The Line, Improved

In 2008 when I was still travelling by bus to Richmond each day for work, I wrote a piece about how queuing seemed to be a lost art in North America:

“The queue is the physical embodiment of that civilized leveling principle — first come, first served. An orderly queue is not something one should mess with. In North America generally and Canada in particular, the orderly queue is a rare event, saved mainly for those lining up days in advance to buy concert tickets or an attractive condo. Even then, I suspect, orderliness and decorum is better at the front of the line than closer to the back.

But that seems to have changed completely with the pandemic. When I was on the Drive today, there were queues outside and inside several stores and restaurants, and they all seemed both orderly and good-natured. I stood in line outside the Post Office for maybe fifteen minutes and chatted with several others doing the same. No one seemed bothered by the wait or the “inconvenience”. And no one tried to push their way ahead of others.

If nothing else comes from this year of the plague, perhaps this sense of friendly courtesy will carry n and make all of our lives just a little better.

One Response to The Line, Improved

  1. All well and good. However people never seem to stay 6 feet away. Also those demarkation lines we have become so familiar with are highly suspicious, I swear most of them are 5 feet apart and none of them take into account that each body takes up about a foot, so in all probability you are only about four feet from the next person. I carry a cane mainly for this purpose, which is under 3 feet and my arm is about 3 feet, I often test my theory out by stretching the cane and my arm out forwards and backwards, people ALWAYS have to step back about 2 feet (if they don’t want to get poked by the ornery old lady). It makes my day! However, I agree that I have never had anyone refuse to step back.

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