AND yet normal life goes on. The cat needs fed. There’s a leak in the shower, there’s a washing to be put away, rubbish to be put out.

The question is which feels the more unreal at the moment; what we call normality, or this new age of the virus as filtered through our newspapers, radio and TV and social media?

After the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Monday evening (a bewildering mixture of the stark and the vague), everything and yet nothing has changed. Driving around one of central Scotland’s small towns yesterday morning was to see people acting as they do every day. Dogs were being walked, people were sitting in cafes (maybe fewer than before, to be fair), workers were buying paint from B&Q. Pensioners, meanwhile, were not self-isolating. They were discussing light fittings.

The temptation is to call this the phoney war period of this pandemic (though, frankly, this is a country that has had far too many martial analogies in recent years). We know the fight has begun, but we just haven’t heard the guns yet.

In a way, it’s understandable that people are squeezing the last drops of normality out of the tube while they can. The problem is that this everyday world is already now behind us and disappearing into the rear-view mirror. The numbers of people infected by the Coronavirus is still relatively small, but that’s a false comfort. It will grow. And we need to do what we can to inhibit the spread.

For most this virus may mean a few days in bed feeling miserable at worst. But I know people – relatives who are pensioners, friends and relatives who have asthma, who have lupus – for whom it could be much more serious. I am sure you do too.

At the same time people still need to go to work because what else can they do? To pay for food, to pay the mortgage. Those fundamentals that won’t go away. We are encouraged to do what is right, but the government needs to commit more to supporting us if we do. (Last night's announcements were a step in the right direction.)

As I sit at my breakfast table the BBC has just announced that Laura Ashley has filed for administration. How many will follow? How many pubs? How many cinemas? At the moment, we are being told that the pandemic might last for months. How long will the economic impact last? Months? Years?

And so, we hunker down with our books and our box sets (I’m currently three series into Seinfeld) and we wonder what’s ahead of us?

We’re in a new normal. We are only beginning to realise what that might be.