The Covid diaries: Day 45 - I Ventured Into the City

The Covid diaries: Day 45 - I Ventured Into the City

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Dónall Breen - 20 May

As I ventured down Cheapside* [*one of the main streets in the financial/legal heart of London], a hoard of City traders in tattered clothes gathered around a closed pub scratching at the window. A smartly dressed lady queued outside a boarded-up Pret, muttering to herself that they will open soon. A cycle courier raced up and down the street, desperately trying to find any red light he could break.

In an empty Bank junction, a cabbie beeped and shouted at no one in particular. He looked downtrodden, but cheered up when he spotted the cycle courier and took off after him down the street.

OK, it wasn't quite as bad as that, but the City is weird right now.

I needed to drop into the office to collect my bicycle from the bike shed and decided to jog in to avoid public transport. At 8am on a Wednesday morning the pavements were empty, the streets were quiet and the offices were closed.

I hadn't been into the City since this started, and to experience one of the busiest places on the planet looking like this - midweek - is an image I will never forget. It was a real 'Statue of Liberty in the sand at the end of Planet of the Apes' moment. Spoiler alert by the way.

Part of it is perception. The City is that quiet on a summer Sunday and no one bats an eyelid. However, to think it has been like that for weeks is eerie.

To be honest, I was glad I experienced it and it will be a story for the kids. But, like everyone else, I miss the hustle and bustle. The beating heart of London. The packed pubs, the wait for overpriced sandwiches and the never-ending battle between cabbie and courier.

Who would have thought I would miss those things the most?

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.