London under lockdown
If like me you have been glued to the TV, Twitter and YouTube for news updates and disclosures about the Coronavirus. You will have also noticed that London is now a hotbed for the virus spreading, as you would expect given that there are so many people in the city.
Over the last few days, we have seen so many businesses close. West End theatres, Selfridges flagship stores, MacDonald’s restricted services, Tate Galleries and nightclubs such as the Ministry of Sound. The Entertainment sector seemed to have been first hit. The hospitality sector on standby.
My friends include comedians, DJs, events managers, wedding photographers and the self-employed whose livelihood and sources of income have been hit suddenly. The people who are left still working are the doctors, nurses, carers, teachers, as well as retail and bar staff. Not overlooking cleaners, bank staff, shop owners and other people keeping us all going in our hours of need.
“London is not listening”BBC News
London is not listening
Unfortunately, as much as some people are self-isolating. Many people are not taking heed of government advice. However, what we are not seeing is widespread testing, enforced social isolating and lockdown. Just look at the pictures from revellers in the UK celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, when the whole of Ireland is in lockdown. With behaviours like this, it’s only a matter of time before the government will grant themselves emergency powers to shut us all down for our own safety.
London Underground to close 40 stations
Beginning this Friday, the Waterloo and City line will shut completely. Then from Monday, TfL said it would gradually reduce other parts of its network, which includes London Overground, TfL Rail, the DLR and the Tram network in south London.
Underground stations facing closure:
Stations that could be closed tomorrow include the following. Customers are advised to check the TfL website for live updates before they travel:
- Lambeth North
- Regents Park
- Warwick Avenue
- Kilburn Park
- Charing Cross
- Holland Park
- Lancaster Gate
- Chancery Lane
- Great Portland Street
- Bow Road
- Stepney Green
- Mansion House
- St James’s Park
- Gloucester Road
- Swiss Cottage
- St John’s Wood
- Tuffnell Park
- Chalk Farm
- Mornington Crescent
- Goodge Street
- Clapham South
- Tooting Bec
- South Wimbledon
- Caledonian Road
- Covent Garden
- Hyde Park Corner
- Bounds Green
- Manor House
- Blackhorse Road
TfL said these stations “could be closed” from Thursday and advised passengers to check the website for live updates
Galleries shut down
The Tate announced that all of its four galleries will shut down with immediate effect until 1 May.
Selfridges closes its flagship stores
A number of retailers are closing their stores, although restaurants, bars and pubs are staying open. Selfridges announced they will shut down their flagship stores.
MacDonalds restricts its services
Many food retailers are restricting their services. I feel for those people working at Aldi, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s right now. MacDonalds have closed some of their services – see below.
Food rationed due to panic buying
We have all tried to food-shop, witnessing aisles that are now empty because people have been panic buying. Retailers have collaborated to issue a notice saying not to stockpile, but each one has had to put rationing into place. I feel for family and friends who have children and babies, who can’t buy formula, nappies and other essentials. So many people don’t have the means to stockpile.
I appreciate the fact that the schools have been kept open due to the fact that children appear to be less vulnerable to the virus. However, I do believe – let’s put our politics aside for one moment – that the government have been trying to keep parents in the workplace. I also know shutting schools put so much financial pressure on families. Whether you are on free school meals or are not on benefits. Having your family at home is more expensive. So we know that this measure was not taken lightly to close schools this week. However to anyone who was due to sit their exams in May/June. I feel you!
What can you do…?
- Listen to government advice
- Stay Connected
- Wash your hands and keep healthy
- Keep your social distance