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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
Are you stressed after London attacks?
Platform at Kings Cross Tube station
Have you been affected by stress since the London attacks?

Nearly a third of Londoners and almost two thirds of Muslims felt under severe stress following the London bombings, according to the British Medical Journal.

Their research also found that more than 30% of the 1,010 people questioned, were using public transport less frequently.

People who had problems contacting others by mobile phone on 7 July were most likely to have suffered from stress.

Were you affected by stress? Do you feel safe travelling by public transport in London? Did you have difficulties contacting anyone during the London attacks?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of views received:

I live in the North of England, but made an effort to visit London as soon as possible. It turned out my visit was just a couple of days after the attempted bombings, so the atmosphere was certainly unusual. I didn't feel any stress, though, as I assumed my fellow passengers were extremely vigilant, and the police presence was so reassuring. I actually feel a lot more stressed driving down the motorway than travelling on the tube!
Simon, Bowness

I spend 3 1/2 hours on the London transport system each day travelling to and from work. I continue to feel anger towards a group of cowards who do not understand that their attacks on normal people are evil. Other than that, no stress, and certainly not afraid of using the excellent public transport services in London.
Vern, Bucks, UK

Doubtless I'll be called a racist, but why should I chance being blown up for the sake of political correctness?
Peter, Nottingham
Maybe I'm more affected than I realised. I caught a train from Bristol on Saturday. A Muslim wearing white robes and a brand new green rucksack stood next to me and then started muttering prayers. I promptly moved to another carriage as did several other passengers. Doubtless I'll be called a racist, but why should I chance being blown up for the sake of political correctness?
Peter, Nottingham

I think Londoners are always stressed, bombs or no bombs. But people are paying attention to it now, so it seems like there's an upswing. With the Tube being so overcrowded normally, plus the number of times you get caught in the tunnels because something mechanical has gone wrong, it's always stressful in London.
Susan, London, UK

I am extremely stressed by the fact that Tony Blair denied a public inquiry. I am also stressed because no one has explained why only one bus was diverted into Tavistock Square (the only one with a bomb on board) and who actually diverted the bus? Was it someone from the bus company, a policeman, who?
Steve, Harlow, U.K.

I am planning a first time tourist trip to Israel, against advice. I shall not be charging over there without well planned thoughts concerning my safety. A recent trip around London, the buses and the tube, gave me some insight into the fear that I shall have to cast aside. After all, my aim is a holiday in the Holy Land. Not a terrified walk through Hell.
Kerry, Bedford. England

Muslims in general have been the worst hit by these attacks
Ahsan, London
I have definitely been stressed after the attacks. Muslims in general have been the worst hit by these attacks as not only are they one of the targets of the terrorists, but they have also suffered fanatical racist backlash and racial profiling by the police.
Ahsan, London, UK

It's natural for everyone to be tense and cautious after the bombings but the fact is that your more likely to die while crossing the road than in a bomb explosion. Does this mean that we shouldn't cross roads anymore?
Laura, UK

I was in London on 21 July. I have not been back to London since, as I feel uncomfortable with the number of police carrying guns.
Simon John King, Portsmouth, UK

The bomb attacks have changed the life of Londoners once and for all. It will be a long time before any of us forget July of 2005. I would not, however, be surprised if there are further attacks in the UK due to the rise in racial discrimination against Arabs who now feel shunned in their own country.
Anon

I normally travel on business to London once a week but since the bombings have managed to move meetings to out of town. However last week I had to go to London. I used a taxi and I am sorry to say I was so relieved when I stepped off the train at our local station and drove the few miles to relative rural safety.
Eddy Barber, Hampshire, England

I haven't been affected by stress at all. The reduction in passengers has actually helped. People who switch to bikes as a knee jerk reaction to the perceived risks from a tube bomb should maybe compare statistics.
John Crook, London

What makes me feel more stressed than the attacks themselves is the fact that it still appears as though the authorities knew of the attacks before we did. I tried to board a Piccadilly line tube at 8.20 but it was completely closed. I know the Morden Branch of the Northern Line was too. Why was this the case when the first bomb didn't explode until 8.40? I might be more nervous on the tube now, but I'm more nervous that information is being held back.
Victoria, London, UK

