Day 9 in the Corona house: Empty chairs at empty tables.

A relatively short post from me today as like everyone else I find myself (even in quarantine) pulled in many directions at present which make demands both of time and available energy as well as time. I mentioned to Vaughan how it felt like sometime last month we were in Milan whereas, in reality, it was just over a week. Self-isolation probably does make time run more slowly, but the speed of change over the last week is probably also a contributing factor.

Add to that the exquisitely timed matter of being made redundant and today has been spent focused on finding alternative employment. Though I’m sure it’s never great timing, if you believe in Khama based on a couple of fronts, I can’t help but conclude that I must have been either Atilla the Hun or Ghengis Khan in a previous life. Still there it is – better get on with things.

Day nine and I’ve not really found the process too hard. My understanding is even in more extreme quarantine situations dog walking is still permitted and that has been a huge help. They are only short and people are avoided but they do provide a little exercise for both of us and a change of scenery from the four walls.

It may be a function of living in a more rural location, having a small circle of friends or the nature of my previous employment but I’ve not noticed a significant difference in terms of external interactions – which probably tells me more about me that the process of quarantine. Vaughan is finding it a bit tougher – early stages of cabin fever but for those about to start self-isolation, it is manageable and if you keep a form of routine and plan it’s not the twilight zone many fear.

An unusually quiet Carnaby Street

For those who follow the writer’s code of show don’t tell, I include a few pictures of London village today. These were snapped on my walk today and for anyone who knows London at rush hour this is just weird.

Although I’ve been keeping my exercise up through walking Taz, I should reassure you that I haven’t been dragging him into Carnaby Street. That picture was taken by one of Vaughan’s friends so I can’t take credit for it, but it gives you an idea of just how strange London feels at present.

Our chief scientific officer initially said we were a month behind Italy, although this has since been reduced to around 3 weeks, although looking at the data it looks more like 10 to 14 days. Having said that, both Vaughan and I commented that these pictures of London today had a very similar feel to that we experienced in Italy 9 days ago.

It does seem that many Londoners have decided to take matters into their own hands and make their own assessment of the risk being presented. Transport for London indicates there was a 20% reduction from the normal levels of traffic on Monday of this week. Today we saw a further 20% reduction on the tube and around 16% down on those using the buses.

I must thank fellow blogger Daniel Bowen for the second of the empty chairs at empty tables shots which comes from Melbourne, Australia.

The second is closer to home with what would normally be one of the livelier pubs in Camberwell which was deserted today. As I passed I heard a snippet of conversation between the owner and his barman “What I’ll be saying will apply to all bar and kitchen staff’ – I can imagine how that conversation may go.

Today, Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced a first wave of support for business and particularly the leisure and entertainment sectors. For a first day set of measures, £330 billion with the promise of more as required isn’t a bad step, it’s certainly to be welcomed.

Interestingly, both President Macron and the Prime Minister referenced their response as being part of a war. Macron stated we are at war with the virus, Johnson compared the response today with that of any war cabinet. I don’t doubt the sincerity of either leader, this isn’t a time for the trivialities of party politics.

The help, however welcome hasn’t come quickly enough for some. This notice on the doors of the Camberwell arms is the first of its type that I’ve seen, although I doubt it will be the last.

I’ll try to be a little more upbeat tomorrow. Usually, I have a final paragraph that is a little of a lift, something humorous or uplifting. Having some difficulty in identifying one today, I have just asked Vaughan and he ‘can’t think of anything right now’

This concludes the shortened update from the Peckerwell two – now where was that cider from yesterday?

#isolation #quarantine

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