in large families in cramped accommodation, airy promises of home schooling via online lessons are a bit of a fantasy with the family all demanding access to perhaps just one piece of kit – or unable to retreat to local library facilities when the latter too are locked down.

Tough, too, for people dwelling in urban high rise flats with strictures on lift usage, and no parks within reasonable walking distance.

Tough for people in homes where domestic violence is no stranger, and is now a real and present threat.

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People fearful for their finances, as their jobs are too casual to offer protection, or working for businesses who can’t access the partial salary scheme, or small concerns unlikely to survive a prolonged lack of income.

In places like Scotland, where tourism is a massive contributor to the national economy, everyone from the grandest hotel to the smallest bed and breakfast looks fearfully ahead to what should have been their bumper season.

For many it’s a two tier anxiety, dependent as they are on the airline industry also recovering in time to bring in those hundreds of thousands of overseas and British visitors.

And you suspect it will be many a long year before cruise liners recover their popularity. That in itself is an irony, considering they had lately become the holiday of choice for many people cheesed off with the hassle of airport security.

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There are strains too on those of us locked down whilst living alone, but we are relatively safe, provided everyone behaves responsibly – as the vast majority of folk are doing.

And for those of us living in rural Argyll there is the incomparable bonus of scenery which daily lifts the heart.

Online shopping for essentials has become more than a bit of a lottery in this new environment. The last time I looked, the store where I was a regular customer had no available slots on its website through July. Logging on to the other supermarkets told much the same story. (I’ve been lucky: a couple of friends included me in their slots.)

Yet what affects all of us equally is the essential uncertainty of our medium and long term fate.

As the bard Will Shakespeare almost said, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on these alarmingly unpredictable days.

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