O n social media, the holiday pictures have begun again. They are more soft now, not so bold and boastful. More stylish views of the sea, less infinity swimming pool luxury. Still, I feel a humane sort of jealousy. “Fortunate sods,” I believe, whether they are in Cornwall or the Costa del Sol. Like lots of others, I have been walking the very same streets since March, however I’ve been imagining the Greek sea. I miss its specific clarity; tones of flashing aquamarine. Salt on my lips washed off with delicious inexpensive, thin white wine. In 2015, I existed, reading Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey as I viewed fishermen shell prawns on the harbour front. It seems like a hallucination, now.
Holidays are a luxury. Some people have lost their incomes, others are able to bring on holidaying as typical.
After motivating individuals to go abroad without there being any comprehensive airport screening in location, the government now desires us to take a “ staycation“, a term which used to suggest staying in your house while not working, however which has now been rebranded as taking your vacations in the UK. Yet once again, people are blamed for the choices they have actually made, when the government’s message has been muddled and inconsistent and without thought to the reasons that Brits, at a time when many people are struggling financially, are going with more affordable foreign trips.
There are powerful arguments versus going abroad at the minute. Who am I to condemn state, a care employee, who wants 2 weeks in Benidorm after a laden and hellish couple of months?
It would not be Britain if there weren’t a class double standard, however it still makes me sad. We’ve all been through a lot, and most of us have made sacrifices for the security of others in our communities. Now we are all being advised to make our own choices, and others are casting judgment. Obviously there are those who are acting as though it is all over, but the majority of us are doing our finest to weigh up the dangers of everything we do.
Growing up, we didn’t go on vacation much, though one stunning trip checking out household in Donegal is imprinted on my memory– white sand and silverfish, sweltering sun, my first kiss outside an old workhouse. I desired to go more than anything.
We were fortunate to mature where we did, around lakes and forests and beaches, where at least we could get a few of that holiday feeling at home. Lots of people live concrete-paved lives. They wish for gorgeous landscapes, however mainly it’s the time. That’s what holidays are about, really: time. The hours we work means that we can spend months living together with other people and feel that we have actually not truly seen them at all. Put us on a cheap flight to Crete and after a few days we relax into ourselves. The tension dissipates. We look across a taverna table at their pink faces as they nurse a cold Mythos and push courgette fritters into their gobs and we feel, well, love.
In the previous few months, I have concerned realise simply just how much I depend on vacations to keep me sane. Yes, we are in the middle of a pandemic, and yes there’s the climate emergency situation to consider, but the draw is strong. I wouldn’t enter into a club in central London today, but Greece is beckoning me (” come,” my Greek buddy stated, “we need your British pounds”). It’s a case of cognitive harshness, in the absence of effective federal government policy.
Will I go? It depends on the danger at the time to me and the danger I ‘d position to the country I would be checking out.
I understand her viewpoint, simply as I understand the people (some of them doctors) who are desperate to escape, who feel strung out and sad and they simply want to have a fag on a sun lounger while they view their kids play in the spume, their crappy airport novel abandoned, its pages greasy from cream. We all want a break from Covid-19, delusional as that might be. All of us desire some respite from the worry of this terrible disease. All of us wish to forget that it may be here to remain. It appears we just haven’t accepted it yet.
– Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett is a Guardian columnist