Signs of Life

A short photo essay on the easing of lock-down and the (quasi) return to normal life, albeit somewhat cautiously.

These images were shot on a short and cautious trip to Italy, with some hiking in the mountains both in Italy and neighbouring Switzerland. It is clear that the COVID19 situation is going to persist for some time to come, not least because there is still widespread confusion and/or refusal to take simple preventative measures against infection. Surprisingly, the flights and public transport were perhaps the lowest risk in the trip, given that the aircraft and trains were largely empty. More worrying is a gradual relaxation in peoples’ attitudes to mask wearing and social distancing, where a particularly problem is that “known friends” are seen as safe and no precautions are taken. It is easy to see how that overlapping social circles bypass the now instinctive protections that are automatically adopted against strangers. In the absence of a viable vaccine, a repeat of the earlier stringent lockdowns seems likely, particularly as lock-down fatigue coincides with Europe entering the colder and darker months of the autumn and winter. Until then, photography is at least (partially) viable again.

All images shot on digital this time, as the COVID travel restrictions on hand-luggage pretty much make carrying film and equipment difficult.

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