When Boris Johnson belatedly announced the government’s half-arsed semi-lockdown to combat Covid-19, my partner came up with the idea of contacting many of our neighbours to let them know they were not alone and if they needed anything, we might be able to help them. We’ve had some lovely contact from some of the people, although happily it appears no one is struggling to get the things they want. Unfortunately, it has also resulted in a less positive aspect: people getting pissed off with others they see as breaching the social distancing rules.

That’s one consequence, I suppose, of the government’s latest reincarnation of ‘we’re all in it together’ although, as we say, some are more in it than others. Most of us, I think, are paying attention to social distancing rules on the reasonable grounds that a) we don’t want to die and b) we don’t want to kill other people. Christ alone knows what those who are ignoring social distancing measures are thinking about.

“Should I dob X in?” I was asked last week. “What’s going on is really pissing me off.” I mumbled something about, “It’s up to you, really.” Probably not a helpful answer because it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable with doing myself. I prefer to allow people to make their own decisions, regardless of how stupid, hypocritical and just plain irresponsible they are.

I know people are going in and out of each other’s houses. The man opposite the green has a woman who goes in and out of his house every day. A new arrival to our village has just had his mate around and they’re now talking in the street, a few feet away from each other. I would imagine that these people have at some stage heard the scientific explanations as to why these are not wise things to do, but either they think Covid-19 isn’t really all that bad (spoiler alert: it is) or they don’t give a toss.

I can only imagine how the front-line medical workers in our village must feel about some of the sheer idiocy that’s going on a few yards away from their doors? Togged up all day at work in tight and uncomfortable PPEs, it can’t feel great when some goon has a mate or a family member just swanning into someone else’s home? Who knows if in time said front-line workers might just be helping to put some of these people on ventilators?

None of this flouting of rules is helping any of us. It’s estimated that around 20k people are getting infected every day and it’s fair to assume many of them will be getting infected as a result of their own irresponsible behaviour or as a result of someone else’s. And if the rate of infections, the R, goes up again, this tired semi-lockdown will just go on forever. Meanwhile, those people who actually have a modicum of feeling for their fellow woman and man will follow the rules and not risk infecting and even killing those they love. The shit-for-brains buffoons will just carry on as they have been doing.

Personally, I don’t see the point of calling the police. It’s my experience that the blind will not see and once PC Plod has driven away, life will carry on as abnormal and irresponsible social gatherings and family visits will still take place. And if Britain’s record death toll doesn’t make people think, “Hmm, perhaps this social distancing might be a good idea after all,” then they never will.