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London 'unrecognisable' in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 3/04/2020 02:10:00 Sophie Walsh

Members of Britain's Metropolitan Police force ride their horses along an empty Mall road outside Buckingham Palace in London on April 2, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would "massively increase testing" amid a growing wave of criticism on Thursday about his government's failure to provide widespread coronavirus screening. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images) Members of Britain's Metropolitan Police force ride their horses along an empty Mall road outside Buckingham Palace in London on April 2, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would "massively increase testing" amid a growing wave of criticism on Thursday about his government's failure to provide widespread coronavirus screening. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images) London: What happens if someone dies and I can't get home for the funeral? It was a morbid and perhaps paranoid thought, but one that crosses your mind when you're a correspondent living 17,000km from your partner and family and the world is shutting down.

As countries started closing their borders and airlines began grounding their fleets it became clear life as we know it will never be the same again.

On Tuesday I woke up to an unrecognisable London as the UK government's heavy-handed lockdown came into force.

Pictures Before and after photos show impact of coronavirus on tourism

https://twitter.com/sophie_walsh9/status/1244300938728345604?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The streets are now deserted, people stand two metres apart in military-style queues outside supermarkets, waiting for their turn to shop.

There are strict limits on how many are allowed inside to stop the spread of the disease. There are also stringent rules on who we can see and how long we can spend outside.

Exercise is permitted once a day with no more than two people and we must remain two metres apart. 

The overarching order is to stay home but essential workers like doctors, nurses and those in the emergency services are exempt.

The media is too. Because the virus might be invisible, but we provide a lens for the world to see the full scale of this crisis.  

https://twitter.com/10DowningStreet/status/1245460772559491072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The heartbreaking images of elderly patients gasping for breath inside Italy's hardest-hit hospital are distressing and difficult to watch. But without those pictures, a vast majority of us would sit and do nothing.

For some, the only way the message will sink in is to imagine it's their parent or grandparent in that hospital bed, slowly suffocating as the disease destroys their lungs.

Each day as we've headed out onto the street to inform viewers of the latest developments from Europe, I've noticed fewer and fewer people around.

Whether I'm reporting from an abandoned Trafalgar Square or beneath an empty London Eye, it's heartening to see how many are now heeding the advice. London has a population of around nine million and aside from a few "Covidiots", most are staying home.

https://twitter.com/sophie_walsh9/status/1245342874272661504?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

I guess we are all more willing to take directions when it becomes a battle of life or death.

As reporters and cameramen, we've also changed the way we operate to keep ourselves and those around us safe.

We are limiting the time we spend outside and have started taking separate cars to jobs. When we are in studio everything is wiped down and disinfected afterwards, from the microphone to the earpieces to the camera and light switches.

Our team meetings are also now held via video conference. A lot of the time we're not even talking shop, it's just nice to feel connected when there is so much uncertainty in the world. 

I've always taken my work seriously, but never more than now. And until we get ahead of this silent killer, I'll continue to do my job.


3. huhtikuuta 2020 5:10:00 Categories: 9News.com.au Newshub

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