It’s been incredibly quiet in town today. For those that need to shop and pick up prescriptions, there has been a significant shift in behaviour. People queue in quiet respect at a social distance. What a change from the crowded aisles and cramming together we saw at the weekend.
In a crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes, Ludlow is pulling together. Stitching together stronger community support. Building more respect for each other. Who knows what will happen in the coming weeks? But I am confident that Ludlow will come out of this as an even stronger community.
I was out delivering items someone needed and thinking of picking up a prescription. It was beautiful day. But the walk to town was a walk into a different Ludlow. People were still friendly but from a distance. We stepped out into the road rather than walk close to each other. There was no danger as the traffic in town was no busier than a Christmas Day morning.
But it was very different from a Christmas Day. As I ascended Lower Galdeford I saw people standing around Tower Street. Respectfully. Socially distanced. Taking part in the Great British Tradition of Queuing. For One Stop. For Lloyds the Chemist. The queue for Boots where I was heading stretched to The Feathers. At Tesco, the queue stretched back to Marstons Mill. It was a bit shorter at Aldi.
What a change from last weekend. The herds of panic buyers we witnessed then. People pushing piled high trolleys along supermarket aisles. Cramming into the queues at the checkout. At times, it was the very opposite of social distancing.
Now the message has been driven home. Entrance to stores is strictly controlled. Count them in. Count them out. Polite socially distanced queues.
An air of polite respect has displaced “my needs first.”
Our town has always been good at respect and sharing. It has always understood consideration and cooperation. In the last three days, we have witnessed Ludlow pull together those strengths to fight the most challenging crisis of our lifetime.