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A year without a commute for many in the Philadelphia region - The Philadelphia Inquirer


There’s been so much nostalgia for things lost in 2020, a year filled with enough pain and heartache to fill a few lifetimes.


To ease the agony, there’s yearning for the simple things: the small talk we once rolled our eyes over, the smell of last night’s dinner lingering in a friend’s house, the pre-rehearsed hoots and hollers for an encore performance already planned.


Some of those privileged enough to be able to telecommute during the COVID-19 pandemic miss treasured parts of their old ways of getting to work: sunrises over the Delaware River, bike rides with a backdrop of Philadelphia’s skyline, or designated time with a favorite podcast or audiobook. Essential workers, of course, have not had the option to get sentimental.


“It was my chance to see how the city truly breathes during the morning,” William Clark, 25, said of his mile-long walk to his job in Center City. That half-hour was his “source of solitude,” he said.


Others are relishing their extra time. They’re learning languages, saving money, finding more opportunities to exercise, read, and cook, and are improving relationships with partners, children, and roommates. One reader told The Inquirer he lost 40 pounds by turning his nearly hour-long commute into workout time. Another got rid of his car — “doesn’t make sense to pay for insurance on something that’s collecting dust,” he said.



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