I was bagging up fruit in Tesco on Friday when I heard someone calling: “Madame… MADAME!!”
As I’m a rule stickler with a guilty conscience I swung round in a fluster, assuming I’d been over-handling the avocados.
Instead, I saw a female employee running after a maskless young woman who’d barged through the doors as staff politely asked customers to don face coverings.
The shopper suddenly stopped and screamed: “I’ve got my f* mask, you f* old c***!”, before pulling out a grubby bit of cloth and waving it in the air above the salad vegetables.
And, once she’d put it on, she was allowed to continue with her shopping. “Don’t worry, I’m used to it,” smiled the employee, Anne, when I asked if she was OK.
stopped so they can kick off.
“Some claim they’re exempt, but when you ask why it’s, ‘Erm, I’m claustrophobic’. It’s pathetic, but it takes all sorts!”
All it takes, I thought, as Anne shrugged off that volley of abuse, is for these pathetic idiots to show a bit of common decency.
For the selfish few to follow one simple but potentially life-saving measure that the rest of us do so willingly.
I am sick to death of arrogant anti-maskers, but I hate to see hardworking staff members forced into angry confrontations to protect the rest of us.
I would love it if every single one of these I’m all right Jacks and Jills could be fined for flouting the rules – but it really isn’t the best use of police time nor, I suspect, any real deterrent.
The flouters are also doing a huge disservice to the many people who genuinely cannot wear masks.
People with health conditions or disabilities shouldn’t have to explain their personal medical information to strangers just to be able to get some shopping in.
So there needs to be an official exemption card that’s easy to access, simple to check and forgery-proof.
And shoppers who claim to be exempt but don’t have a card to prove it should face a heavier fine.
Mask wearing will, unfortunately, be a necessary part of everyday lives for months, if not years to come.
And some anti-maskers may be forced to change their views when this dreadful pandemic claims the life of someone close to them.
But there will always be those who love to break the rules and have little conscience about doing so.
And good people like Anne should not face abuse from these bare-faced, moronic mask dodgers.