As I think I mentioned in the first of these diaries, I was expecting to go to a more gigs, shows and restaurants than usual this spring, as it was my 40th birthday earlier in March which felt as good an excuse as any to treat myself a bit. Of course, all these plans have been cancelled, and those don’t haven’t officially will soon be. Although disappointing, this hardly seems like a big deal, or even a deal at all, in the current circumstances. Things can be postponed until Summer/Autumn/2021 or whenever this is actually all over, and if they don’t end up happening at all, then so what?
However, today’s did bother me a bit more. Five years ago today my friend Nick went to a Shrewsbury Town match and never made it home. They were due to play again today, so I had hoped to travel to the game to mark the occasion. A few of us travelled to the firs game after his death, and because it had been in the news and he was known to be a big fan, the club paid deserving tribute to him. A shirt with his name and flowers on his usual seat. His picture on the giant scoreboard in the 35th minute, his age at the time of his death. The home fans sang “that boy Nick Mann, he’s one of our own”, it was incredibly moving. I had hoped today to remember that day and remember him, instead of course the game was postponed, as all sport is, and I raised a glass and remembered Nick at home.
Thinking of Nick, and the news that 260 people had died from the coronavirus in the UK on Friday, by far the highest daily total so far, both put things in perspective and underlined the serious of the situation. Every single one of those people had family and friends who loved them and will mourn them, remember them in the way we have with Nick. This is not to say of course that we cannot find the current situation difficult and stressful just because we have not been impacted in this way. We can still get angry, worry and cry. Our feelings are still valid. But if I get through this with everyone I know alive and well, that will be enough.