Was God angry because I had shown so much pleasure in the acquisition of a material object? Quite frankly, he could have cut me some slack. I’ve been banging on long enough about His great sunrises and sunsets and how much joy we should take in nature; was it really too much to ask that He spare me an oven glove for my troubles?

Be aggressive, they said. Be tough. New York’s not like LA. You have to have balls in this city. So, I have managed a little over two weeks without much incident, give or take a suspected terrorist or two and a lost iPhone (spectacularly recovered from the local Jewish nursing home: never again will I speak out against the circumcision of infants, even though it is something I have come to admire in men over the years . . . But that’s a whole other story).

Irrational fears are, I suspect, upon us all in these unsettling times. On any one day, Coronavirus is Frankenstein’s monster, the ten plagues of Egypt, the Apocalypse, all rolled into one; what’s not to be scared about? But, like all animals, we are survivors; we do what we have to do to ensure the continuation of the species. That will be different for everyone, just as this whole experience is. So, is there anything we can do, collectively, to conquer the fact that, at some level, we are all s**t scared?

While we are denied physical contact, other than with those we live with, it’s important to touch base on the phone and through social networking; reaching out to nature brings so many rewards (it’s very chatty when you give it time). These are precious moments to absorb the world around us – it really is our friend, even though it doesn’t seem that way at present.