This week was not one for a lot of progress on my 20 things. The only thing I did was reading (thing 14). I finished The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman, which is the second in his Book of Dust series that follows on from the His Dark Materials trilogy. Books, and a world, that I love and I can’t wait for the final installment.
I spent some time watching Photoshop videos but they weren’t from the course I actually am intending to complete (thing 7). Not to worry, they were useful and I learned a lot of tips.
I had a couple of nice days off for easter and then it was back to work: two days at home and one in the office. This year, I cut back on my bus travel a bit when I started riding my bike to work (thing 10) but the weather wasn’t so good on Thursday so I caught the bus. Here’s what I wrote afterwards.
This is a bus that I catch when I miss the earlier one that I prefer. It’s often a bit late and is always crowded and noisy, especially with the school girls singing up the back.
Since we’ve been required to stay at home, it’s been nothing like that.
First, they made bus travel free to give people time to get a greencard so they could pay their fares without cash. They cordoned off the front-most seats of the bus so no one could sit close to the driver.
Then they extended the free travel and made everyone get on the bus through the back door (to the delight of schoolboy humourists everywhere). The whole front section of the bus is out of bounds now.
These days, the buses are practically empty. They’re quiet and no one’s talking, let alone singing. The people who do get on sit as far away from the other passengers as they can get. The buses are early now, something I have only very rarely had to deal with on this route and am still not used to. Fortunately, the drivers are pretty good when it comes to spotting people who haven’t quite made it to the stop on time.
Before, when the buses were usually running late, they’d only stop at the “does not depart before” stop if someone was waiting, but now there’s no one waiting and they sit there for what seems like ages, often with the bus going the other way sitting at the stop on the other side of the road.
I took this photo out of the window from the back seat of an almost deserted bus waiting at the bus stop to remind myself was bus travel was like in April 2020.
I think it’s important to document my experience of this pandemic in the small ways like this, where something that is a very minor part of my day has changed so dramatically. What’s happening is something none of us have ever seen or lived through before and hopefully never will again. My experience will be different to anyone else’s experience, for a whole range of reasons: my life is different to anyone else’s, my circumstances, my personality, my job, my responsibilities and the effect this is having on people around me are all different, to name just a few. What I document will be different to what anyone else documents because I will live through this from my own perspective and my own filters, and the things I notice will be different to the things other people notice.
While I’d prefer the world not to be shut down because of a global pandemic and I’d rather people weren’t getting sick and dying and that my friends weren’t out of work, there is nothing I can do about it. It is the world I’m living in right now. All I can do is observe, document what I see, treasure the fact that I am alive and well, and stay healthy, stay connected to the people close to me and stay at home.
Summary for the week
Things completed this week: 0
Things completed to date: 8 (1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 16, 18)
Things I progressed: 1 (14)
Things in progress I didn’t progress: 7 (3, 7, 8, 11, 13, 17, 22)