It's not just in London
Anna, UK
It's not just in London - I saw what appeared to be an abandoned rucksack on the floor of a large midlands department store. It looked suspicious to me so I reported it to store staff - only to be told it was actually for sale (although it was in the wrong section and had no price tag attached). I felt a bit foolish, but rather that than to just leave it for someone else to worry about.
Anna, UK

As I read some of the comments here I am struck by the fact that we are twice victimised, firstly by the attacks and then by those who try to make us all feel guilty because a few individuals have been involved in racist attacks. If I am frightened and don't want to speak with someone on the tube, I certainly should not be made for feel guilty about it. I suppose it is only natural that people would be wary, cautious and yes, even suspicious after something such as this. I certainly feel that things are being flipped round on us and haven't we enough to deal with as it is.
Emma, London,

Of course there is stress. Those who say it doesn't bother them are only deluding themselves. These kinds of terrorist attacks affect everyone at some level and to deny it is, in my opinion, unhealthy. Better to acknowledge it and move on by doing something positive.
Emily, Watford, UK

The fear of being bombed causes me no stress whatsoever. The fear of being shot by the police is another matter entirely. I use the tube extensively and I can tell you that these people who are supposed to be protecting us give me cause for great concern. In light of recent revelations, my fears are not unfounded.
Anon, London, UK

I think the mayor should be doing more to encourage people to go back into town. We need to accept the fact that, in the short term at least, a section of people will be reluctant to use public transport. For this reason, there should be a suspension of the congestion charge and reduced fares for public transport on the weekends. Many businesses are suffering as a result of these atrocities and the mayor should be addressing this issue more vigorously.
K Friedlander, London, England

I have only just managed to go back to work in Kings Cross
Julie, Middlesex
I was on the train that was bombed at Edgware road, it has effected my life totally, I have only just managed to go back to work in Kings Cross and I still haven't been through Edgware road, I probably never will. I understand all those who are carrying on as normal. But when you have seen, heard and smelt the things that I have, you would think twice.
Julie, Middlesex

I lost a friend in the attack and it tears me up inside. How can such monsters do that to innocent people?
Langdon Algerr, England

I'm frightened after the London attacks, but not because of the threat of any further attacks, but I am frightened of all the suspicious and 'dirty' looks I get as a Muslim commuter. Let's not forget that 1 in 8 people in London is a Muslim! The other day I felt so much better when someone made conversation with me on the tube, it was meaningless talk, but I was set up for a good day! People should stop looking so miserable and make their journey more pleasant by making conversation with the person next to them.
Samia Ali, London

I work in an inner-city hotel and we have had a lot of cancellations since the bombings. Our reservations have been low for this time of year too. People have definitely been put off of coming to the city. I do not feel worried on the tube, but I feel bad for the Asian people who are getting stared at and watched closely. I don't think another attack will happen soon, but I said that after the first one too.
Bridie, London

I'd just left Russell Square on a European tour a few hours before the attacks. We were on the ferry to France when we found out, but it was hard to get information about what was going on. Many people called their families in Australia to find out what had happened. My family was very worried because they knew I was at Russell Square that day. It was scary not knowing what was going on and whether any friends had been affected. I was going to leave London when I got back after the tour because I felt unsafe and the city felt unsettled. But I found a live-in job which I took because it did not require me to travel on the tube to get to work.
Andrea, London

I love London but at the moment I just don't feel safe
Catherine, London
I was evacuated off the tube when it happened and spent three hours in a daze. Since then I have given up my job for one that I do not need to get a tube for and have started having anxiety attacks for which I have been prescribed tranquilisers. I love London but at the moment I just don't feel safe.
Catherine, London

I don't find going on the tube stressful in itself, however, I do find the atmosphere a lot more unpleasant than ever before. Everyone is checking each other out suspiciously and there is a quiet air of distrust.
Lesley, London

During peak hours on any given line there are between 50-80 trains in service. There are nearly 250 stations on the Underground. The bomb attacks on 7/7 took place at just four locations. Am I stressed? Not at all. I think the figures pretty much speak for themselves.
Arkady Rose, London

I was in a building next to the No 30 bus when it exploded, shook the building and all of us in it. Walking home that night of the 7th, London was like a ghost town. Since the troubles, I've gone back to work as normal, taking each day as it comes. If you can't stop it, why worry about it?
Colin B, London, UK

