Freedom Day

From: william (WILLIAMA)22 Jul 2021 12:57
To: ALL1 of 16
For teh English members mainly. Now that the government has seen sense and restored our God-given right to catch and spread a potentially deadly/life-changing virus (SARS-COV-2 or COVID 19) have things changed for you? 

For my part, not a lot so far. On my weekly "big shop" in Tesco on Tuesday, 99% or more of people wore masks. Not many people bothered with distancing, but a) they didn't before and b) I go at 07:00 in the morning, so it's not crowded. Masks are still very much in evidence everywhere, especially in shops. A few from the building trade eschew the mask, much as they did before. Others unmasked include aggressively tattooed women breastfeeding their pit-bulls, and smartly-dressed couples trying desperately to look casual, unaware that they may have binned their masks, but they now sport invisible but legible signs saying "we fantasise that we're Posh & Becks and play with ourselves in front of a mirror".

My son has been told that he will be working from home for the forseeable future. My daughter must now work a minimum of 4 days per month in her office and a maximum of 8, but this is a contractual thing so that she continues to be classed as working in a London-based office.

A friend who is a teacher who has been obliged to work in an increasingly risky environment, terrified of catching COVID because her son has neuroblastoma, has tested positive in spite of being "double-jabbed". So has her family now. Still, at least she has her 0% pay-rise to look forward to. 
From: graphitone22 Jul 2021 14:40
To: william (WILLIAMA) 2 of 16
not a trace of cynicism anywhere in that post :J

The 0% pay rise for teachers and frankly laughable award for NHS staff is just showing how totally out of touch they are in the ol' government

Did you see Sajid Javid's heartfelt, pragmatic and so sincere thank you to staff on the Beeb this morning, saying they're got a bigger pay packet to look forward to at the end of the month? 

I was a little sick in my mouth. 

EDITED: 22 Jul 2021 14:49 by GRAPHITONE
From: milko23 Jul 2021 11:50
To: william (WILLIAMA) 3 of 16
I spent Monday to Thursday working long days in Oval Cricket Ground to launch the new "The Hundred" thingy. It was a weird mix of people wearing masks or not, indoors and outdoors, I didn't really know what to do and clearly many others the same! It was fucking hot which didn't help with the desire to keep it on. Fortunately I was able to keep away from crowds throughout.

Shops and trains seem about the same as before in terms of mask-wearing, thankfully. I'm back working at home again now, at least until August 8th when I'm doing another cricket.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)24 Jul 2021 22:34
To: william (WILLIAMA) 4 of 16
Sainsbury's tonight definitely had more people than usual wearing masks - perhaps around 70-80%, possibly higher.

Was very different to Tesco earlier in the week, which I guess was around 50% - it seemed a bit less than usual ~60% levels, but could also have been random variation / sample bias.

From: william (WILLIAMA)25 Jul 2021 08:02
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 5 of 16
I forgot my daughter is staying with us for a week when I went did our main shopping trip, so I had to nip into Tesco for more stuff on Saturday, later in the day than usual. More unmasked people, but my (unscientific) estimate still had masked at >90%. The worst offenders by far were the staff, but even they were way over 50%, maybe as high as 70%. I can't imagine it's pleasant to wear a mask for an 8-12 hour shift.

I don't enjoy wearing one either, but for the minor inconvenience of an hour while I shop it doesn't feel like a high price to reduce the risk of inhaling or passing on a lungful of virus-laden particulates.

Your local levels of 50%-60% are certainly far lower than anything I've ever seen around here.
From: ANT_THOMAS25 Jul 2021 09:10
To: william (WILLIAMA) 6 of 16
Still 2 days a week in the office and don't plan to change that, no one seems to be pushing a change either. Work has suffered quite badly in the last month or so from staff shortages due to "pingdemic" and positive cases. No doubt it's the highest figures we've had throughout all of this.

