It takes a Disaster to make a positive long term change and force people to adapt

The San Francisco Chronicle is conducting a Survey asking how the Pandemic has changed their lives.  Here is my submission followed by the article.

Lee Heidhues 1.25.2021

The Pandemic has actually produced some positive change in the midst of death and chaos.

The Pandemic has been a boon for personal outdoor recreation in San Francisco. 

A car free Golden Gate Park, Great Highway and the number of streets closed to cars was only an event I could dream about.

In addition, downtown San Francisco is no longer a human bumper to bumper Dystopia.  It is actually possible to breathe the air and not get swallowed up amongst the tangled mass of humanity and the assorted paraphernalia which accompanies it.

After a year it may be a sad truism but I believe it takes a Disaster to make a positive long term change and force people to adapt to new habits.

Market Street 4.6.2020.jpg

San Francisco Chronicle 1.25.2021

Cast your mind back, if you will, to March 17, 2020.

Six Bay Area counties had just issued first-in-the-nation orders to shelter in place, shuttering all but essential businesses and asking residents to stay home for the next three weeks. Shops boarded up, gun sales surged, and downtown San Francisco grew eerily still.

Three weeks came and went, and weeks stretched into months, then nearly a year.

Now, as we approach the anniversary of shelter-in-place, we want to hear from you. How has the past year changed you and your relationships? What have you learned? How is the person you are today different from who you were a year ago?

“We are in a rough place. And we are going to have difficult times ahead of us,” said San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow at a news conference announcing the start of shelter-in-place. “The measures that we are putting in place are temporary. But they will last longer than any of us want.”11 D1 bike ride

We didn’t know then — couldn’t have known and wouldn’t have guessed — that one year later we’d still be in the midst of the pandemic, masking up and staying apart. And we couldn’t have predicted how the past 12 months would change us in ways trivial and profound.

So, tell us your story. How has one year of the pandemic changed you?

• Send your pandemic reflection to with the subject line “One Year,” and we’ll publish a selection of responses.

• We can’t respond to all emails, but your submission will be read and considered.

Great Highway III 11.15.2020