Colette Sheridan: I got a spray for the grey hair, but fear gaining ‘corona stone’

In her weekly column Colette Sheridan chats about some of the everyday challenges being faced by people during COVID-19
Colette Sheridan: I got a spray for the grey hair, but fear gaining ‘corona stone’

ONE-STOP SHOP: Our trips to the supermarket have assumed greater importance since the coronavirus lockdown. Posed by model

THE etiquette surrounding coronavirus turns everything we were taught about good manners on its head.

Now, if we see a neighbour coming towards us as we go for our daily walk, we do the virus dance as we pass them, making a circular movement off the pavement and around the edge of the road.

We’re so preoccupied with abiding by the rules that we sometimes don’t even stop to chat.

However, I must say I’m getting very tired of my own company and am going to ask a friend living nearby if we could have a cup of coffee in one of our gardens, standing well apart, so that we can catch up.

Catch up on what, though? We have little news. The news we don’t want to hear is that someone in our family or circle of friends has ‘it’.

No news is good news as far as catching coronavirus is concerned.

I don’t quite know why, but every day, I still put on my make-up even though I’m not going anywhere. Standards must be maintained, I guess.

Sans make-up, I look a fright so the slap goes on every morning, if only not to frighten any passers-by in my neighbourhood.

It’s not so much vanity as essential maintenance.

As for the roots, I finally bought a spray to cover the grey because I really don’t like the badger look.

Social etiquette in the time of corona involves sharing your intel about where to source vital things like this spray. For a while, the one I wanted wasn’t available. It was like gold dust — or hand sanitizer.

With the make-up and hair sorted for the moment (although I’m dying for a proper hair dye), there’s the tricky business of controlling one’s weight.

I don’t know about you, but I fear gaining what I call the corona stone.

I try to walk past the crisps, the chocolate and the ice-cream in my local supermarket and console myself with hot cross buns.

But sure, I smather them with butter so I’d be better off with a bar of chocolate, right? This is the kind of conundrum that I’m up against, wondering what is the lesser of two evils.

Should we just let it all hang out and treat ourselves to whatever we fancy in this trying time? Not really. It would be no fun facing into the summer with weight gain.

Not that we’ll have much of a summer. The social deprivation will most likely continue.

If you’re dreaming of barbecues with friends, don’t get too carried away. Chances are you’ll be barbecuing alone.

Wine o’clock seems to be coming around earlier and earlier these days, according to anecdotal evidence, gleaned from phone conversations with friends and trumpeted on those funny videos that are doing the rounds on WhatsApp.

I’m so glad to be free of booze because in a former life, I’d have succumbed big time to drinking in the afternoon, on my own, maybe talking BS to a friend on my phone. Now, a cup of tea and a biscuit or three is my 4pm indulgence.

I see people hovering in the drinks section of supermarkets, trying to estimate how many bottles of wine they’ll need before their next shopping trip.

Given that there’s rarely such a thing as quickly popping into the supermarket anymore (I queued for over an hour one recent Saturday to get into Dunnes in Douglas Court because of strict social distancing) , nobody wants to have to go booze and food shopping too often.

But by stocking up on the vino, there’s the risk that you won’t ration it and will instead do the dog on it, while watching depressing news on the telly.

Will there be increased cases of problem drinkers once things get back to normal? It’s a sobering thought for anyone on the slippery slope. The last thing you want in your life is rehab post- virus.

On the other hand, there are people who are turning this lockdown into an opportunity for serious decluttering. It’s like a mammoth spring clean, shedding ourselves of all the junk and detritus in our lives. What better way to use free time productively?

And there are those that are revisiting hobbies they used to enjoy. A friend has taken up her guitar again. Others are promoting their art through social media.

Two writer friends, Madeleine D’Arcy and Catherine Foley, read from their published work on Facebook, around the time of day when I’m cooking dinner. It’s a great accompaniment to preparing food. But it’s no substitute for face-to-face, in-the-flesh meet ups.

This pandemic and social isolation will, some say, change us irrevocably. I’d like to think that it will make us appreciative of the simple things.

Like a big warm friendly hug.

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