The current situation with the new virus raises interesting questions about the company we keep, I think - and how we behave with each other. I was thinking about this during the service at church this morning: the bishops of the Scottish church have decreed that there should be no handshaking when we arrive at church, nor at the Peace - let alone hugging - and no sharing a common cup. Communion to be taken in one kind only (the wafer) placed in the hand of the communicant by the sanitised hand of the celebrant. Sounds crazy written like that, but in fact it was one of these times when I was glad that there was this kind of authority and this spelled-out clarity so that no-one would bother arguing.
Later, because we'd both felt so dire after a day indoors yesterday, we went for a walk along the western side of Loch Eck. We met one man, running, with his dog. He was past in a flash. I took this photo, because it shows a sheep, the only sheep in a fairly large field beside the loch, accompanied only by a seagull. (Actually the seagull was primarily interested in the contents of the red bucket from which the sheep was eating.) And the very solitude of the sheep summed up what large areas around here are like: there are no people. Half of the walks we do could be construed as self-isolation.
Where's this going? I suppose it's taking me to a place where the apparent scourge afflicting the world seems as distant as the trenches of WW1 must have seemed to a crofter in the Highlands. We hear of infection and deaths, and danger to people of our age - and we stomp along our deserted tracks and breath the freshest of air and it all seems surreal.
Not, perhaps, as surreal as the stockpiling of toilet paper. What's that about? What do people do with the stuff? You'll be glad to know that the Dunoon Morrison's had plenty, piled high, today. Don't all rush ...