While you’ve been wondering when you can hug your elderly parents again, Costa Coffee has been working hard on the answer.
“Who cares? Next window please!”
Turns out some multinationals have a dubious understanding of what corporate social responsibility means when we get to the brass tacks of how to behave in a global pandemic.
Remember this the next time it tries to persuade you to buy their latest “healthy option”.
But the big guns aren’t alone at the Russian roulette table.
In my neighbourhood, on the south side of Glasgow, cafes and coffee shops have sprung open as if in receipt of secret intelligence.
And, sure enough, as Kevin Costner (almost) said in the 1989 film Field Of Dreams: if you open, they will come.
For cones. For coffees. For a wee break. For a wee taste of normality.
Meanwhile, as folk casually sashay through streets and parks enjoying their 99, down on the city’s Covid-19 wards, medics risk their own lives for others’, forcing machines into the lungs of the dying in the vain hope they might survive to see their loved ones again. Last-gasp stuff, literally.
Lockdown is hellish. Most of us have struggled one way or another. Government support or not, small businesses are worried.
As a freelance worker, I share that concern over an uncertain future. But the fact remains: if lockdown feels normal, you’re not doing it right.
And by “right” read: for the benefit of everyone, not just yourself.
This pandemic is society’s disaster movie. While our heroes work to save the day, the coffee and cones brigade are nonchalantly kicking the petrol can into the flames.
Last weekend, my mother tore ligaments in her knee and, unable to walk, was taken by ambulance to hospital. She sat alone in agony in A&E.
I raced to Inverclyde Royal Hospital, frantically hatching a plan where I could somehow get her from a wheelchair into the back seat of the car without touching or breathing on her after five weeks of dropping the shopping in the back garden and blowing her and my dad kisses as I walked down the path.
I flew down the motorway into the area with the dubious title of being the country’s Covid-19 capital and where, a day before, an ice cream cafe on the Clyde opened and found itself at the centre of a social media rammy. After a depressing battle of principle between “we” and “I”, they at least were smart enough to close the next day.
Somehow, thousands have become desensitised to the daily roster of tragedy statistics, and the enticement of a treat has seen principles melt like a Mivvi in a heatwave.
In a world where cancer scans are cancelled but cappuccino-to-go is not, we have one tool at our disposal – choice.
The choice between life and death, I or we. Not coffee or ice cream.