It’s like we’ve all gone back to school and are trying to work our way into the dining room, when a large voice commands, ‘Show me your hands. You haven’t washed, have you.’
Now the voice instead commands,’ You’ll have to wear a mask if you want to enter my premises,’ using a very similar tone.
When as a small child, one was faced with such a command, in those days it was highly advisable to obey, with canes hanging up not too far away.
Jimmy Edwards in Whacko! 1961. About the time I was sent to boarding school aged 7.
But outside supermarkets, or entering restaurants, being commanded by a young person in their twenties, and me being of pensionable age, there seems to be a different cut to the power relationship.
I feel obliged to try a minor challenge.
The obvious reply of ‘I’m not allowed to wear a mask,’ almost always works, often getting a smiling reply like ‘I’m only told to ask if you will wear one.’
One establishment said that if I won’t wear a mask, I must wear a yellow sticker instead, or otherwise I would be glared at. It wasn’t quite a Star Of David, so I took it, but only bought a newspaper and left immediately.
At another joint, I said as I usually do,’I am not allowed to wear mask,’ but I added cheekily,’ but I can wear a hood if you like.’ I showed them my anti-emf silver bobbinet hood, and they said they preferred that I didn’t. Their choice, not mine. I would happily wear it as it gives protection to microwave output from mobile phones, and let6s air flow through the thousands of holes in the net.
I wanted to tell one young lady that peremptorily commanding customers might not be so good for business and I was going to advise her to say first, ‘ I’m sorry but I have to ask – Are you able to wear a mask?’ rather than simply informing me that I must wear one, but by that time of day we were getting tired, and we’d already had enough of dealing with such irritants, and we just walked out of the hotel instead.
My wife coming from abroad can well understand that my condition makes it hard to restrict my breathing, as I have nearly died from low oxygen on more than one occasion requiring ambulance crews to scoop me up off the floor, but she doesn’t understand why I feel the need to talk to the monitors on the door and advise them to ask more gently and politely. If they wish me to spend money, they should be highly diplomatic with this issue, and consider that many people have lung and heart conditions which make mask-wearing inadvisable. My doctor says I must never limit the flow of air into my lungs or of the CO2 coming out.
You could say I’m saving the NHS having to send an ambulance over by not wearing a mask, but as all the local hospitals are currently empty or nearly empty, it hardly seems worth making that point.
Or the point that wearing a mask for three paces from the door to a table is incredibly nonsensical. The government seems to like the situation to be as nonsensical as possible. It’s much harder to argue with a total idiot than a genius.
The daily battle with the dining room monitors will no doubt continue. The key word is fear. If the monitors are taken over with fear – either of a non-existent virus, or of the coming actions of the authorities, then they will drive away their customers. If they can act in a composed and polite manner as I describe, their business will grow, as customers will appreciate being treated and spoken to with consideration.