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Looking back I think we were a bit rude. In the spirit of holiday, we were full of giggles and laughter. It is no surprise then that on safari in Botswana in an open safari vehicle, we found the sight of Japanese tourists sitting in their vehicle wearing face masks amusing. The image was of a safari hospital on wheels.

Elephant on safariThis was our last Africa family holiday and my first safari. We were based in Zambia, celebrating my mom’s milestone birthday or in her case a precious gemstone birthday. It remains a highlight for us. I remember the hot days, cool evenings, hippo below the hotel balcony and the Falls. This was captured in my blog of “Hippo in my space”,

Victoria Falls

Considering where the world is today, these Japanese tourists were one step ahead. While I doubt that we would catch a virus from tourists in a far away vehicle out in the open, they had an appreciation of humans as carriers of unknown nasties. Their wearing of masks, was not so much about them catching germs from others, but them spreading germs. We should have realised that it was an act of humility. Hindsight is a gift.

On the bus last year

I have worn a mask three times since the London lockdown. It is not pleasant. My ears are too small for the straps, the bridge of my shnoz is not suited to holding a mask and my glasses fog-up. Tomorrow, on the bus, we are going to our favourite road. We should wear masks even if it is as a sign of respect for others. The media refers to this as the “new normal”.

Perhaps before the lockdown, we were living in the abnormal and the pandemic has created a normal? With the world overpopulated, it means there are too many humans at one time out and about. This is earth’s tipping point: balancing big cities, with big populations with earth and mother nature’s limits, perhaps putting-up a sign saying there are no vacancies on this planet.