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Published on March 20th, 2020 | by Hansen Bangala

Abandoned city

The Streets are silent, but they talk. Taps lightly at my door, inviting me out. Grab your skateboard, let’s go around.

The Coronavirus outbreak has forced the masses into to self isolation. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned people to be wary and avoid social contact, stay indoors if you can or work from home to stop the virus spreading.

The government has said to stay away from pubs, bars and restaurants, but has held back from shutting them completely. A lockdown would be the most effective way of handling this.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that the Underground and various bus routes will be running a limited service after the number of passengers took a dip in recent days.

At a government press conference earlier in the week It was revealed that the coronavirus outbreak is at its largest in London and is a few weeks ahead of the rest of the UK.

On top of that there are no sports on TV. Not even a week has passed of self quarantine, and finding ways to entertain myself are running empty.

London is not on lockdown – but people are definitely attempting to keep a social distance.

The outbreak is causing people in London to do things they’ve never thought of doing; staying indoors involuntarily, stocking up on food and supplies. No insight on what to do next. Being fed a bunch of theories by Twitter and conspiracy analysts.

The roads however, are so silent and free. I’m a fan of cycling and skating. The feeling in the air may be eerie and apocalyptic, but I’m in heaven when I skate. No traffic, free roads. Sign me up.

Oxford circus, Moorgate, Bank, Buckingham Palace. All these places are void of people. it’s weirdly beautiful, barely any tourists, the ones that are here are masked up, pointing out landmarks. How long they’ll be here for, I don’t know

These places are also spaces that usually banish skating. Naturally when I went there a was greeted by fellow skaters who had the same idea in mind.

I spoke to some young skaters and asked them how the corona outbreak is affecting them and how they plan to see out the foreseeable future.

One told me: “We used to have to be so careful skating on roads now everything is free to use. If they lockdown then its peak, but ’til then I can just skate.”

We’ve seen schools shut, exams cancelled, graduations postponed, streets become silient. No one really knows how this will pan out. Stay vigilant but don’t be afraid. Maybe grab a bike or board and get out and about while you can. It’s beautiful when its quiet.

Skateboarding photo by indrarado via Flickr Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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