• Alistair Tait

Covid-19 getting too close to home


Life in my little world has been like living in a Covid-19 free bubble. For months I’ve witnessed the world falling apart through radio, TV and social media and felt incredibly lucky to be floating above it all.


Not now.


This pandemic is getting pretty close to home, and it terrifies me far more than it did nearly 10 months ago when we first learned of its horrors.


I’ve been able to play golf when not in lockdown and felt fortunate to do so. More importantly, no one I knew had contracted the disease. That bubble burst just before Christmas when a close friend said he couldn’t make our scheduled two-ball because he had to isolate.


The alarm bells went off in my head and I rang him immediately. His mother in law had been diagnosed with Covid-19 and he had to isolate. He scrambled for a test. I was worried sick waiting to hear. It came back negative. Phew!


However, my joy was short lived. I got in touch with another friend on Christmas Eve to see how he was doing only to find out he'd also tested positive for Covid-19. So had his wife. My friend said that although he felt poorly, he didn’t think he had it too bad. I’m still waiting with baited breath to see how both are doing.


A fellow Woburn member emailed our swindle group to alert us he’d contracted Covid-19 too. He’s been supplying updates via email and we’re all worried for his health. Ten days since testing positive he no longer needs to isolate according to NHS guidelines. However, he’s not out of the woods by a long shot. He feels very tired and is sleeping more than normal, has muscle ache, low energy levels to the point where he gets breathless walking upstairs, a tight chest, dull headaches and still has no sense of taste or smell. He’s mystified because his wife, son and his girlfriend have been living in the same house without any change of routine, and they’ve all tested negative.


Both are highly responsible individuals, yet with the best will in the world they both came down with the disease.


I know of a young friend of the family who, along with his wife, has also caught the virus. My eldest daughter has heard from several friends who’ve contracted it too. Thankfully they’re young and should be okay, but who knows with this pandemic.


My local butcher shop has been a lifeline for my family and other villagers during the past year since it means less trips to the supermarket to put fresh meat on the dinner table. The butcher closed down two days ago until further notice because of a “Covid-19 related incident.” Turns out the butcher, who has served the village faithfully for many years, has contracted Covid-19. This is the same butcher who has personally delivered meat to elderly local customers during this pandemic.


I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this virus is getting too close to home, yet I still hear aficionados of this game calling for us to be allowed to play. No! I’d be on board with that if it meant only those who lived local and could walk to the golf course could play. That doesn’t apply to the majority of the two million golfers in England, myself included. If we open the courses then many will happily jump in their cars and head to the course. Most will be responsible, but they’ll be out and about, they’ll need petrol, they may be involved in car accidents, they may be tempted to stop at shops when they really don’t need to, thereby increasing the chance of catching the virus.


This pandemic is getting too close to home for me, which is why I’m staying as close to home as possible for the foreseeable future.


#JustSaying: “Golf is typical capitalist lunacy.” George Bernard Shaw

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