2020, Personal, Society

Diary of the Pandemic Year: It’s Oh So Quiet

Time has lost all meaning.

Weekdays feel like weekends and weekends feel like weekdays. The only thing that lets me figure it out is consciously thinking about it. I have a weekday work schedule, which helps too. But I still have to think to myself “This is a weekday” in order to start it.

So the reason there is no “Day X” in the title is because I have no idea how many days it’s been and I don’t really care. It’s been two months. That’s about all I can be bothered to figure out.

We’re opening up. Very gradually, which is how it should be.

A few things opened up on Monday.

Tomorrow we will learn about more gradual openings.

So things will be getting back to normal sooner rather than later, provided cases/deaths don’t spike.

Some people think there will be a “new normal” that will be more profound than some previous societal transformations.

Having never lived through a massive, permanent societal transformation (that I’m aware of) I’m skeptical.

But that’s not the point of this. The point is how quiet everything has been.

We have a dog. We walk him three times a day. It used to be that I was responsible for afternoon walks and jointly responsible for night walks. (And one morning walk on weekends.)

Things have changed a bit in that regard, but we still walk him together every night.

And one thing we’ve noticed is how unbelievably quiet it is at night.

I live less than one (long) block from College Street, one of the busier streets in downtown Toronto. Event at this time of year it would be busy, especially on weekends.

Instead sometimes we often jaywalk at least one way. There are few cars. And there are few people on most nights.

When we go a different route and avoid College, Bloor, an even busier street normally, isn’t any busier.

A few times we’ve headed up north of Bloor onto some side streets and there are no moving vehicles.

Never in my life have I ever felt like Toronto was a small town until I walked on side streets during the pandemic.

It’s so quiet it could be Marysville, except there are way too many cars and houses. But that’s how quiet it is.

It’s kind of nice. And it will be a really strange thing to go back to the hustle and bustle of such a busy city.

I’ve said many times during this experience that, when it’s over, it will feel like a dream.

And I think the quiet is a major part of that. When things are back to normal, the quiet will feel impossible.

So I just wanted to document its existence: there was once a time when you could walk down a (side) street in downtown Toronto and not see a moving car or a person, and it felt like you were in some village in the country.

Day Who Knows >>>

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