A year into the pandemic, how London has changed
LONDON, ONT. -- It’s been a year of concerns and adjustments for everyone from business owners and students, to working parents.
The streets in London remain much quieter than a year ago, when the global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization; with many walking those streets wearing masks.
It is just one of many signs illustrating the way the pandemic continues to shape our lives.
Some of the most jarring images from the early stages of the pandemic were of businesses being boarded up, including Prince Albert's Diner, the popular eatery on Richmond Row.
"You know, when you see your place boarded up, it's kind of gut-wrenching,” says diner owner Bill Spigos.
The boards went up on his building on April 11, 2020, exactly one month after the worldwide pandemic was declared, and shortly after the first lockdown was put in place.
Spigos says his life has been constant change and constant concern since that time.
"The old-school days of just opening your door, it's gone. You actually have to prep stuff. You have to know where to go, whether it be to Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes…or what you have to do in transition to make things more packageable.”
And for those trying to continue their education there have been challenges. Sydney Dobson is a Music Education student at Western University, “Especially learning music, it's a lot harder not being around everybody and being able to play together."
Sydney Dobson, a Music Education Student at Western University in London, Ont. is seen Thursday, March 11, 2021. (Gerry Dewan / CTV News)
She is also faced with trying to study while having limited close contact with friends and family back home, in Orillia.
"I've only been home twice, for Christmas break and the reading week. I went and got a COVID test both times and didn't go anywhere, just to keep my family safe."
Still many are finding ways to cope. Allie Tymoczko was out with her daughter and their friends at Gibbons Park Thursday afternoon. She has two young children; five and three.
She and her husband were already running businesses from home when the pandemic started, but there were adjustments to make, “We had to adapt and become more flexible with how we approached our life, and parenting our kids, and our businesses."
Tymoczko says her home businesses has actually grown through the pandemic - an unexpected turn of events.
Most realize there are more challenges ahead. Spigos says the cost of running his business continues to climb due to pandemic pricing from suppliers. He says that means there will need to be more adjustments.