Tales from the pandumbic – part 2

Price negotiable; infection possible

This second tale should arguably have been the first – it predates by a couple of weeks my trip to the shop in which I spotted the one handed shopper, but I’d completely forgotten all about it until, looking back through my comments on Twitter to find something else, I found this tweet, and it all came flooding back.

Curious at the sound of a motorbike engine (or engines) being repeatedly revved on the day I wrote that comment on Twitter, I peered out of my window, and spotted a group of people with a number of bikes between the two rows of garages below, one of which was open. Those people consisted of three younger chaps – aged between, maybe, late-teens and possibly very early twenties for the youngest to either late twenties or early thirties for the oldest – and one older chap maybe late fifties or early sixties.

That older chap I recognised as someone living in the same block of flats as me, although I don’t actually know him. The younger chaps were strangers.

They were standing around chatting, and seemed to be looking at one of the bikes in particular. All of them handled it while I was looking, and one of them got on it and rode it up and down the space between the garages – it soon became obvious that this was a possible sale being arranged. Given that I recognised the older chap, but not the younger ones, the obvious conclusion is that he was selling and they were buying.

In the (very short) time I was looking, one of the younger chaps pointed to something inside the garage, and the older guy went in and wheeled out a ‘chopper’ type motorbike; a proper biker’s bike, if you see what I mean. (I’m not a biker, and don’t have much interest in them, and from the distance and angle I couldn’t see what make it was – so I can’t say “Harley Davidson” or anything like that, but to describe it as I have should give you the gist.)

Ordinarily, there would be nothing wrong with that – but look at the date of the tweet; 5th April, 2020. That’s a day shy of two weeks after the government imposed a lockdown on the country, restricting, amongst other things, contact with people outside our own homes. All of which is intended to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

And if that’s not bad enough, not only did none of them appear to be taking any precautions (e.g. none of them were wearing any gloves) there was something else that all four of them – the three younger chaps seemingly there to buy the bike, and the older chap who appeared to be selling it – were doing (which would have made any gloves pointless if they had been wearing any:

They were all smoking – and one of them received his cigarette from another one.

The significance of smoking, of course, is that they were handling something that they were putting into their mouths. As well as handling that bike.


All of what I saw took place in a short space of time – though they were there quite a while (I could hear the engine revving, and their voices, for quite some time before I looked, and it continued afterwards for quite some time as well). From what I could hear, though, it sounded like a successful sale – hence, as I wrote in the first half of that tweet:

Sounds like someone living in these flats has successfully sold a motorbike. Congrats to him! Let’s hope the buyer hasn’t given him a viral bonus as part of the deal.

And of course, because the man lives in this block of flats, that means that had they done so – if one of them been carrying it, deposited it on the handlebars, which he then then touched in order to pick it up – he would then have been putting any number of the residents of this block of flats at risk. He’d be touching door handles to get into the block, lift buttons, and so on, which other people would then be touching.

So that’s nice of him.

(I’m taking precautions – which I hope will be good enough. I don’t know how careful others are being, though.)

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