I challenge you to name a more human trait than to want what we can’t have. We’ve all been guilty of desiring the unobtainable at some point in time, and right now amidst a country-wide lockdown, I’ve been battling my DNA which is hellbent on steering me towards getting out for a long drive.
Sadly, regardless of what corner of the globe you call home, there’s a strong chance that you’re faced with a very similar dilemma. While I’m not sure how liberal or strict your local authorities’ approach to tackling the spread of COVID-19 are, here in Australia, driving outside of directly to or from an essential service can land you with a hefty fine.
During the handful of occasions I’ve had a legitimate reason to fire up Project Nine for some essential driving, the sheer number of Highway Patrol officers has been overwhelming, especially during Australia’s first holiday season in isolation for generations.
It’s so easy to join the social media #stayathome choir, but just three weeks of living in Groundhog Day with small children and no escape is a routine that’s bound to make the best of us grow weary. If you’re in a similar situation and you’re managing to get by, I tip my hat to you.
The very fabric of our universe seems to be unraveling with great pace, and selfishly, all I can think about is approaching the rev limiter in my Evolution IX as I rip across the horizon somewhere far away from home.
Or even better, tackling a scenic mountain road with an entire entourage of petrol-addicted friends.
Remember the good old Sunday drive? Oh man, it feels like a distant memory from an entire lifetime ago.
Strange isn’t it? I mean, just a few weeks ago most of us were living life as usual, as we’ve done so for our entire lives. But now in this brave new world, we’re told it’s fine for your kids to be at school, but not at the local park. That it’s OK to line up with complete strangers for a fresh cappuccino, but not to share a coffee with friends at home. That’s how it is for us here in New South Wales anyway.
If that’s not enough to come to grips with, I bet you’re still struggling with the concept that before March 2020, nobody you knew was capable of washing their hands or ever used toilet paper. Weird times, right?The Need To Stay In
Now, if I sound like I’m pushing back against the whole movement, or trying to downplay the situation, I’m not. I’m simply airing some frustrations that I bet a lot of you may share. It’s not always easy to share unpopular opinions or thoughts. Especially online.
That said, I completely agree with the whole concept of social distancing, flattening the curve and the entire encyclopedia of COVID-19 news speak. I get it. It’s important. Not just for me, but all of us.
Not only that, but I also made a conscious decision to be socially responsible and remove my family from the grid, and the hopefully statistics, a few weeks ago. Way back before any local social network mantra was formed, back when staying away out of ‘fear’ had similar social ramifications to wearing a tinfoil hat outside.
So what’s changed since then? Why the hell am I so fixated on driving when there are so many larger issues to deal with daily? Is it the need for a temporary escape? Perhaps it’s the frustration of trying to live within some many double-standard laws? Is it common sense knocking and pointing out that driving solo should be the safest environment on the planet?
Of course, it’s only safe if nothing goes wrong. Imagine how quickly the situation changes if you breakdown, or as a worst-case scenario, have an accident. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the emergency workers called out could have spent their time more productively somewhere else given the current circumstances.
Honestly, my recent craving for a spirited drive could be based on all of these
reasons excuses, or maybe none of them. Really, it’s irrelevant. It’s an urge that’ll have to wait a wee bit longer. The important thing is to stay the course, be socially responsible, and to keep an eye on the bigger issues affecting the broader community.
At the end of all of this, whenever that may come, old habits will feel brand new, passions will be renewed, and every one of us will no doubt have a deeper appreciation of what we as a community have.
Not to mention, there’s bound to be some wild events and amazing opportunities to get reacquainted with your ride, the good roads, and the amazing people that make up our scene.
While I’d love to throw down and urge everybody to stay sane by taking your car for a blast, I think it’s important for all of us to sit tight, stay home and maybe use the extra time at home to hone your driving skills from the comfort of your lounge inside your favorite driving games.
It really is time to stay in and drive.