Catching up with our Covid subjects. Londoner Joanna Taylor.
In April we did a podcast featuring five subjects from around the world and what life in the Covid crisis was like where they're from. In this blog series we catch up with them to find out what has changed (and what hasn't) here, we talk to a Joanna Taylor, who normally lives in Australia, but got stuck in her fromer hometown of London.
" I am still in London in my flat. My husband finally joined me from Zambia and my daughter has moved back to her house. I really loved spending those 3 months in lockdown with her. Such a special time. London has slowly come back to life. However many people are choosing to still lie low. Many people waiting till the end of the month to see if there will be a rise in numbers after the easing of restrictions.
Pubs and restaurants are open again. Gyms, pools, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres, etc are still closed. Masks are compulsory on public transport but many are very wary of public transport so there are loads more cyclists on the streets. The debate on masks continues, with guidance now to wear them in shops but less people seem to wear them in the street now.
Many people are still working from home and likely to do so for the rest of the year. However lots of companies are closing and redundancies being made. Very gloomy press for the economy especially the tourism sector and the Arts.
I think the country has generally been behind the government. They did follow a very scientific approach and laid out the various stages clearly. Obsessive with figures and daily reports etc. But general consensus is that lock down was a week too late with too much dithering at the start, but now everyone just wants to move on. The surprise hero is the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, who has excelled and seems universally adored. Certainly he has come up with great ideas for boosting the economy. Very innovative and charismatic too.
I didn't get sick and know of no-one hospitalised for Covid. I liked that the lockdown made life slow down and feel that that will stay with me. I don't want my life to go back to how it was before. I want it to be less busy and more considered.
I'd love to get back to Sydney next month but I'm watching the situation unfolding in Australia with horror. There is still forced hotel quarantine with talks of making people pay for this? Cutting flights into Australia by half? (Surely Qantas will not survive.) It's making it harder and harder for me to get home and I worry that if I do come home I won't be able to leave again. I really feel that by creating a fortress of fear Australia has created a bigger problem. I am very concerned that young people have really suffered educationally, socially and economically because of the pandemic although they suffer least from the virus. I worry about their opportunities diminishing."