My mum lived through the blitz in London her mother's house was hit twice by bombs, once when someone was still in there. I can't allow myself to get fearful over 2 days incidents after hearing about what she went through, I would be too ashamed if I allowed these attacks to affect me when I wasn't even involved in them in any way.
Jenny, London

The current security implemented on tubes is still not enough to evade another attack (hopefully never again). There are still many people walking into the tube lines with big bags/suitcases which can contain anything. I use the tube, but prefer to travel in the over-ground section of it and avoid getting into central London unless absolutely necessary.
Ashwin, London

I agree that people are under a lot of stress since the bomb attacks. I myself - being a Muslim - have experienced situations where I can no longer go out and enjoy myself at the horrid thought of a racist attack, I mean it has happened before why would these people stop at me or anyone else? This is just - in my opinion - a way of trying to show people that we cannot stick together, we have to fight and bicker at this constant situation which will never go away if we are causing the dilemma!
Riz, Nottingham, Westbridgeford

I am still ok with travelling round London. The early days are a shock for the city and its people but as the IRA learned, we just picked ourselves up, dusted down and carried on. However, I do know of people living in the North, who are scared of travelling through King's Cross. My travelling up to see them on Thurs 4th August didn't reassure them one bit.
W P Derbyshire, London UK

The IRA did not stop me visiting London
Caron, England
I live about 45mins train ride from London, we've already had some family outings (children aged 12, 9 and 2) in London this summer and are planning at least one more for next week. The IRA did not stop me visiting London, why should these terrorists?
Caron, England

I lived through the IRA attacks working in London and just got back on the train every day and went in. It's what you do. But now I have a young son, whom I was going to bring into London for trips through the summer holidays. I didn't take him in. The chances of being hurt it would appear are fairly small in comparison to the numbers of people travelling but being stuck in an underground for hours while they clear the line from scares or problems elsewhere, with maybe panicking adults around him, is not what I want to give to a young child as a memory of his day out.
Carol, Essex, UK

I actually enjoy going on the tube more. The frisson of excitement enlivens an otherwise tedious trip in to work.
Jelly, London, UK

I, myself, am not stressed after the London attacks. I do not want to come across as arrogant or anti-defeatist but I really do refuse to let what has happened change my outlook on this country. These shameless people have one very distinct motive: to scare people. I will never let that happen. In fact at this great time I feel more patriotic than I have ever felt. Though I am not stressed about the attacks, I am deeply angry and empathetic for the families and victims.
Claire, Whitnash, England

Yes, I was very stressed on 7th July. I usually work in London, but happened to have a meeting elsewhere that day so had driven there. Just as I got to my meeting I heard on the radio that there had been power surges, or possibly explosions, at both Liverpool Street and Edgware Road tube stations. My meeting was with people in the transport industry who told us straight away that it was believed that these were bombs and that there were also incidents at King's Cross and Russell Square. My stress was caused by desperately trying to contact my husband by mobile phone. He works as a police officer at King's Cross. It took a very long time to be able to contact him, and he didn't stop work until 4am on the Friday morning. This was a further cause of stress, as I was concerned as to what scenes he may have experienced whilst on duty. To those who are belittling people who have/are experiencing stress - please remember that this is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, and certainly nothing of which to be ashamed.
CW, Bedfordshire

I work on Tottenham Court Road, not far from Euston Station and Russell Square, and near Euston when it all kicked off. For the first week after July 7 I was very anxious, could not sleep at night and had panic attacks just thinking about getting back on public transport. However, I got straight back on the tube the next day - I was scared to death, but the only way to deal with that for me was to confront it. Now I'm no worse than I was before July 7th.
Anna, London, UK

Why should we the general public be put off by the actions of a select few
Phil, London
Not at all. I have travelled often before and after the attacks, and have not been put off one bit. The terrorists have failed miserably! I will continue to use the tube as long as I live. It is the easiest and quickest way to get around London and why should we the general public be put off by the actions of a select few?
Phil, London

I have to carry computer equipment across London. I took one look at my rucksack with network cables dangling out of it and decided to take a taxi. Stress is visible when your behaviour changes.
J James, Southampton

