Get ready to stand in line for a long time once lockdown ends

We have queued for the mundane on our weekly grocery store trips or to pick up money from an ATM. Other lines, like those hemorrhaging out of shelters or soup kitchens, feel ripped from a century-old Jacob Riis photograph. One woman reported sitting in her car for 18 hours at a drive-thru food bank in San Antonio, Texas.

James Winans is the interim CEO & chief development officer at the Bowery Mission, a New York homeless shelter that has operated since the 1870s. Winans estimates that interest in daily free meals has doubled during this crisis; the food line now stretches down the street and around the block…

Especially in congested cities like New York, it’s not hard to imagine a near-future where queues stretch out of multiple businesses on the same block. Many owners pledge they will keep their lines socially-distanced with guests waiting six feet apart. Bar bouncers could turn into ad hoc queue deputies. But how will that take up curb space? What about pedestrians?