So I commuted into London from Bucks today, on business.


Amersham station car park was very quiet - at 8.30am.
The platform had one other person on it. And there were 6 of us in the train carriage all the way to London Marylebone. All masked. /1
Marylebone station was dead. TFL staff standing to one side looking bored/sad.

A sudden thought: HS2 and more capacity - really?

Entered the tube alone, watched by one staff member. Now I'm starting to feel sad. The times I've been on this network since a child, always busy.
Onto the tube network. Carriages are sparse. Jubilee carriage had more people - roughly every other seat free.

Virtually all wearing a mask; most the light blue disposable surgical masks. What happened to London chic, eh? And where are the mask sceptics? They barely exist.
I get above ground again in central London. It's dead. A nearby Pret has two customers in it and one visible member of staff waiting eagerly to serve me.
Walking through the streets to my final destination just before 10am, it feels like a warm quiet Sunday morning.

The thought then struck me that "a spell has been broken" by COVID - the decades-long "spell" of having to commute on cattle trains into work every day.
For those who don't have to, I don't think that model is coming back any time soon. And given the advance of technology, maybe never.
Can't help but visualise smaller flexible workspaces for when people do need to meet on 1 or maybe 2 days each week. It feels like the days of the big "f*** off" totemic office have gone.
And the losses for the train companies must be huge. That cannot go on. At what point do services get downgraded/less frequent... making it even less desirable to 'go up to town'?
I used to hate working from home. Can't feel the pulse of one's project and too many biscuits lying around. But I've changed because when forced to do it this long, one gets used to it. Multiply that by a few million people, including senior managers...

Again, no going back.
One can read about the profound consequences of all this. One consumes the words but until you visit, it doesn't fully hit you.

Indeed London feels "over dead". My local town has more buzz these days relative to its usual state than London does to *its* usual state.
But on the plus side, what a great opportunity to go for a long hike around London, taking in all the sights, unbothered by crowds of people.
But probably best do it before weeds, ivy and spider webs consume the buildings....
I meant to add:

1. Someone at client company was contacted by track & trace a couple of weeks ago to say he'd been near a COVID carrier. Then he went down with it and was still poorly.
2. Taxis lined up at Amersham facing slim trade from the few stragglers returning. They're basically stuffed.

Got back to car in the station car park - a BMW - lined up next to another BMW, a Porsche, a Merc and an Audi.

COVID attacks the vulnerable.
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