Three things have been been fighting for my attention this week: The Morning Show (Apple TV’s compelling drama about the #MeToo movement), a diagnosis of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis (a longstanding eye issue that has made me look like I’ve just been dug up) and Coronavirus.
Yesterday, all three of these things, incongruously, came together. Before I left home in the morning, I had watched part of a stunning episode of the series, which makes the viewer really question the appropriateness of interactions between colleagues in the workplace. Shortly after, I was doing my early trawl through Twitter to see what people were writing (mostly angrily) about. The main theme was how to avoid Coronavirus by limiting physical contact, on the advice of the NHS.
I was surprised, therefore, when I met a corneal consultant shortly after, who immediately offered me his hand. Some hours later, now finally satisfied that I had a diagnosis and some medicine to make it go away, I was surrounded by fear of this looming modern-day plague.
‘I’m not sure if we’re supposed to touch,’ a few people offered in meetings throughout the day. I realised that I never greet anyone without shaking their hand or giving them a hug.
I suddenly asked myself, Am I complicit in the issues that gave rise to the #MeToo movement? I’m positive that I have never seen a professional greeting as anything other than that, but having watched a scene from the show where a hug progressed into something altogether less appropriate, I started to question whether we should actually be keeping our hands to ourselves.
‘Coronavirus has the potential to kill physical interactions in the workplace,’ I immediately offered my business partner, Asad. ‘This the beginning of a new movement called #MeFlu.’
‘Put sex in the headline and you’ve got a story,’ he replied in a PR second.
Might this be it, though? Might the fear of becoming ill be more impactful than the fear of being found out? Let’s see what happens in series two.