I commute to Canary Wharf and have been largely unaffected by the events in July. The trains run as normal and commuters have pretty much put it at the back of their minds.
Mike, UK

With an erratic service, and the highest fares in Europe, you don't need terrorist to make you fell stressed on London's transport system.
Jeff, Brussels

Commuting in the month afterwards was stressful for me, not because of taking the tube but because I wasn't able to while my section of the Piccadilly Line was closed! When it reopened and I used it again I felt nothing but relief and happiness.
Iain, Islington, London, UK

Last Saturday I had arranged a surprise theatre visit to London. I discussed this with my 8-year-old daughter and that we were going to take the tube in. At the thought of this, she refused and reminded me of the 7/7 carnage and that she will not travel. The stress made her ill and went to bed and refused to travel. I then agreed with her that we will drive in, she felt happier and we drove to London.
Anwar, Windsor, Berkshire

I feel more stressed walking around the streets of London now more people have decided to take to riding bicycles
Phil, Dartford, Kent
I feel more stressed walking around the streets of London now more people have decided to take to riding bicycles since July 7th. Most understand the Highway Code, but there are the few who can't spot red lights/zebra crossings/one way streets/pedestrian areas that have made my walks through London more dangerous and stressful not knowing if a cyclist may collide with me!
Phil, Dartford, Kent

I travel extensively across London when there on business. I have never found the tube as stress free as at the moment. It has always been an uncomfortable cramped stressful place with awful people invading your space. Now? It is less busy and feels like a normal transit system. Great!
Mike, Blackpool, UK

Of course we were stressed! There were people out there trying to blow us to pieces. I don't think being afraid to travel on the tube is giving in to terrorism. Those of us that did, did so because we had to get to work as before.
Paul, Bexley, Kent

I'll be moving to London for a year at the end of September to study at UCL. The attacks in no way deterred my resolve to live in your city. I am excited and look forward to experiencing everything (including the Tube) that London has to offer.
Lampros, Montreal, Canada

I am an ex-London resident currently living abroad and, visiting London last week for the first time since the attacks, I sensed a definite tension amongst fellow tube travellers, with all eyes on people boarding with bags. I think it will pass, though. Time will heal, just as it has done in New York, where people no longer take fright at the sight of an aeroplane flying low over the city.
Susie, New York

Stress arises in a state of "learned helplessness". Do the dunces who keep banging on about statistics (more dangerous driving etc) feel out of control at the wheel of their cars? Are they so enamoured of statistical data that it subsumes their lived experience? I'd feel less stressed riding a unicycle down a busy road than sitting in the tube - where I am totally at the mercy of my surroundings. The element of control (even if illusory) on the unicycle is enough to fend off stress. Sitting in a carriage several hundred feet under the earth and feeling that I have no control over the actions of whichever petty terrorist gang wishes to make it's point with my death is enough to make me feel totally helpless.
Ex-Serviceman

The bombings have made me feel that public transport in London is no longer safe. I have been into London once since the bombings and I only feel safe if I walk everywhere.
William, Tunbridge Wells, UK

You can only live in fear for so long
Christine, London
The days surrounding the London bombings were distressing and worrying. However you can only live in fear for so long. I travel on the tube everyday and refuse to let a small murderous group make me feel unsafe in my own city.
Christine, London

Actually, I've found that the crowds (which occasionally triggered panic attacks in me) have been reduced slightly, making travelling in London a lot less stressful for me!
Jo, London, UK

I carry on travelling, but it's reached the stage where if a train stops in a tunnel I tend to freeze in a state of fear. Irrational I know, but given the state of play, it's dark and claustrophobic down there and it's not a way I'd prefer to go.
Mike, London

Obviously people are cautious
Ali, UK
People who live outside London feel the need to take extra precautions by reducing their tube travel to a minimum. Everyone I have spoken to who lives outside London and has to come in periodically seems to say that they would avoid the tube and walk etc. But I think Londoners have just carried on from where they were pre-7/7. Obviously people are cautious and the police presence makes people feel safe and twitchy at the same time, but I know have, and generally I think Londoners have just got on with it.
Ali, UK

