We are of very different political persuasions, but we manage those differences as we grew up in a family where political differences were the norm. So that was not what has affected my mood. Knowing his views, I no longer comment when formerly I would have opened a topic for discussion. I have learned that his views are non negotiable.
Today we had quite a long chat as he and his wife had just got back from a trip to NZ. He kept coughing, not big coughs but as if he was getting over a bug, and I thought of asking if he was well, but decided against it as I wasn't keen to be interrogated about my COVID safe practises which he can't understand. He did ask if I was out and about now and I replied, oh yes but I am not going to concert halls yet.
At the end of the call he said, "oh and we brought something back from NZ!"
His wife had felt a bit poorly and had used an old RAT test they had, just in case. She tested positive. That was last Saturday and she is apparently feeling better now. I write this on Wednesday.
I said, "well I guess you'll be avoiding your grandchildren for a bit."
"Oh, it's five days now, so we're right," was his reply.
"She might have passed it on to you?"
" I have no idea, no idea!" he replied.
I realise now that it was that comment that has caused my dispondency. His minimising the risk is probably partly the result of the government decision not to tell us that Covid is still here and we should take care and partly pressure from the conservative society he chooses to live in. My brother has always ridiculed my precautions and although I'm sure he realises he probably has Covid he doesn't want to admit it. Or perhaps just doesn't want to talk about it to me. He is in his 70s and I hope he turns out to be one of the lucky ones who is not badly affected and doesn't pass it on. But it reminds me of Americans I read about who have cooker relations and regret the disruption Trump's misinformation has caused to their families.
Did we ever imagine the gulfs such misinformation would cause? Cause enough for despondency.