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😷 Hallelujah - masks are now obligatory! 😷

As of today, it is obligatory to wear a face mask in an indoor public environment (sports centre, shop, etc). About bloody time.

It wasn't until reading Vince's blog (Don't Stand So Close To Me - wasn't that a song by The Police?) that I remembered that I wanted to talk about some recent pandumbics of my own.


As you know, I went to the summer sales last Wednesday...


Pronounced something like "jay-mo", I think, though I read it English so I say it was "jem-oh". Either way, it's an odd name for a clothing shop (but, then, so is Kiabi!).
The queue system was basically a roped off section like an 's' filtering people into a single line, the end being that the person at the top of the line takes the next available till. So I entered the queue behind a chatty woman with a bunch of children's clothes, no bag, and unable to locate her payment card and when she found it, was all "oh my God, what's the number?". You know the type.

I waited patiently. It was early in the morning, I was in no rush.
When I noticed somebody behind me. A woman. Without a mask. Directly behind me. An older woman, dressing twenty years younger than she was, and sporting a tan that implied she sometimes managed to wear even less.
"Degage", I said. That basically translates as "sod off".
She looked at me.
I pointed to the markings on the floor. "Trop proche", I explained.
It seemed that my explanation fell upon an interminable pit of stupidity. She glanced down, then back at me. And did not move.
"Bouge ton fess, s'il te plaît", I said. Translated - move your ass, please.
Her eyes widened just fractionally. She was probably trying to rationalise my somewhat impolite request with the addition of "please", even though it was all intentionally said in the familiar to an older woman. It's a British trait, it's called sarcasm. The please wasn't said out of politeness.

Now, in Vince's story, it seems as if the woman was being passive aggressive. This woman wasn't. She clearly came to the queue after me, and there was nobody else in the queue. She didn't seem angry, just... well, I rather think she's a glaekit midden really. Translated into French? Probably "Parisien".

She still didn't move, but a till was now free so I could.



Some people wearing masks, some not. A big sign saying cleaning your hands and taking a basket was obligatory. So I took one, and promptly set the alarms off as I went in. I backed out, put the basket on the floor and pushed it through. Alarms went off. I walked through after. No alarms. I retrieved my basket and saw an employee watching with a startled expression. The alarm has probably been doing that for ages, what with the tagged baskets now being outside of the secure zone, but I'm probably the only person who gave a damn about the alarm going off.
Primarily because I didn't want the hassle of alarms going off at the till if it was because of a tag or something that I was wearing.

There was a sign saying "only handle things you are going to buy, do not touch other items". Nobody was paying any attention to that.



They only wanted minimal numbers of people to enter, though nobody was enforcing it. It wasn't as bad as last time I went in (ages ago, with something like ten adult family members around one trolley, nobody wearing masks) but there were husbands and wives with children. Some masked, some not. In other words, it was pretty much like a normal Saturday morning.



Big sign on the door - wearing a face mask inside is obligatory. Well, obviously not for stuffing the dead cow chunks into your mouth, they've not yet cracked eating with a mask, but when interacting with people, one must wear a mask.
Woman at the counter. Maskless.

After she'd sorted stuff out and paid, the guy behind the counter (behind a plastic screen) observed that she was not wearing a mask. "No", she replied.
And that was about the end of the discussion. Obviously a place like McDo is in a difficult position that if they were to say "put on a mask or get the hell outside", they'd probably be pilloried on social media. But, then, what's the point in having a rule for the safety of others if you're going to let a selfish cow completely ignore it?
Luckily, as I wasn't too trusting of their level of hygiene at this time, I had already decided to take my meal home and microwave it to death. So I only had to wait around for my order to be fulfilled.
Which was twenty minutes. For a Big Mac and chips. And I consider that to be fairly quick service. 😒



I popped out to a nearby mini-mart on Saturday to get some fresh milk and some rice pudding. The only people wearing masks in there were myself and the employees.


And now?

And now it's a fine (I think the standard €135) if you're caught in an indoor public place without a mask. They'll probably soon have the fuzz patrolling places looking for infractions to punish.

And, if you ask me, this has come far too late. There should have been a two week grace period between the end of lockdown and the need to wear masks in public. And that grace period only because immediately following lockdown, nobody yet had masks to sell.

I think they're currently selling for prices around a euro apiece for a disposable one. I'm not too worried, I got myself two boxes and some alcoholic hand gel back in January when news was breaking of the nasty virus doing the rounds in China. It could go one of two ways. It could fizzle out and be nothing like SARS and Bird Flu, or it could become a global pandemic. So I started stocking up on stuff that might be necessary back in January. And unlike the panic stockpilers, the only thing I'm throwing out is UHT milk. I don't really like the taste, but I wanted to have it in case normal milk supplies were interrupted. They were, I used two bottles of UHT, but milk is flowing out of the cow again...
It does help to pay attention to the news, to spot potential problems like this before it smacks one right between the eyeballs.


A little observation

Speaking of panic buying, I get the "oh my god we need all the rice right now". What I don't get is why everybody was panic buying soap.
I mean... don't these people wash their hands as a matter or course normally?
Ewwww.... I'm never going to shake anybody's hand ever again. Just... ewwwww!


But but but masks don't stop you getting the virus

Not really, no. But given the large numbers of asymptomatic people (that means you have the virus but have no effects from it), it is entirely possible that I have the virus. Or you. Right now. We probably don't, but we could. So wearing a mask is for the same reason that nurses, doctors, and dentists wear masks. To help stop the mask wearer spreading their germs to others.
In other words, signalling that you actually give a shit about other people. As, clearly, many people don't. And it's depressing as hell that legislation needed to be passed to force people to do what they should have been doing anyway. It's not "all about me", it's about everyone.


😷 Just 😷 wear 😷 a 😷 damn 😷 mask 😷 already! 😷


PS: To all the anti-vaxxers: please have the decency to die before infecting a bunch of innocent people.



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Zerosquare, 20th July 2020, 22:24
> it's an odd name for a clothing shop (but, then, so is Kiabi!). 
"Kiabi" is shorthand for "qui habille" (phonetically), so it makes sense for a clothing shop. 
For "Gémo", Wikipedia says the name was derived from those of the founders. 
> "Bouge ton fess, s'il te plaît" 
It's "Bouge tes fesses", unless you're speaking to someone with only one butt chick. Apart from that, it's perfect. 
Rick, 20th July 2020, 23:50
Kiabi - Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I remember doing an epic facepalm when I finally figured out why the French used to refer to "K7" so often. Well, it's a dead technology these days. 
I'm quite prepared to imagine that woman with only one butt cheek. The other is clenched hard just in case her last remaining clue falls out. 😂
David Pilling, 21st July 2020, 02:04
I have no problems with masks. Might be interesting to see what happens when they're compulsory in shops (soon). I went into a shop last week - first time for many months. It was interesting that not everyone has spent the last four months being terrorised by the news. They were not wearing masks, gloves. Still they humoured me when I pulled out my little stick to operate the buttons on the card reader. I being someone in a mask with steamed up glasses. Car key is a good thing for button pushing.
Rob, 30th July 2020, 02:29
Dreadful uptake of masks here... ran though Sainsburys about 9pm, and I saw only one other person wearing one.. 
I keep a spray of 100% IPA in my pocket, and have done for months, for treating of trollies and basket handles. And my hands after touching anything. I get some odd looks.

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