I'd agree with Ali, my Londoner friends carry on as before, but I guess they have to get on with it or they can't get to work. I live outside of London and am not sure if I will be travelling by public transport within the M25 anytime soon, but then I've always been anxious on the tubes anyway.
Anon, UK

The threat is the same as it was prior to the 7th July. But now the security is better and people are more alert. I see no reason to worry.
Jae Miles, Worthing, Sussex

The buses seemed as busy as ever
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh
Speaking as someone who has visited my grandchildren in London twice since the original attacks, I have to say that I didn't notice any differences in the city. Because of my age I have difficulty using the tube but the buses seemed as busy as ever and I didn't feel under attack. Ironically when I arrived home after my recent visit I found my house had been broken into, and my stair lift damaged beyond repair - perhaps proof that our police have taken their eye off the ball with more traditional crime.
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh

As an Israeli living in London I do not feel as stressed as I did when I was in Israel at the height of the bombings there. I think the size of London and the its vast population makes you feel much safer and less of a chance in becoming a potential victim as opposed to a much smaller place like Israel where the personal effects of bombs tend to touch more people directly due to the size of the population and the frequency of bombings.
Mark, London

As a Muslim woman who chooses to dress in the full Islamic dress - including the face veil - I have been badly affected after 7/7. I'm also a mother of 3 young children who were eagerly awaiting the holiday period so that we could go out together, but unfortunately that has all been jeopardised. From the strange looks I get from passer-bys on street, buses and trains, I cannot risk the safety of my children and being pregnant makes it even harder as normally I'm a strong-headed person and would not fear for my own safety but now I have to think of my unborn child too.
Saffy, Sheffield, England

Since I moved to London five years ago, it has never been far from my mind how vulnerable the transport system is, due to the effects of underinvestment, poor maintenance schedules, power failures etc before even beginning to worry about terror attacks. So in fact, rather to my surprise, I don't feel much more stressed than I did before. It's just one other possibility I've learned to ignore.
SC, Harrow

Although not directly involved I was gutted by the bombings and cried for days. At the time of the bombs I was confined to my office building and watched everything unfold on the news and the internet. Only on my walk home from work did I truly realise the magnitude of what had happened. Nothing could've prepared me for the sight of thousands of people all trying to get home in quiet serenity when all I (and probably others) wanted to do was cry. I am still unable to read/watch in depth what happened because it causes me much distress. I can't even begin to imagine how people who were on the tube at that time have put their lives back together.
Anon, London

With public transport in London I think we'd already reached a saturation of stress levels
Nick, London, UK
With public transport in London I think we'd already reached a saturation of stress levels. Between being vacuum-packed on overcrowded Tubes and waiting days to cross London at peak time on buses, I don't think this can make us any more stressed just a little more apprehensive. Interestingly the whole experience has taught me it's quicker to walk my four miles home than take the bus.
Nick, London, UK

The chances of death or injury on the Underground are still much less than from driving on the roads, even after the attacks. I feel much safer on a train, but perhaps less comfortable.
Ed, Cambridge

I was trapped on the train behind the bombed one at King's Cross/ Russell Square for over two hours and it makes me annoyed that all these people that don't even live in London/use the Tube make such a fuss about being so scared. I feel no more stressed about travelling on the Tube now than I did on 6 July. It seems the people most affected manage to get on with things whereas those on the fringes see it as an excuse to get melodramatic.
Emily, London

I was in Liverpool Street Station when the bomb went off. I then travelled to work in Holborn by bus unaware of the atrocities that had occurred. However I have not been on a Tube since the incidents. A little bit of inconvenience is worth a slightly longer journey and hopefully staying alive.
Andrea, Essex

Not at all. I was straight back on Tube and have continued to use it.
Kelly, London

The biggest stress is the increase of armed police on our streets
Dave Chaloner, London
The biggest stress is the increase of armed police on our streets, I was on the Woolwich Ferry and there were two armed officers who did nothing but look pretty. They did not search any vehicles and I cannot see what they hoped to achieve. I can only assume they were there to reassure us which failed. I would like to get on with my life and not be guarded by ineffective armed police.
Dave Chaloner, London

I was at evacuated from Euston station just before hearing the Tavistock Square bus explode. It was stressful, of course, but not substantially so. I imagine stress is related to how flattened you are by routine - I'd literally just returned from four weeks travelling, and I guess it would be more stressful for those numbed by months of the daily grind. Interesting that strongly religious people reported more stress - aren't they supposed to have less fear of death?
Steve Taylor, London, England

