On the use of insect netting in lockdown

Every summer I hang insect netting on the windows to keep out flies.  Talking to someone recently I told them what I’d been doing and they asked if it was a term I was using to describe my coping mechanisms during lockdown. 

I think that they’ve hit on a great phrase and I formulated a description of what it means, to me at least.

I use cheap insect netting; coping mechanisms do not need to be expensive.

I often feel a need to detach a little from the world but still need to see enough of it. These are what my doctor calls my “in the world but not of it” periods.

When I am close to the netting it obscures the view but from a distance I can see through it clearly.

Sometimes it rips before I remove it from the windows in autumn as I move it slightly to open and close windows. The world begins to break in when I’m ready to rejoin it, or as Leonard Cohen wrote, “There is a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.” 

As I speak I am keeping out the niggles that try to push their way in from the world. My netting can’t keep the big beasts out but it removes little pests from my life.