During the last couple of weeks, while I’ve swung between a melancholic questioning of the meaning of life, looking nervously each way before getting out of the car at Tesco incase there are zombies lurking in the trolley park and, at my best, feeling a mild sense of calm as I sit quietly in a chair reading murder mysteries, there is one thing in which I have found solace – the words of Gwyneth Paltrow.
Have I buggery.
The woman is an absolute nightmare. Not content with trying to have us all believe that what we definitely need in our bathroom cabinets is some of her psychic vampire repellent protection mist or pubic hair fur oil, (both actual things), now she’s offering up her wisdom when it comes to dealing with coronavirus and social isolation. According to Gwyneth we’re just looking at this whole global pandemic all wrong. Rather than worrying about the potential deaths of millions of the people, the pressure on the NHS, the safety of our loved ones, or generally our own sanity, we should be seeing this time as an opportunity.
Of course! An opportunity! Why didn’t I see that? Perhaps it was hidden behind the mass grief, who knows.
Gwyneth reckons we should be using our time to ‘write a book, learn an instrument or a language or learn to code online, draw or paint.’
Okay, fine, I get that it’s a good thing if you can perhaps distract yourself a little from the myriad unknowns and crippling loneliness, but personally I’m finding that the easiest way to do this right now is by listening to old episodes of Just a Minute at a discreet volume, whilst eating Wotsits and staring out of the window. I’m working up to a jigsaw, but I’m not quite there yet.
This may change of course, I’m sure I’ll adjust to living under lockdown, but right now if I felt like I was expected to casually pick up a French horn for an hour or so every day then it might just to me over the edge.
I had a similar experience with an Instagram account, which I swiftly unfollowed, called something simultaneously childlike and patronising that I can’t remember, but that may have been ‘Boss Bitch’.
The message from ‘Boss Bitch’ was clear – lockdown is simply an opportunity to whip your business plan into shape, at the same time as taking up some kind of core strength conditioning exercise, and come out of isolation an even badder bitch than you went in. Forget the anxiety, this is your chance to show the world what a Boss Bitch you are by planning your work for the next six months RIGHT NOW and slaying the competition.
Now if this floats your boat then fine, good for you, you go girlfriend. Personally, work wise, I’m still in the ‘gazing sorrowfully at an empty inbox’ phase, wondering how amenable the cats would be to being trained to perform tricks online for cash.
So forgive me Gwyneth if I don’t crack out ‘Portuguese for Dummies’ just yet.
Although I do wonder if the vampire protection spray might work on the zombies at Tesco…