Londonist In Your Living Room 20 March 2020: Bringing You The Best Of London

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In place of our daily event listings, we're compiling the latest coronavirus news, views and resources for Londoners — as well as things you can do, and the ways you can enjoy this great city — without the usual access you have to it.

We also want to flag up all the positive ways that Londoners are finding to deal with the crisis, from good deeds to witty photographs. Please email with any contributions.

Ideas to help, and reasons to be cheerful

  • Bright idea: if you're now working from home, and lucky enough to have a secure income or sufficient savings, consider donating your usual commuter fare to a different charity each day.
  • Donations: The National Emergencies Trust has launched an appeal to help organisations and local charities who do the most to assist those in need.
  • Supermarkets: Waitrose is the latest supermarket to introduce a scheme whereby the first hour of opening is for the elderly, vulnerable or those who care for them. The organisation has also announced a £1 million community support fund to assist those who live in the areas close to stores.
  • Bright idea: Supermarkets continue to be stressful places to shop, with long queues, empty shelves, tempers fraying and the impossibility of keeping more than two metres from your fellow shoppers. Try the small shops on the high street instead. We've found many to be well stocked in tins, milk and even toilet roll, while the bunless-bunfight continues unabated in the larger stores.
  • Culture: How to experience London's museums in a virtual way.
  • Books: How to support local bookshops via book delivery.
  • Volunteers: Cody Dock, near Canning Town, is looking for volunteers to help the local community.
  • Free drinks: Bakers PAUL are offering free coffee and tea to NHS workers, along with 2-for-1 offers on loaves for the rest of us.

Latest London coronavirus news

Coronavirus roundel
  • Train services across Britain to be scaled back from Monday. Some routes may be temporarily nationalised, along with airlines and bus services.
  • Feeding Britain charity is working to ensure that children who received free school meals will continue to do so, perhaps by delivery. In Tower Hamlets, more than a third of school children are eligible for free meals. QOOT restaurant group is doing something similar from its outlets, which include By Chloe, Lebanese Bakery and The Gentleman Baristas (no link, but check with your local branch).
  • The Changing of the Guard has been suspended until further notice.
  • Despicable scam alert: watch out for fraudsters posing as door-to-door coronavirus testers.
  • Transport for London will provide 100% rent relief to all small traders operating from its premises.
  • M&S has introduced specific opening times for NHS and other key workers.

And in other news

  • We're all set for a very sunny weekend. Great news if you have a garden or can go to a park; perhaps not so thrilling if you're self-isolating in a flat.
  • Fatal stabbing in East Ham.
  • Diamond Geezer follows in our virtual footsteps and actually takes a trip to Corona Road.
  • We've seen a few of these 'commuting in the time of corona' tube maps. This one's the best:
View this post on Instagram

How commuting should look like these days. I know not everyone can work from home though... #staysafe #stayhome

A post shared by Kera Till (@keratill) on

Fact of the day

Waitrose, mentioned above, began life in Acton in 1904. The first store was set up by a Mr Waite, a Mr Rose and a Mr Taylor. The latter only lasted a couple of years, and left shortly before the remaining founders rebranded as Waitrose Ltd in 1908.