April 14th, 2021

The New Normal, Much Like The Old Normal, Only Quieter

Yesterday was the second day since the government allowed non-essential shops to open- and the first that we were free to go see what the high street looks like as it emerges from lockdown.

We were in Paddock Wood- small town, no chain stores, so perhaps untypical- and I was expecting two things: firstly that a lot of businesses would have disappeared and secondly that the place would be full of eager shoppers. Neither was the case. One fast food joint had closed, everything else was as it had been- and trading was quiet. I went into the Post Office, where I would normally expect to queue and both counters were free.

We had stuff we'd been collecting to take to our favourite charity shop. I thought they'd have been snowed under. Again, nothing of the sort. The grizzled old guy who presides over the garage where they receive contributions was wandering around at a loose end. "Word hasn't got out yet," he said.

People were masking in shops- as the law requires. On the streets not so much.