THE dental check-up, check. The farmacia for winter meds, check. The Gibraltar shop for Marmite, mint sauce and Coleman’s Mustard Powder, check. Six months supply of kitty litter, check.
Not forgetting the Netflix subscription, the sign-up for online supermarket shopping (before they get over subscribed and lock you out) and the second hand book shop to stock up on lockdown reading (I can highly recommend the one beneath the Olive Press offices in Sabinillas) … So many things to do before we batten down the hatches for a winter of mitigated discontent.
No other creature on the planet hibernates twice a year. But with Covid on the uptick and no vaccine in sight – not even for influenza if you normally buy yours over the counter, a reliable source tells me, as Spain’s national health service has commandeered the lot – there’s nothing else for it if you’re on the vulnerable list.
The trouble is, while bears can lose a third of their body weight during hibernation, in humans who can’t sleep through the temptation of daily larder visits, the process is reversed. The average resident in Spain gained five Covid Kilos during the last lockdown!
Others, finding time hanging heavily and unable to resist the siren call of the drinks cabinet before the sun set over the yardarm, became borderline alcoholics.
Self-disciplined types got into home workouts but that requires a strength of character some struggle with, hence the popular saying, ‘You either come out of lockdown a hunk, a chunk or a drunk’.
The economy is not in good shape either. And this time around there may be no furlough cushion to cosset us through it, so Christmas is likely to be off the cards in many households, unless we manage to squash Boris Johnson’s ‘two-humped camel’ and he’s no Wise Man. The jokes about the neighbour grassed up for flouting the Boris Rule of Six after being spotted with a box of 10 Christmas crackers are already circulating.
(Note for lockdown list – buy two festive face coverings, glittery or with reindeer antlers, for Christmas Day walk.)
Furthermore, unlike bears who keep quietly to their caves all winter and emerge streamlined and positive with a happy family of newborn cubs in tow come springtime, humans become decidedly grizzly when forced to self-isolate for any length of time with a tendency to run amok.
But rather than rushing out with placards to protest against the rules, spread Covid and shoot ourselves in the collective foot, we need to heed the science and change the way we run our world. Otherwise a succession of increasingly novel zoonotic viral disease pandemics are headed our way and hibernation will become a mechanism as essential to the survival of the human species as it is to, well, bears.
Now where was I … ah yes, 10 packs of loo rolls, check. Two cases of Larios gin, check. Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix, check. A rowing machine, maybe …