in OCD2 years ago

We Are All The Same Now


Have you ever been on a flight that had to land in a storm? You know how the pilot increases the craft speed significantly, to punch through the strong winds, but then throws the fans to reverse the minute you it touches down to bring the aircraft to a stop as quickly as possible?

I feel as though that's what's happened to London. The entire city has got whiplash. It wasn't quite a crash, or and emergency break like many other places experienced since we kind of saw it coming. We had the benefit of other cities like Madrid and Milan.

Londoners literally sprinting up the underground steps to beat the rush hour

Rush, rush, rush, everyone for themselves. That's the London way. I'm sure many large cities of the world can relate. Having been to New York city several times, things are even more rush rush over there. I once traveled on the NYC subway in rush hour and almost lost the will to live. I was physically assaulted by a woman who stuck her elbow in my kidney to try pushing me in deeper into the train she could get on.

Las Vegas is completely different. It's just as busy, but with less rush. I think the absence of a subway has a lot to do with it. To live in Vegas, or Los Angeles, you really do need a car, or a truck as many seem to prefer.

Is it a coincidence that the worst hit cities in the world have subways? I have often wondered if the lack of a network of sardine cans where millions of people pack next to each other, inhaling each other's used air, touching each others sneezed on railings, e.t.c., has anything to do with the lower outbreak numbers. I'd surely love to see someone present the data showing the correlation, or not.

The Piccadilly Line ensures you're only a few stops away from Wuhan, China, by bringing the germs directly from Heathrow Airport, all the way to your doorstep in Cockfosters in the northern terminus. All the other lines interface, and relay the germs at some point. There is an exchange with Victoria Line at Green Park, with District Line at Earl's Court, with a whole bunch of other lines at King's Cross, as so on. Germs can spread across London like oxygen flows through blood vessels.

I got into a bit of a back and forth with someone on Twitter who made a sarcastic comment under a London Underground tweet. They had started cleaning the entire network of stations with medical grade disinfectant because someone in management recognised the massive risk it poses to London. If things were left to run naturally as Boris was said to have originally wanted, the virus could be on every street in London within one single day!

And What About The Homeless?

I saw a story in the news about how companies like Air B&B had stepped up to provide accommodation for people that had just recovered from the virus, but could not return home since they still had to be quarantined for a period fo time. They couldn't stay in hospitals either, since the beds were needed for new patients. Air B&B, I assume, would work with the property owners/renters to give up their space for this cause and in return Air B&B would compensate the owners as if the property was being rented. I can imagine it wouldn't be at the full asking price, since the properties were probably going to be empty anyway. It's kind of a win-win.

Homeless guy outside and opposite a new property development in gentrified London

I remember thinking to myself; "what about homeless people. Where would they go?". The reason why they came to mind, of course, was because we have a massive homeless problem here in London. They are everywhere, so they are an ever present part of the city. I once spoke to a police officer about the homeless and he said there is no solution for it. They simply get moved on from one part of the city to the other.

An area from an adjacent borough where the homeless used to congregate and sleep rough (safety in numbers I suppose) has just been purchased by a property developer. As such, the homeless in that area have been disbanded and moved on, so many of them have ended up in my neighbourhood.

I saw an interesting tweet by the Mayor of London that the government was working with some hotels to provide isolation for the homeless. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. The hotels were empty anyway, and losing money. I assume the government is paying the hotels for the rooms, and they're not just doing it from the goodness of their hearts.

But then, I considered the logistics. How will they eat? Will they receive regular deliveries of food to eat indoors? Who will these delivery people be? Hotel staff? Is that fair on them? How will the homeless be policed to ensure they actually do self isolate, and not end up in each other's rooms - especially at night when the staff are not there. All of a sudden, it didn't seem like such a perfect idea after all.

Another sad thing to consider is that this segment of the population, the homeless, are perhaps the only group not wanting this pandemic to end. Especially the ones that have gotten some help from their government for the very first time. When this is all over, you bet they'd just be dumped back on the streets, homeless yet again.

Having said that, the thought of someone who's been sleeping rough on the streets for years suddenly finding themselves in a Marriott or Hilton, on a comfy bed with a TV, bath/shower and central heating, just feels my heart with joy.

That's it. Thanks for reading.

Peace & Love,


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