The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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12:15pm on Friday, 19th June, 2020:
I went to Sainsbury's this morning. Social distancing was very lax, as if people think the virus has gone away (or that wearing a mask is equivalent to full hazmat suit protection). I have a suspicion that if the store didn't play background muzak, people might twig that the world has not returned to normal and so behave a little more considerately. Then again, some of them seem to live in worlds of their own that were never normal anyway.
1) A woman using her scan-and-go scanner to scan packets of fresh pineapple, one at a time, returning each one to the shelf after it had been scanned.
2) A man acting as if he was some kind of store manager but wasn't. He straightened up bottles on shelves, turned tins so their labels all faced forward and instructed a bemused shelf-stacker to take plastic wrapping from a plastic wrapping collection bin on his way back to get more goods with which to stack the shelves.
3) A wiry woman in her 60s who moved around at speed, ignoring the presence of other people and picking up three or four of everything she intended to buy before she chose the specific one she wanted. She delivered these to a trolley pushed by her lumbering son, who had a similar disregard for the existence of other people except insofar that they represented transient obstacles. These two could have infected half the shop with Covid-19 on their own.
4) A woman holding a packet of four Magnum ice creams, staring blankly at them. She wasn't reading the packet, she was just staring at it. It was as if the ice cream had frozen her and she was unable to move. I left the queue to get past her before she snapped out of it. She could still be there for all I know.
5) A man looking behind an opaque plastic curtain that was covering up a closed refrigerator on the endcap of the fish section. He seemed to have an expectation that the refrigerator was actually switched on and the particular fish he wanted was hidden behind the curtain, out of view. He was not happy when he learned the refrigerator was empty (which would have been obvious if he'd looked from the side instead of the front).
6) A woman working on a till who had so much make-up on that it could conceivably act as virus-proof face armour. There were no customers using her till and she was absorbed in her mobile phone. I don't know which way round the causality went there.
Oh, and to the woman who had poked out both the valves in her face mask to make it easier to breathe: you may have lessened its efficacy.
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Copyright © 2020 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).