I worry about the buskers.
The singers, dancers, street artists and performers.
Winter is never the best time for outside activities.
Covid led to the shutdown and a move to a cashless society.
I have, like I imagine most readers, given money to buskers from time to time, occasionally people who aren’t doing anything, just holding a cup. I don’t know the correct term, most people know them as beggars although this is tricky, an area filled with history and cultural connotations; there is a big difference between a street-living child in Mumbai and a drug-addicted man on the streets of Sheffield.
Covid has been cruel to many.
Most to those who have died or have lost family and friends or people living with the long-term consequences of the after-disease, those working in service industries and on zero-hour contracts have also been disproportionately affected. Oh, and of course, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos and friends have been affected, although not in the same way.
I haven’t seen an economic analysis of the pandemic although it is likely to have followed the trends seen in most bad things – the poor get poorer, the rich get richer and the folk in the middle encounter some bumps in the road.
The buskers, the folk who craft cats and dogs out of moistened sand tend to be poor.
People living in poverty in the UK have been killed at a faster rate, have seen their cost of living rise disproportionately and their quality of life diminish more than anyone.
And what about the buskers?
Lockdown then cashlessness means lost opportunity.
I can’t imagine what they have done.
I was in Sheffield City Centre yesterday, dodging the packs of young men on the way to the football, the one busker in town was singing his reggae heart-out on Fargate.
I didn’t stop to ask him whether his takings have fallen-off with people carrying around less spare change, it could be, with the changing times, there is less competition and he is benefiting.
It would be a shame to lose human expression on the streets; it’s bad enough that half the shops have shut or moved to Meadowhall.
Poor old Sheffield.
Lots of students but a shrinking soul.
Who’d have thought a virus could ravage a spirit?