I know this is not a big issue compared to what is going on in the World right now, but I'm just getting it off my chest...
I've been planning for several weeks to wet a line this week: the long-range forecasts all suggested mild, settled conditions for most of the week, and the latest predictions confirm that for the next few days we can expect 15 degrees C, and a gentle southerly breeze.
Just the job for a day's Spring carping on the QE II lake, Ashington.
In particular, I want to christen my new Sonik Xtractor Recon 8', 3.5lb TC carp rods, and things were looking really good: tackle packed; bait sorted; PVA bags filled; tactics and rigs decided on - I was good to go.
Then Covid-19 happened...
It's not hard to make the argument that by fishing alone and out of the way on a big lake, I'm respecting the "social distancing" requirement as well as anyone, but there's a problem: I'd be getting there by bus.
I know that officially we're still allowed to go out and to use public transport (assuming you're prepared to take the risk): but with the best will in the World, I can hardly argue that this would be essential travel.
And I was reminded today of just how shit-thick many people are, when - while standing in a till queue at my local Co-op - I gave the bloke in front of me in the queue a solid 6 feet of space, but the dozy cow behind me stood so close that she was almost in my shopping basket.
She didn't even take the hint when I asked what she was playing at, and told her to get the fuck away from me.
I fucking despair...
I've got no reason to think things would be any better on a bus - a confined space which is literally a breeding-ground for disease - so The Right Thing To Do is give my trip to the lake a miss: both for my own welfare and peace of mind; and also because the logic behind social distancing isn't exactly rocket science, so I'm going to do it, even if it's beyond other people.
But as any angler reading this will understand, it's surprisingly hard simply to laugh off a cancelled fishing session - especially the first one of the year, with new toys to christen.
Added: Ah well... I wrote this before Boris Johnson made my decision moot by announcing that the UK is in lockdown from tonight. Not having a choice makes it less of a disappointment, to be honest - and this announcement is not before time, given what arseholes so many people are being about voluntary social distancing.