Every now and then, I fill a bag with clutter, bits and bobs that don’t spark joy anymore and take it to the charity shop. This morning, I cycled there with just such a bag. I’d checked which days they were open and today was one. I walked into the shop with a full carrier bag in one hand and a ceiling lamp in the other. The woman came towards me and I held out the bag. “Sorry”, she said glibly, “we can’t accept any goods today in connection with the corona.” In connection with the corona? “I fail to see the connection”, I said, “I’m already in the shop, what difference does it make?” “On Wednesday, the shop is closed, but you can hand in goods at the side entrance.” “Since I see that the door is open there now, can’t I just drop these things off?” “No.”

What’s my problem? First, the glib way ‘in connection with the corona’ gets bandied about; grist to the mill of those in virus denial. Glib, related to the Dutch ‘glibberig’ means smooth… too smooth. And the phrase itself: in connection with the corona!

Secondly, I’m allergic to jobsworthies. Anyone who glibly recites rules when questioned on the logic of their actions. The phrase comes from ‘It’s more than my job’s worth …’. Well-illustrated in the Dutch insurer’s adverts featuring a purple crocodile.