The screw tightens again

When I walked into the restaurant Sarah stood up and almost skipped over: ‘You look amazing. It’s been ages.’
I froze. She was still moving forward. She opened her arms. I took a step back and said: ‘Air hug?’ and make a show of hugging the air in front of me.
Her smile died. ‘Oh we’re not…we’ve not to hug? But we haven’t seen each in six months.’
‘Maybe I’m being over-cautious. It’s just…well, you’ve come from London and…Will we order drinks?’ I moved my chair closer to Sarah’s. ‘You never know what’s the right thing these days. It’s all so confused.’
The Covid app wouldn’t download and the waitress insisted we check in before she serve us food. Eventually it worked on my phone. But not on Sarah’s.
‘Ah well,’she said. What does it matter?’
The next morning the text came: ‘I just thought I’d let you know. My building is in lockdown. I don’t have any symptoms yet. Well, only a little cough. But I always have a cough at this time of year.’

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