I’d posted this information in a separate topic that was started in General Europe by BigMikeWestByGodVirginia (almost Heaven) - about a toilet paper confrontation at a Wal-Mart, but thought it appropriate to re-post here. The virus response has changed a lot since we flew to London on March 6, and then returned (with a strange flight and lots of rescheduling machinations) on March 18. We’re now on a self-imposed 14 day quarantine, longer than our trip! Anyway, we’ve returned from that 12-day London trip, our longest trip devoted specifically to that wonderful place. Some observations:
Saw people on the street, and at Heathrow Airport on departure, wearing medical masks, covering their mouth but not their nose. Why a mask, then?
Second full day, Sunday, March 8, was the final day of a special “Troy” exhibition at the British Museum. Fabulous artifacts and displays, almost all from the Museum’s own collection, but it was absolutely packed with people. No distancing, as none was being suggested, and it was tough to get close to many objects, or to read the single, tiny descriptive cards at many displays. Aggravating crowd, of which we were a part!
But on later days at other institutions, the crowd had thinned to almost no one - an exceptional Hockney show at the National Portrait Gallery, an enormous Picasso show at the Royal Academy of Arts, and a Titian show (7 incredible paintings, tiny attendance) at the National Gallery. As our vacation continued, it was just a few people and all the art - wonderful and sad at the same time. And now, museums have closed for the time being.
And John Soane’s museum - no queue to get in, very few people inside, but it was still a confusing maze inside even without being packed with a maximum admittance. The Tube was another matter . . . a virtually confrontational rugby scrum ordeal, especially during rush hour, until the last couple of days. The morning we left London, things were thinning considerably. Rebecca, the marvelous woman who worked breakfast at our B&B, said that day was the first time she’d gotten a seat on the morning Bakerloo Line in months! Again, wonderful and sad at the same time.
Hope to return, under better circumstances. Hope everyone’s well, or getting well. Best wishes to all.