London, another victim of the pandemic

By Viviana García

London, Nov 5 (efe-epa).- London is not the same. The lockdown that came into effect Thursday bereft the capital of its usual energy — streets are deserted, shops are closed and its double-decker buses trundle passenger-less through the city.

A lockdown has been imposed on England until at least 2 December in a bid to put the brakes on a second wave of Covid-19, which threatens to be just as virulent as the first and could destroy the livelihood of millions.

There was a small flurry of activity in the UK capital this morning as parents rushed their children to schools — which will remain open in the lockdown — but the city soon gave in to an unnatural silence. Only those offering essential services and construction workers carried on as normal.


The London of today is far removed from that described by 18th-century poet Samuel Johnson, who said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.”

The pandemic and the lockdown it entailed have smothered all kinds of activities on offer in the vibrant city, with its famous museums and galleries, its pubs, restaurants and shops ordered to shutter up.

There is hardly any traffic, and the buses are all but empty.

Leni, a driver of one of London’s iconic red buses — number 134, which leaves from the central Piccadilly area — told Efe: “Everything is quiet (…) we only have ten passengers today.”

Before continuing with his shift, Leni added that he felt safe at work because his cabin has been sealed off. He lamented, however, that two of his colleagues had died from Covid-19.

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