14/04/2020

Shave New World!

CPJ Field Peter Linford Covid19 beard

The Covid 19 beard, it seems, is A Thing. The Unwise Holiday Beard has been around for a while, but this new excuse not to shave is hopefully both a one off and time-limited.

Some of us are deliberate and careful beard-growers and do it with great style. Some of us are not. I tend not to bother shaving on days when I am not in the office or at a work function. For a day or so at a time, or a weekend, that’s not such a big deal. In these new days of home working that’s every day so I am three weeks into it now.

Covid 19 beards are also popping up on social media. One friend of mine posts a Daily Beard Update. Others are more intermittent. Mine gets an outing on two Skype Cons a day, alongside whichever office-inappropriate t-shirt I happened to pull out of the drawer in the dark, before my wife and children wake up.

My Covid 19 beard is starting to blend into my ever more straggly hair, and since hair salons are not deemed an essential service, the beard strimmer that I used to shave my cat with may have to come out of retirement to provide a buzz cut.

That’s easy enough for me to do, but people who attend more carefully to their hair face greater challenges. Hilary Rose wrote a piece in The Times about the challenges ahead for bottle-blondes (her term, not mine) who may be about to rediscover their natural colour against their will. Another piece focussed on home hair cuts and the dangers inherent in that. One stylist gave helpful tips on how to make a good job of it with a strimmer if you do elect to go for the buzz cut.

My Covid 19 beard is less of a challenge, at least so far. I’m just letting it grow. Nor is it a style choice (my children assure me I need have no pretensions to style). It’s simply laziness. If I don’t have to shave I just don’t bother.

It may not last, though, and I think there are more determined parties out there who are more likely to go the distance. Already the plaintive phrase (familiar to me from week two of family holidays) from my children is coming: “Daddy, you’re all spiky”. That, I suspect, will be that.

By Peter Linford, Head of Training at CPJ Field, the proud owner of a new Covid 19 beard...in progress!