What's the point of worrying about something you have no control of?
Keith, Essex

I've spent a week in central London since the bombings and I avoided public transport completely. Similarly, the people I was working with were minimising their use of public transport. After two attacks in two weeks, anyone who can will avoid public transport.
Barry Midgley, Manchester, UK

I am not stressed though I spend close to four hours a day on public transport
Jay Kandy, London
I am not stressed though I spend close to four hours a day on public transport. It's going to take more than a bunch of radicals to stress me out. The lack of communication however during the bombings were stressful.
Jay Kandy, London

I started work in London three weeks ago, and I can say that the terrorist incidents have had no bearing on my decision to take the position, or on my decision to travel on the Underground. I cannot and will not allow terrorists to dictate how I conduct my life. As far as I am concerned stress is self inflicted, and yes I have suffered in the past, but I dealt with it myself and now am much more relaxed. You cannot worry about what might be, that is a dangerous road to follow.
Adrian Jordan, Launceston, UK

No. I just get on with life as usual. I love life 100% and am not going to be affected or effected by this at all
Jo Edwards, Hove, East Sussex

I took to travelling to work by cab, with a few colleagues who happen to live locally so we put money together and booked local cabs. We did this for a while, it was not anymore financially constraining really, but then realised that we have to return to normality which we have now six weeks after the event. I don't feel any more stressed now.
Ferdousi Islam, London

I work at Tavistock Square and I still regularly use the Tube and buses without stress. By getting stressed/paranoid and avoid public transport you let the terrorists win.
Chris Exon, Eastbourne

I am more vigilant about packages and rucksacks but otherwise it is back to normal
Mary Breading, Hornchurch, Essex
I have to travel on the Tube for work each day. I am more vigilant about packages and rucksacks but otherwise it is back to normal. If we let this change our lives the terrorists have won. It won't prevent me from travelling in for social reasons either. We need to remember that the Blitz spirit lasted years not days and we all need to get a better grip on our emotions.
Mary Breading, Hornchurch, Essex

Absolutely. I rarely have to travel on the Tube but on the few occasions since 7 July that I have, I have not felt safe at all and the first time (a Saturday) I had to get off and wait for 10 minutes on the platform before I felt able to continue my journey.
Liz, London

I didn't feel any stress when I used to travel on the Tube in London. Although I came over there after the bombings but didn't see any change. All the people in the usual way travelling on the Tube. Yes I feel safe travelling by the Tube in London, but never got myself interrogated or felt that all eyes were on me.
Omar Ahmad

I've travelled into London every working day since 1974. I've seen the IRA bombings as well as this current spate. I don't feel anymore stressed but I am more vigilant. I understand that parts of the mobile phone network were shut down on purpose to ensure the emergency services had availability, perhaps the operators could comment on this and remove some of the stress others are feeling?
Terry, Epsom, Surrey, England

Do all these people feel "severely stressed" when driving a car? As they are statistically in more danger when driving a car as they are when travelling on the Tube.
Damian Elsen, London, UK

As a young Asian male I definitely feel all eyes are on me when entering a carriage
Ricky Shome, Welwyn Garden City, Herts
I definitely do feel more stressed when going into London. I used to commute into London only as recently as three months ago on a daily basis. Not only have I realised how easy it is for someone to lose their life when there is no security on the Underground but as a young Asian male I definitely feel all eyes are on me when entering a carriage. I have reduced my Tube use almost completely and therefore feel so much more relaxed.
Ricky Shome, Welwyn Garden City, Herts

I personally don't feel any different; I was a bit more vigilant on the Tube after the second attack, but now back to usual indifference to commuting. Most people just get on with it, and frankly there is a tendency in both the media and educational institutions to over-analysis. Surely more times needs to pass before any meaningful study/comment can be made.
Richard Hopper,

I certainly suffered from stress. During those first couple of weeks after 7 July, there were occasions where I had to get off the Tube because it was just too much to cope with. And travelling through Aldgate the morning it re-opened is possibly one of the hardest and most stressful things I've ever done.
David, Wapping, East London




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