Stephen Fahey: Bank Holiday Lockdown

Is a bank holiday Monday still a bank holiday when we’re in lockdown? It’s still a day off, still a day when we’re free to go anywhere and do any, wait. OK, so technically you’re able to go anywhere and do anything, hypothetically, but that isn’t to say that you actually will vacate the comfort of your ever shrinking domicile. But it’s still a day off. It’s still that holy, twenty four hour long moment of the freedom to, wait, well, sit around the house and not go anywhere more than two kilometres away from your home. But it’s still a day off.

If even just as a day off in spirit, like, on paper, or whatever, there’s a remnant, a lingering hint, if you will, of the olden days when a bank holiday Monday meant BBQ and wine in the garden with friends, or a hike in the mountains, or any damn thing that didn’t involve trudging into the office and selling another day of your soul to the machine. However, there is still purity in the bank holiday which isn’t necessarily obvious right now, but is still intrinsic. If anything, this one day, in the middle of the lockdown, is even more important than any other bank holiday, if not any other day of the lockdown, but also because it’s the only holiday that many of us will have this year, because let’s face it the whole going on holiday thing is basically out the window for us all this year – so we may as well make the most of what time we have left before midnight when everything goes back to new normal.

 Whether it’s a movie day, or a cake day, or an underpants day, or a duvet day, it’s still a bank holiday day and we bloody well owe it to ourselves, and each other, to make the most of it. If even just as a token of sanity, the words „bank holiday” do indeed still count for something. This is likely the only lockdown-bank-holiday any of us will ever get to experience (please Christ let it be) and although it’ll be experienced in captivity it’s still ours. It’s still a day off. The virus can’t take that from us, even if it’s taken everything else. It’s not like we’re talking Christmas or anything, but it’s the opportunity to poke the lockdown in both eyes with two giant bank holiday shaped middle fingers.

Should we do nothing whatsoever different with this day we can still carry in our hearts the fact this week is a short week that we are pulling over the eyes of the lockdown. The whole of this week is a victory over the restrictions and the virus and the claustrophobic pain in the rear end that is life right now. All the way up to and including Sunday we all have the sweet and effervescent joy of knowing that because of this one day, if none other, we have the upper hand on this whole situation. Yes, the logic is flimsy. Yes, there are infinitely more important issues. Yes, even I’m admitting that the logic is flimsy. But the fact that we’re all in this weird crap together means that we all have to shine up whatever sparkle we have and give to everyone else for free just because we’re all human and that’s what humans do. Happy, silly positivity is what separates us from the animals, and the alien overlords who just want to use us all as interdimensional chess pieces. Oh, and thumbs.

So, make the most of this singular week, and remember that it is emblematic of the nature of this whole, screwed up situation, because it is the perfect opportunity to get one back on the lockdown and the virus itself. The petty and childish voice in all of our heads that wants to stomp its feet and kick and scream has the vicarious pleasure of blowing an almighty raspberry all week long. So, let it. In fact, join it. Preferably figuratively, but if literally, cover one’s mouth, eh?

Stephen Fahey

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