Caput Mundi 

I remember a time when social media was a bit of fun.
Even if I was taking a few days in the country, away from it all, Facebook still made me feel good. Looking at others posting their smiling photos, made me smile. It wasn’t so long ago, that people posted happy photos of them lunching with friends at beach clubs, or dancing at glamorous events. These days, my feed is filled with angry posts from people who are clearly struggling with being trapped at home. People I had assumed were light-hearted, and above resorting to online arguments over who claims to know more about Covid-19, politics, or religion. It’s as if suddenly, everyone is an expert on all things Chinese, having sourced their knowledge on Wikipedia.

I drew the line and ended the call when one FaceTime caller told me that my beloved Jack Russell, Henry, would be seen as a canapé in China. It’s as if ‘wine-o’clock’ starts earlier each day, and the rants too. Normal people, shouting at their phones, in an argument with themselves, as nobody really cares about what you’re saying. At numerous points during the week, I was almost ready to hit delete profile, just to escape.

On the subject of escape, I stare at my diary, filled with endless cancelled plans. Cannes Film Festival – No. Monaco Grand Prix – No. Royal Ascot – No. The list of my usual summer goes on, and each event has a red line through it. Over the years, these dates have given some structure, to a season otherwise filled with little more than the beach. Luckily, my house is right on the beach, so I won’t have far to go this year. Summer 2020 will be a very localised situation.

As the week rolled on, I found myself setting up basecamp from my bed. It’s as if everything I need is now located by my bed. If I’m downstairs and can’t find my, phone, glasses, diary, lighter, dog… chances are they’re at, or in my bed. I had to conduct a conference call on Thursday afternoon, and of course, as the stressful work call went on, I found myself saying things like “I won’t leave my desk until we find a solution”. Leave my desk? I hadn’t even got any trousers on. I was in bed! I now rise early, swim, work out, make coffee and it’s back to bed.

Some days, when I feel like it, I even take lunch in bed. I binge watch Netflix in bed. I write newspapers articles in bed. Bed is now Caput Mundi, and just like Marco Anneo Lucano who claimed it to be Rome in 61AD, for me, bed is now my great empire, from which I oversee work, banking, dining, and the greatest lockdown past time of all, sleep. Over the coming days, before getting into a heated row on Facebook, with people who don’t deserve your time, stop. Ask yourself, is there something else I could be doing? Read a book, tend to the garden, clean your pool.
Anything is better than bad energy.
Stay safe / stay sane x

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Written by

Gavin Lambe-Murphy

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