I was commuting yesterday and, because circumstances requires, am today too.
Some of the things that I felt were really noticeable:
It’s quiet. Where the Tube in London would usually be crammed there is so much space that pretty much everyone gets a seat. There was no traffic. The pavements were empty and people kept their heads down. The cycle racks were unoccupied.
It’s male. 98% male. Lots of men carrying building equipment and no children.
The adverts on the tube platforms are all TfL and London City Hall sponsored. No-one is wanting a holiday, business insurance, or any of the other things you’d see on big posters on the Tube.
It’s tiring. I’d forgotten just how long it takes to get somewhere, even with no crowds. I’d also forgotten how far I used to walk in a day. 10k steps was typical; yesterday it was hard work.
Everywhere was closed. The shops, the cafés, the pubs, the restaurants. It felt like a Sunday morning
I didn’t like it. I was up really early – before 6 – to get to the centre of town by 7.30. The day was long and then I had a Tube journey and walk home. It’s going to be really tough for organisations to convince people to come back to a place to work in the future.
Things are going to be very different for a very long time.