The traffic is back and so am I

How are you going?

I think this question (or the standard, less Australian “how are you?”) has been asked more frequently and more sincerely in the last four months than ever before.

(Where did four months go? I think this article has the answer.)

When asked by colleagues and clients at the start of video calls, my response is some version of “can’t complain, really”. Because I can’t. As two adults with employment that seems about as secure as anything is these days, living in a house, with a (tiny) garden and no kids, I’m aware that we are in such a position of privilege.

Far from being an equaliser, the pandemic has thrown into stark contrast some of the inequalities that exist in the world.

Just like climate change, on both a local and global scale, the impacts of coronavirus are and will be more devastating for more deprived communities. The impacts reflect and exacerbate racial inequality. I know homeschooling has been tough for some of my frazzled colleagues, this article highlights how this is disproportionately affecting many mothers. In Melbourne over the weekend, some public housing residents have been put into a lockdown much stricter than everyone else in their suburbs, not able to leave home for any reason at all.

None of this is fair.

And it is my biggest worry as lockdowns ease. Because as much as I want to hug my friends and go dancing and stay out of my house longer than three hours (that seems to be about the limit of my bladder), I know that I’m not the one that will suffer the most if the impacts of the pandemic are more severe and drawn out than they need to be.

The thoughts that inspired the post title:

  • Has anyone else been completely baffled by the traffic that has slowly crept back over the last couple of months?! Some roads in Roath this week have been as busy as I’ve ever seen them, even though in Wales (until tomorrow!) we aren’t supposed to go more than 5 miles from our homes. Most people can easily ride a bicycle that far, and were certainly doing so at the start of lockdown when the roads were nice and quiet. Here’s hoping Cardiff Council’s plans to shut some roads around the city and increase areas for pedestrians might be a longer-term behavioural nudge.
  • It remains to be seen how long my enthusiasm for posting might last. It will be the latest in a long list of hobbies (running, yoga, colouring, watercolours, knitting, gardening, bike rides, jigsaw puzzles, imagining the future, reminiscing about the past, reading, virtual quizzes, virtual boardgames, walks in the park, picnics in the park, sitting two metres away from friends in the park, very amateur photography – hence the artsy picture in this post) for which my enthusiasm has waxed and waned during lockdown.

But I have a little list of post ideas bobbing about in the back on my mind, so maybe it won’t be so long until the next post.

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