Washington DC, “the Nation’s Capital”, has a melancholy air this election month. Not because “the swamp” has been under relentless attack from President Trump for the past four years, the District is used to shrugging off such attacks. These days it is almost compulsory for candidates to run against Washington, even those, like Joe Biden who have spent many decades here. Though to be fair the former Vice President and Democratic Senator for Delaware doesn’t make a meal of it, mildly promising only to work for all Americans.The malaise is down to two things: the Covid Outbreak and the fear of ugliness on the streets. The white-collar bureaucrats who make up much of the population are taking the fear of contagion very seriously. There is no national lockdown, but many shops, restaurants and cafes are closed indefinitely any way, not least because the most office workers are no longer coming in to work. Mask-wearing is more prevalent than on the streets of London. There are no out-of-town tourists. Remaining visitors to the magnificent free Smithsonian museums are by appointment only. The friends I’ve looked up have only been willing to meet up outside on their porches. They may be being over cautious. DC has a population of only 705,000 and some of the lowest levels of Covid in the US, currently averaging 0.4 deaths and 89.7 new cases per day.