Covid clichés are the new email currency | Eva Wiseman

Covid clichés are the new email currency | Eva Wiseman

“Reaching out to you…” You’re sitting in the darkness, because the sun set at lunchtime and it’s too cold to remove the weighted blanket that has become your home office so you have not moved from the sofa to turn on the lights. And you are surrounded by the remains of a buffet tea you prepared hours ago, crusts are softening, crisps are dust. You suck a teabag for a caffeine kick, click on a new email and ponder its greeting. “Reaching out to you…” An image of a hand, emerging.

Here is something the pandemic has given you – an appreciation of the nuance of banalities. “Reaching out”, a claw rising from a grave like Carrie, or through a door like Jack Nicholson, or from choppy waters. Through the mists, a stranger searching for your arm, reaching out to tell you about a discount on moisturisers if you also buy the serum. Reaching out – there is a desperation to their stretch, reaching from this computer to that one, across time zones, politics, puddles. “Take this email,” the greeting implores, “I made it for you out of twine and butter; I thought of you as I weaved.” Reaching, reaching, despite that old tennis injury, despite the many screens between you, reaching because this is what humans do.

And when their email lands, they “hope it finds you well”. They hope it finds you, hidden there beneath your teacups and brainstorms, well.…

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