And so, progress is being made. Slow progress. Progress that makes glacial progress seem positively cheetah-like. The numbers of those who have had themselves vaccinated, added to the numbers of those who have caught and survived the coronavirus infection and the complications related thereto, are continually on the rise. Slowly but surely, life is starting to reassert itself as what it once was.
Progress, it has to be said, is too reluctant for my liking. All right, we can try to cheer ourselves up regaling others with stories we’ve heard from friends in other locations, but that only works so far. In Britain, for example, we hear from my family that very soon, apparently, they will be allowed 2 people, from separate bubbles, outside of their own family, to sit in the garden. What? Is that it? Soon, you’ll be able to have 2 people in your garden with you? I’m sorry, but that doesn’t impress me as much as it apparently should. According to my mother, the next step is planned to be that these two people will, if you agree, be able to go to the toilet inside your house rather than having to take it home with them, potentially cutting short the veritable whirlwind of fun and excitement that 3 people in a garden in the UK can have.
See what I mean? It’s no use trying to use that to make Hungarians feel better, we’ve never reached that level of restriction in the past year, and so it might as well be happening in a parallel universe for all the relevance it has to our lives. Or look at Germany, where the scales are starting to fall from their eyes as they look around to discover that those people that they always considered inferior to them – most, if not all of everyone else – are doing far better than them. For the love of God, the Germans are so lacking in digitisation that in practical terms they have become glued into the age of analogue. They still rely on fax machines, for fuck’s sake! OK. We can, obviously take a moment to feel better about ourselves as a result. Here we are, Wi-Fi and internet all over the place, free Wi-Fi to be found all around the country, mobile web and phone coverage that pisses on that you could find in either Germany or Britain, but it’s not something that maintains a particularly good mood for long, is it? I mean: it’s great that we’ve got better phone reception and all that, but it doesn’t compensate for the privations we’re suffering, does it?
But, look on the positive side of things, look for, and find the silver lining.
All those things that we’ve been almost in danger of forgetting are on their way back to us. Winging their way, albeit more slowly than we would like, are the elements of our lives that not only made us social, but confirmed our social nature.
This week, fingers crossed, the terraces of pubs will reopen. All over the city, hands are busy preparing for this wonderful event. OK, OK, we all know that there will be restrictions...social distancing in effect will mean that fewer people will be able to take advantage, there will be no crowding on the terraces, not just yet. But this taster, this reminder of the way we used to live is coming...you can almost smell the scent of the bar staff’s aprons wafting across the city as we prepare to open the door a little bit more.
And it’s going to be great. The weather might be playing silly buggers, but we’re not going to let that stop us, are we? Of course not! It’s time to start to get things back on track, and eating and drinking outside of our own flats, finally, is one beautifully fantastic way of doing just that. The economy has been taking a kicking for far too long now, and we’ve now been presented with an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: get into the pubs and restaurants that are reopening, thereby hopefully stopping the members of that section of the economy from going to the wall, and reassert that we, as social animals, have been long deprived of that which helps to make us human.
The anticipation is building. The deprivation is only becoming heightened as we edge closer to the date when things will start to turn. Soon, it’ll be pubs and restaurant terraces. What next? Well, when the numbers of those intelligent enough to have had themselves vaccinated rise to the next magic number, whatever that is, then surely pubs and restaurants without terraces will be allowed to join the party. Eating and drinking inside as well as out! Then what? Well, obviously, from that stage on, it’s going to be a cavalcade of life proceeding back into our lives...cinema, theatre, opera. All those things that we have been denied will return to our lives reiterating just how two-dimensional life without entertainment is. But it’s not just entertainment. It’s social interaction, too, which has been sadly missed.
Although, arguably, we’ve felt the restrictions to a lesser extent than other nations, we, too, have felt the effects of social distancing and, with some groups, complete social shutdown. That will have to change. It’s vital that we get back out and start living properly, once again.
And it’s now tantalisingly close. Bars and restaurants are the first step, well the first two steps. After that we get larger events: cinema, theatre, and opera. In amongst there’ll be museums coming to life once more. The anticipation feels like it’s killing us. The chance to dress up normally for an evening out. The chance of having a drink, be that a coffee, a cold beer, or a glass of something bubbly, with friends, surrounded by the sound of society close to hand. And... added bonus, a bonus which comes close to surpassing all other joys: the possibility of ditching those bloody face masks!
Yes, as we progress, the dumping of those foul bits of material which encroach on walking, hearing, in addition to speaking, is an event to be awaited with glee!
Of course, glacial progress can be slowed further: as each day goes by, we continue to hear of groups of poorly-educated, paranoid numbskulls hellbent on scuppering the return to normal life for us all. Yes, hard as it is to comprehend, even as the vast majority of normal people in Hungary prepare to restart the lives that were so rudely interrupted by the coronavirus, a strange amalgam of idiots, ninnies, and the worst of the lot, a group of Leftwaffe envoys who seek to harm their compatriots in the hope of gaining at the next election, are still trying to queer the pitch. From the selfish who want to avoid the vaccination and merely count on herd immunity providing them with a loophole to regain normal life whilst not assisting in that process, to the cynical fools who consider the lives of their supporters to be a small price to pay for hoped-for electoral gains, there are those in society who always try to spoil everything for everyone.
I dare say not this time, though. We’ve all had enough. If you’re selfish enough to not have yourself vaccinated then you are, in effect, stating that you don’t care about others. If you don’t care about us, why should we care about you? You might change your mind when you realise that you can’t come out to play, if not, then so be it. Your choice. And the vultures of the Left. Using death as a political tool will merely result in your own political death. You get what you wish for.
And what of us, the well-adjusted, normal members of society? Well, we’ll see you on the terraces, glasses in hand, displaying the sort of smiles that can only be removed surgically! Cheers!