Yesterday I walked down to Hyde Park to meet up with my boss, Karen, for a little picnic. It was just me and her, and briefly her husband, and though we talked some business it was basically just a fun outing. I bought some crackers and cheese and olives and hummus, and she brought a six-pack -- Corona, of course -- and we sat on a blanket near the Albert Memorial, one of my favorite spots in the city.
The walk down there and back again, while not exactly effortless, wasn't too arduous. The weather was perfect, for one thing. I think I walked about ten miles or so. Sadly, I had to leave Olga at home -- she loves Hyde Park, but since I'm staying off public transportation right now, the walk would have been too far for her.
Karen and I first met on the steps of the memorial. I got there a few minutes before she did, and as I sat waiting I lay back on the pavement and took a picture of the view behind me. Upside-down Albert!
The park was pretty busy in places, as you can see from this photo of the bridge over the Serpentine. I was amused at the heron hanging out on the ledge. I guess that's a good vantage point for fishing. Of course nobody was social distancing but I think I was mostly successful in giving people a wide berth -- except when the family of six walked toward me on the sidewalk on Edgware Road, all abreast and literally blocking the entire pavement. I just held my breath and brushed past as well as I could. People!
My boss and I talked a lot about school opening. Right now, as I think I've mentioned, the plan is for all students to return to campus every day, and although we're employing social distancing in classrooms and mask-wearing during arrival, departure and class changes, I think all of us have a lot of questions about how this is going to work. That's a lot of people to have in the building every single day. It seems inevitable that someone's going to come down with coronavirus, and then we'll be in a mad scramble of notification and quarantining, and at what point would we have to shut down again? With the UK's numbers creeping back up, I suspect the plan may require modification -- fewer numbers of kids, staggered schedules or something.
We also talked about the library -- how to handle books and checkouts, sanitizing all the computer chargers each time they're returned, how to manage newspapers and magazines, that kind of thing. I think we're simply going to stop getting daily papers, and while we may maintain the magazine rack for now, we may also try to move more of those subscriptions online. I don't think people are going to want to handle paper periodicals.
Also, I've learned that the school has built two new offices right next to my desk, for a couple of administrators, and our copier and some other pieces of office equipment are now "homeless." So that's going to require reconfiguring the space a bit.
So much to think about!