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Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

Art is life.

It’s the podcast on your rush hour; the radio jingle you’ve heard for the twelfth time in one-fucking-hour but still makes you want to buy the damn thing; the audiobook; your Spotify time-capsule playlist with those songs you forgot about that take you back to your univeristy days; the anything you binge watch on Netflix/Amazon/YouTube (even if you just watched the first five minutes of Emily in Paris and did nothing but bitch to Twitter about it, it’s still art); it’s the TikTok dance routine you mocked but now end up doing because it’s ~iRoNiC~; it’s the Bend and Snap; the Here’s Johnny; the iconic kiss in the rain from The Notebook you wish your partner would re-enact; it’s the first photograph of the man on the moon; the touring shows that teach children big topics without them even realising; the musicals that rap about the six wives of Henry the Eighth; it’s Fleabag, The Great British Bake Off, Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny; it’s Shakespeare, the opening bars of Beethoven’s Symphony №5, that book on Hygge that makes you feel cosy. …

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Christian Sterk @ Unsplash

After eight weeks of calling, ENT-UK (the professional body for Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons) has stopped being ghosted by the chief medical officers of the UK. As of today, anosmia has been added to the list of symptoms and reasons to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19.

A collective, belated cheer.

There’s heavy criticism that the government have been slow to act, with some citing clinical negligence. It’s easy to see why, given eight weeks have now passed with undetected cases circulating none the wiser.

It’s also been eight weeks of frightened sufferers, contending with smell loss on top of potential coronavirus, without any explicit answers. …

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Cat-calling and coronavirus: 2020’s not-so-lovely pairing

Have you been verbally abused when running? “What female hasn’t? I’ve been followed before by a man in a car.”

It’s May 2020. The U.K. has been in lockdown since March; our one dose of outdoor time has been stretched to ~*unlimited*~ status and we’re allowed outside more than once a day. Roads are busier, pavements heavily trodden with walkers, runners, dog-draggers and seemingly immovable family units of five.

I’ve been running consistently during the eight weeks — which isn’t a #quarantineandnochill brag — it’s just a fact for framing. I’m not new to running. My pandemic-etiquette is sound, avoiding clouds of maybe-coronavirus by stepping out of other people’s way.

But it doesn’t mean the practice has been easy. I’ve been followed, cat-called and intimidated — and, worryingly, I’m not alone: “A car drove past me, and the passenger got out a toy pig and oinked it at me.

Earlier today, a car slowed down to my running pace (70mph; nice and brisk). He rolled down his window (read: probably had the windows voice controlled from the inside of his outrageous car), and called me a ‘silly bitch’ for using the road to keep away from the other people already on the pavement. I rolled my eyes so hard I thought I’d lost them in my head. When they came back round, I looked in his car. Two children, girls, young. Listening to what had just been said and to whom.

What sort of message is this sending them? That it’s to be expected, that they’ll too have this privilege of unprovoked libel when they’re old enough? “I’ve noticed far too many people are out there getting brave at the moment. Feeling confident enough to insult others in the street.” It’s not OK. In a time where some people’s only freedom is on the pavements of their towns, why is that freedom smeared with someone else’s dumb choice of words? Last week I was cat-called from a man in a Blood and Organ Donation van — this isn’t a fictional yarn for effect. It really was a Blood and Organ Donation van. Classy.

It’s not all gloom: I’ve been cheered on by families; joined by a little boy who wanted to race me up a hill (I won’t spoil who won, but he had twenty + years on me, go figure); and at the end of my first 10k, an old lady clapped me as I panted myself back to life on the edge of the pavement. …


Lucy Farrington-Smith

Writer. Non-smeller, non-taster.

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