As we set out for our constitutional bike ride this morning it was evident that the buds of the trees had suddenly awoken. The entire horizon was transformed in an instant to burgeoning verdant wildlife. Where before there had been spines of branches resembling diminished candle wicks, there now blossomed unmistakably nutritious and vigorous leaves and flowers. The diaphanous atmosphere was soothing and enveloping no doubt boosted by the ambient temperature which had risen sufficiently to promote the overnight growth. The fine weather forecasted for the next week will undoubtedly ignite a final explosion of blooms to herald the arrival at last of springtime.
Monday, Victoria Day has forever been a triumph of holiday celebration in my experience. It is Nature’s official conjugation with spring. The tradition of equating the anniversary with gardening is naturally well reputed. In spite of the lingering resistance of the pandemic people are doing their best to profit by the calendar event. For those of us lacking the agricultural ingredient in our genetics Victoria Day nonetheless marks the imperative of growth and refreshment and – what is perhaps more important at this juncture – the promise of hopeful change.
The media and whatever professional medical advisors hold sway continue to warn against a sudden transition from social distancing to recovery of business as usual. Yet oddly people are manifestly adjusting to the currency of caution to the point even of acknowledging that the manner of communication and conducting business may have forever and irrevocably altered. The limitations upon hand shakes, hugs and kisses have been acceptably adopted. The modification of retail is presently what many imagine to be experimental only. If the corruption of the pandemic continues either nationally, internationally or worldwide the disparity with the former marketplace may occasion a completely unforeseen switch from person-to-person to on-line instead. I suspect the change from bricks-and-mortar to high-tech correspondence is not totally abhorred by those bank-rolling commerce but it obviously draws upon initial accommodation by both buyer and seller. When was the last time you visited a mall? Grocery stores have already opened new avenues of income with pick-up and delivery. Restaurants have done the same; and they may have inadvertently discovered that the erstwhile allure of white linen dining is trumped by home delivery. Only recently I had a telephone conference with my family physician who in turn ordered an X-ray and blood tests which qualified as other essential services, the reports of which will appear on-line. Our local art gallery SIVARULRASA is going high-tech big time, offering on-line viewings, art shows and favourable delivery, deposit, refund and return provisions.
People have accepted that gasoline stations, grocery stores and pharmacies are essential services. They at least have sought to maintain an active element of social distancing when frequenting those places. The prospect of a plague of a degree not previously imagined risks maintaining a clamp on society as we knew it. In spite of the understandable enthusiasm of Wall Street and sports team owners (none of whom faces any particular health risk) to re-instate the usual order of business, the ignorant masses are themselves awakening to their own flourish on the topic. A reluctance to become involved may yet linger. Everyone knows that no one knows exactly what is transpiring or what is expected. My personal expectation is that business will re-appear in a new electronic format. The communication with holograms may still be science fiction but something approaching that “virtual” world is coming.