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London in Lockdown

As a "key worker" (not a term I am comfortable calling myself) I am still working and having to travel into Central London a lot. This weekend I was both overwhelmed and saddened in equal measure. Overwhelmed, as on Saturday I witnessed first hand how Londoners and tourists alike were strictly observing the lockdown rules.

Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

It was about 7pm on Saturday 25th April and I was in London's theatre district and it was eerily quiet. What should've been a very busy time for the West End was the complete opposite - deserted. No one rushing from restaurant to theatre, jumping out of taxis to enjoy an evening of entertainment, just empty streets. Silent streets. No traffic, no chatter, no noise. No shoppers grabbing last minute

purchases in the stores on Regent's Street.

Chinatown clear of any hustle and bustle.

Eros looked down on a decidedly bare Piccadilly Circus. A strange hush.

This commitment to the lockdown was however, smashed to pieces the following day.

As I drove into town around lunchtime on the Sunday, I was frustrated and saddened to see so many people out. Hundreds of people out. Lots of cars (surely they weren't all on essential journeys), scores of cyclists who were not practicing safe social distancing or obeying the rules of the road and many people out sunbathing.

Sunbathing! During a lockdown? I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Sure the sun was out. It was a beautiful spring day in the capital but my heart sank seeing the sheer number of people going about as if there wasn't a world health crisis happening around them. I do hope that their actions won't put a strain on the heroes of the NHS and that the sun seekers don't become ill but I fear that this current lockdown may get extended. And, for what? A few hours of "normality" in a very abnormal situation.

We're all in this together and things will get better, but in order for it to be sooner rather than later we all need to do our bit.

Stay safe.


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