Re: mask wearing, we have to wear one in the office at our desk, not just whilst moving through the buildings. I do it, I don't mind it. Still wearing one whilst in shops etc. Screwfix and B&Q yesterday had what I thought a surprisingly high number of mask wearers, possibly >90%. Supermarkets noticeably lower. Though I don't find that there's any correlation with appearance or perceived social status of a person and mask wearing. Much like the anti-vax movement, I feel it touches all parts of society.

I'm double jabbed, but not willing to risk finding out what might happen especially whilst having an underlying condition that could result in a significantly worse outcome than many.
From: william (WILLIAMA)25 Jul 2021 10:44
To: ANT_THOMAS 7 of 16
I don't find that there's any correlation with appearance or perceived social status of a person and mask wearing

True. It may be my imagination, though, but I feel there's an air of righteousness about the non-wearers.

I don't have any particular underlying condition other than some common 65 year old complaints (a touch of hypertension, poor thyroid function and arthritis) but I'm not willing to risk things either.
From: ANT_THOMAS26 Jul 2021 08:46
To: william (WILLIAMA) 8 of 16
True. It may be my imagination, though, but I feel there's an air of righteousness about the non-wearers.

Would agree, but also feel like it could be my imagination.

Another trip to B&Q yesterday, high levels of mask wearing.
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)26 Jul 2021 11:15
To: ALL9 of 16
Oddly enough I'm seeing more mask wearing and social distancing since we opened up coupla weeks ago, on the subway and in some neighborhoods / shopping districts.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)26 Jul 2021 22:48
To: william (WILLIAMA) 10 of 16
Well I've never been at 7am so don't know how much is location versus the types of people that shop late.

I'm fairly sure levels were higher a year ago and have gradually declined, but I can't remember too clearly and wouldn't stake anything important on that.

One correlation might be people in groups being even less likely (compared to individuals/couples), but I guess that's self-selective given the request not to do that in the first place.

From: william (WILLIAMA)27 Jul 2021 09:59
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 11 of 16
I was a bit later this morning - only by 30 minutes though. More uncovered faces, but probably still only 1 in 10. 

What I do see at that time is people doing things like building work etc. who are going to start at 8:00. They often arrive in groups of 2 or 3 and often didn't bother with masks when it was compulsory. I suppose there's peer pressure as well.
From: milko27 Jul 2021 15:54
To: william (WILLIAMA) 12 of 16
The ones who are still wearing a mask, but with their nose sticking out or something, they boggle my mind a bit. Like, if you really don't want to, it's OK, Freedom Day has come! This weird non-useful half measure presumably makes you look a bit of a dickhead to 'both sides' of the mask wearing debate.
From: william (WILLIAMA)27 Jul 2021 21:13
To: milko 13 of 16
Ah! Hah hah... yes! The ones like the granny I saw today, pushing her trolley with a couple of grand-kids in tow, wearing her mask on her chin like a sort of good-luck token or religious indulgence. There's a Tesco superstore bod, who always wore his mask like that, although now he is maskless - so I guess the management aren't insisting that staff wear them.

From: Gobfounded (YVE) 3 Aug 2021 00:05
To: william (WILLIAMA) 14 of 16
Things are slowly changing, up here. We had the highest figures in the country for a few days but they have come down, since schools broke up.

Sure enough, I did a big shop in M&S, this morning, and ended up telling the woman behind me that she was welcome to pay for my shopping, since she was standing right in front of the card reader so I couldn't reach it.

I haven't missed that one single bit.
From: william (WILLIAMA) 3 Aug 2021 10:09
To: Gobfounded (YVE) 15 of 16
Long time etc. Yve. How's things? How's the Wibblys little and large (although I suppose the gap has closed by now)?
From: Gobfounded (YVE) 5 Oct 2021 16:21
To: william (WILLIAMA) 16 of 16
They're large and extra large, these days. I'm just the small insignificant woman who pushes food towards them at regular intervals.