Paul Workman: Locked down in London, Day 2
CTV National News' London Bureau Chief Paul Workman is writing about life under lockdown in the United Kingdom’s capital on CTVNews.ca. (Paul Workman)
LONDON, U.K. -- Day Two feels very much like Day One. I can see why monotony leads to day drinking and talking to yourself.
“Good morning, Paul.”
“What would you like to do today to keep from going crazy?”
The jackhammer is still pounding away on the house renovations next door and MPs are ganging up on Boris Johnson to put an end to it. Apparently it’s okay for construction to continue at open-air building sites, as long as workers practice physical distancing. How do they manage that?
Some workers are apparently feeling angry and vulnerable, but worried they won’t get paid if they stay at home. What a terrible choice: work and risk getting sick or don’t work and starve.
You are only allowed out of the house once a day and the morning walk began even earlier to beat the masses. I swear, the virus is bringing out more joggers than ever. And earlier.
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It’s not just my obsession; a lot of people are wondering if you can catch COVID-19 from a runner who passes too closely and suddenly sneezes. The science on airborne infection is imperfect, but it’s conceivable you could breathe in droplets that are tiny and deadly. Good enough for me.
The issue has inspired some interesting chat on nextdoor.com which is like a neighbourhood bulletin board. Here’s my favourite so far:
“Joggers spit a lot, spitting should really be banned as it is in Singapore.”
The morning walk has become a precious act of human liberation, which makes me better understand why Sammy the dog jumps at the question: “Ready to go out?” It’s more than just needing a tree or a fire hydrant.
It seems that lessons are slowly being learned here about keeping your distance, and when it needs to be enforced. The outdoor exercise area at Primrose Hill park was packed yesterday, too packed apparently, and today it was fenced off. So much for goodwill. You can understand why #COVIDIOT is trending on the internet and “quarantine-shaming” is gaining popularity.
And yet, how uplifting to learn that hundreds of thousands of volunteers signed up in a single day to help the National Health Service get through this crisis. Johnson says in just 24 hours 405,000 people have responded to the government's call for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the outbreak.
Some will deliver food and medicine, some will drive patients to appointments or spend time on the phone talking to the isolated.
Goodwill indeed and goodbye Day Two.