Masks Off

Most of the lockdown decorations have disappeared now – our nearest big Post Office has erased the socially distanced positions for queuing customers, though they were being ignored for a long time in advance. I should say mask-wearing is now down to no more than 5% on any Tube or buses I use, and not much bothered with indoors in shops or other places. Some notices and information posters survive in places. At Wets Norwood railway station only one trace remains, looking as if it was simply overlooked in the great purge:

One sign of a return to normality: I can now see wedding couples getting photographed against the backdrop of Tower Bridge again:

On the Bridge itself, some messaging will persist and be worn into the surface along with all the other plaques and heritage details attached to it:

The anti-lockdown movement nevertheless continues, and can be seen distributing their papers and leaflets in Crystal Palace at weekends. Their stickers are still appearing on bus stops, although the one in the banner above has now been scratched away.

I went to get another booster jab, so I’m now up to 5 vaccine doses. I had a letter at the end of March, much like the one in December, advising me to get a booster. Now I read it again I can see it’s not actually saying another jab, just that they “strongly recommend” I get a jab if I haven’t had one already. Oh well, I booked a spot and went along to get one anyway at a pharmacy in Streatham this morning. It was noted as unusual to get a 5th jab, but there was another person there getting his 4th. I thought we were now in a 3 month cycle of doses, as booster effectiveness falls after 90 days. If I get another letter in August with the same wording I’ll check whether a 6th dose is strictly necessary. The services may not even be available anymore anyway.

I went in to central London. There was a big event in Trafalgar Square:

I got a train back from Victoria, as it was leaving they had an announcement for “Inspector Sands”, which is understood to be the coded staff message that a fire has been located. I’ve heard that in big Tube stations at different times as well. I’m not sure how effective it can be if everyone knows what it means; it suppose it achieves its effect of preventing panic amongst tourists and other outsiders who might cause trouble if the problem is bigger or takes longer to deal with than normal. The secret code that nearly everyone knows, and they go along with pretending not to.

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