One thing I definitely will remember about this strange period is seeing so many people out walking in the neighborhood and in the parks. It seems counter intuitive that “social distancing” and “sheltering in place” would result in so many people about in public spaces. With many people at home and few options for other things, it seems everyone wants to get outside. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that it’s springtime.
Streets with so many people on them must be what our neighborhood was like before the late 20th century hit us with 24/7 work schedules and consumption options. With those schedules disrupted—restaurants and stores closed and folks working at home—there isn’t much to do but be with family or in the neighborhood with others. It has really struck me the extent to which this sudden life together on the streets emerges when spaces of consumption aren’t available. Despite the concern with physical distance the social space feels warm and connected.
Everyone seems to be saying hello to strangers—admittedly from a distance.