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We broke quarantine on Wednesday night, with the husband's cousin and his wife. It started with bottles of lager, sipped as we toured his extensive estate and coal-packing plant, and then the wife insisted on giving us food, opening bottles of wine, night falling so quickly; we didn't leave until 1 am.

It was too easy in the countryside surrounding the farm, where the boundaries between households are looser: children run in and out of their granny's house next door, the husband borrows a lighter without sanitising it, the mother-in-law pops by a neighbour's to get a biscuit after feeling light-headed.

The mother-in-law was furious, of course: The cousins are all in and out of each other's houses, and the niece is a healthcare worker! She was in a terrible mood all of Thursday. But she had been awful all week, and their house was too cosy, a world away from our own increasingly unhappy home.

I feel guilty for endangering ourselves, and I long for a time when ordinary gatherings aren't tainted by whiffs of immorality.


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