Saturday, May 30, 2020

Public Transport

Blog posts for the past two weeks having had as their subject matter, what turned out to be pleasurable and permitted, walking and cycling excursions during the Covid-19 lock down, this week almost accidentally,  the excursion was partly on public transport, hence this blog post's title.

Mrs maytrees and I had decided to walk to Morden Hall Park at which in less restricted times, I had spent an enjoyable couple of hours  see for example:

Antiques Roadshow

The  3/4 hour walk to Morden Hall Park is along flat terrain and is usually easy. However as  the morning of the day of our intended walk was windy with threats of thunder mrs maytrees decided to wait for another day. The wind meant that umbrellas would be pointless so I ventured out alone without one.

The walk to Morden Hall was refreshing but not a little damp. Sadly entry to the wooden planked way over the wetlands was barred presumably because its three feet or so span is too narrow for  Covid -19 social distancing arrangements. However most of the parkland at Morden Hall was open although not the tea shops or plant nursery possibly because the National Trust which runs Morden Hall, had not yet decided how best they should open although  plant nurseries are permitted to operate.

Even Richmond Park has managed to open its attractive cafe next to Pembroke Lodge to those who wish to eat and drink outside. On the other hand cycling in Morden Hall Park is permitted but not in Richmond Park until next week, when limited cycling will be permitted once more. What times we live in.

After walking  for a  while through Morden Hall Park in the wind and rain, I became slightly disorientated directions-wise but eventually arrived at Phipps Bridge tram stop and decided to see if it would be possible to take  a tram back to Wimbledon. There were signs at the tram stop from the Mayor of London (not my favourite politician) requesting passengers to wear face masks, which of course I had not brought with me.

A tram arrived within a couple of minutes and thankfully only one of the ten or so people in the tram carriage was wearing a face mask so that proved no problem.

Upon the tram arriving at Wimbledon Station platform 10, tram passengers quickly left but it was sad to see the other 9 platforms at the station empty of people. Equally sad was the sight of trains stopping at or passing through, the station, empty of passengers.

I wonder whether Sweden has it right as regards not imposing lock downs etc on its people? Currently Sweden has more deaths from Covid -19 per head of the population than its neighbouring countries. However the neighbouring countries may find that upon lifting  their downs, the number of Covid -19 cases begins to increase once again.

Maybe it will be found that Covid-19 like the common cold will affect people come what may and that no vaccines will be capable of being made, to create immunity. If so, lock downs will prove to have been vastly expensive with sadly little benefit whereas in addition to the employment saved and personal suffering for many avoided, ending the lock down entirely could have brought on a herd immunity far sooner. 

Arguably, the NHS in the UK could not have coped with large numbers of sufferers in February but given that huge but hardly used Nightingale hospitals were constructed in March,  ending the lock down then if not now, may in the long run, have saved or  save more lives than its continuance  now might do; not to mention vast and ongoing, government spending and personal financial deprivation for many people, caused by the ongoing lock down.

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