What it’s like in the City of London as COVID-19 quarantine is eased

As of 23rd June 2020 the PM of England has started easing the lockdown restrictions. This week we went from alert level 4 to level 3 which is part of the COVID alert system set up by the British government. Each level has a specific set of rules to it.

Although the government body is supposed to make decisions to the best abilities for the safety of everyone in the nation not everyone may agree or feel ready for the lockdown to be eased. Let’s be honest, a pandemic doesn’t happen every single year and we are all new to this including our prime minister.

So for those of us anxious beings among us, I’m one of them myself I thought I’ll share my first experience back in Central London now that lockdown has eased. I’ve been putting off coming here for a long time because the first super scary hurdle to overcome for me was taking the tube. From how I remember the underground in system pre-Covid the Central Line was pretty much a germ filled death trap. COVID-19 wasn’t the only virus you could pick up on there.

Public Transport

Yesterday, I decided to give it a go. I geared up with a face mask, gloves and sanitiser and took the tube to Central London. I went on a Monday after rush hour and on the way there, there was only 2 other people in my carriage and we all sat on opposite ends. I didn’t touch anything, or hold onto anything at all. At tube stations they are equipped with free sanitiser (but it’s not automatic) and so you have to touch it to get some sanitiser out – no thank you. I guess they need a higher budget to bring in automatic touch free dispensers. Tough times.

The Bank district area was very empty to what it is usually. There was still a few men in suits here and there. What really actually stood out to me was that there was way more males around than females. Now I don’t know if this is because in the Bank (fInance district) there is a much higher proportion of men working there but this really did stand out to me.

Eating Out

Anyway, so I went for a meal with my friend and we went to the Alchemist (Bevis Marks). This is a restaurant where you’re usually waiting around for a table or have to pre-booked. We ate there and to our surprise there was just one other table of customers there. To some extent, I feel really bad. Imagine opening up your restaurant and having waitresses, bar tenders and manager ready to serve an average of 1 table per hour. Awful – which had anxious me worrying in the back of my mind about the economic crash that I feel is on its way and whether I should even be out in restaurants spending money or saving my pounds.

Overall my experience was really good. Instead of touching a menu we scanned the menu via our phones and it loaded up. Things have definitely advanced around London. There is technology involved all around now, way more than pre-Covid. Although, there is plenty of space for improvement.

The Different areas of London

Around the Soho, Leicester Square area, where I am right now there is definitely way more people around. I feel however right now I feel safer to be out than when everyone else will be going back to normal. I may be more anxious then than now.

Life feels like a bit like a move right now. It feels so weird that London has changed so much over the last 4 months. Like a revolution. Social Distancing signs everywhere, people wearing masks, people being very conscious about germs. The working world has changed permanently.

There is a long way to go and I can’t quite predict what’s next. I did feel safe overall being back in the city. I wish though there was a way to avoid the tube.

If you are at home right now and worrying about coming here I feel you. I just really needed a sense of ‘normal’ for my wellbeing and going out for a meal and being back in a coffee shop was the closest thing to normal to me and I feel better already.

I hope this post has given you guys some more insight into what it’s like.

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