It would seem that from 24th July, we are mandated to wear face coverings in shops. Any face covering will do but masks would appear to be the way forward.

Interestingly, this does not appear to be mandated for retail staff!

‘Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast the new mandatory rule for face coverings in shops does not apply to retail staff.’

No, I don’t get that either! Still, we have to get used to this for all our sakes. I have already started. I don’t see any point in waiting until the 24th. I suppose the delay is so that people can source masks and face coverings but if you have them, why wait?

The whole point of masks is to protect ourselves and others. You may wonder why I am wearing a mask when you don’t have the virus. You don’t, however, know that I am not infected! I don’t believe I have it but I have not been tested. Sure, I get looks when I walk into a shop with a mask but it doesn’t bother me at all. Even in my flowery mask I don’t feel embarrassed. It’s what I have and I need to get used to wearing one.

As a slight aside, it is a cloth mask, made locally. As such, it needs to be washed. Regularly. Probably better to have a selection. Fortunately, I still get the majority of my shopping delivered; by local shops where possible!

Now, more than ever, we need to protect and support each other. Local shops are looking to provide masks on entry to their premises. Please use them! Bare Butchers have already said they will be doing this, well done them!

It is going to seem weird at first, it did for me. I am slowly getting used to it and it should become natural to wear one in close proximity to others. I wear glasses and my worry was them steaming up. With careful positioning, it’s really not a problem.

At the end of the day, the advice from the government is way too muddled. I have not seen a mention of pubs and cafes. Just shops and supermarkets. I really do wish that they would simply lay down what is allowed and what is not. There is far too much confusion to fully understand it.

That said, I will be wearing mine in any enclosed space for the foreseeable future. If you want to look at me as if I am a bandit, fine. I will be grinning under my mask. Maybe I should look at the mask as a fashion accessory? I have always been a fervent follower of fashion as anyone who knows me will tell you. Can you get them in denim?

So don’t think about it. Get into the groove and join those of us who will be trying to limit the spread and hopefully shorten the timescale of the crisis. Here is a nice little acronym to remember.

J.W.I.

Just Wear It

Ian

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