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Grounded! What did a year without flying do to the world?

Normally, planes are in constant motion, pinballing between continents. But in March 2020 all that came to a halt. What did it mean for our jobs, our horizons – and the planet? On 14 March 2020, I left my home in the Orkney Islands to drive to Edinburgh international airport. I was due to travel to Germany for a research trip. Full of nervous anticipation, and making frantic last-minute preparations, I hadn’t paid as much attention to the coronavirus crisis as I might have, but events were developing so quickly across Europe, it was dawning on me that international travel might not be an option for much longer. By 5am, as I boarded the ferry, the radio bulletins seemed apocalyptic. On board, passengers sat separately, in their own private islands of paranoia. I wore a mask over my nose and mouth, and cleaned my armrests with a baby wipe soaked in Dettol. In the toilets, the ship pitching beneath my feet, I scrubbed my hands for 60 seconds and examined my own reflection. Grey, I thought. Anxious. Continue reading...
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