We explore more similarities and differences between the coronavirus of 2020 and the plague of 17th century London. City lockdown, silence and noise in the streets, wild rumours and pandemic inequality.
Death on the streets, London plague 1665-1666
A city in lockdown is an unnatural place. Its vitality is mothballed. Its spirit is shrouded with white dust sheets. Glasgow is silent. Not just is silent, feels silent. Of course it will be back but cities are strange places at the moment. Is there anything more bizarre or ironic these days than those hoardings advertising their shiny consumerist worlds? An empty bus lumbers to the point of expiry up the road, carrying an advert for a film that is no longer showing anywhere. Remember cinemas? The glazers have moved in and boarded up bars and restaurants. Remember bars? You presume the insurance brokers are demanding that. Are they anticipating social disorder?
The city centre is empty. A homeless man begs from a space once filled with bustling crowds. His company is a gathering of pigeons looking worried, asking where are the humans to drop their crumbs for their food?