24 March 2020
Anne says my last post was rubbish. I agree. It wasn't my best, but getting material isn't all that easy. It's even more difficult now we're in lockdown, living cheek by jowl with each other with no respite. It's been nearly a week now. Ashore, the Polis, ably assisted by the army are now, correctly, ensuring the lockdown is enforced. Unlike the UK where it seems a sizeable proportion of the population are self deluding rather than self isolating. Self deluding by joining masses of people to go shopping or hill walking. Heading down the pub, with crowds of their mates. Perhaps they think eight pints or a few cocktails a night is the solution. Likely not though.
In Langkawi and I guess the rest of Malaysia there's a Movement Control Order in force. Only critical journeys are to be undertaken, individuals are to stay two metres apart and only one person from each family is allowed to go shopping at a time. So, it's not all bad.
One of the challenges though is this two metre rule. Half the cruisers here are too old to really know what a metre is and the other half still work in feet and inches. A sizeable proportion left their hearing at Woodstock or the like and, to better hear what you're saying unconsciously lean into your virus free personal space no matter how hard you back pedal. Keeping your distance is difficult.
However, one of the benefits of living at anchor is that one has a limited supply of fresh water. We've five hundred litres to last eight weeks. This means that on Time Bandit we are quite frugal, washing the dishes in one inch of water, using the cap of my shaving foam to rinse my Gillette G3 and showering once a week, whether we need it or not.
The undoubted benefit of this water conservation strategy is that within just a few days, one acquires a certain "ripeness". Like a good Brie. Isolated together we don't really notice but, if we meet others, and feel they are getting slightly too close, a raising of the arm to scratch that itch on the back of your neck quickly has them back in their zone, possibly further depending on the wind direction.
"Anti-social distancing" I call it.
Try it. You might lose your social life but you'll keep the bug at bay.