Wearing a mask in the supermarket helps me hide my unhealthy habits


hen various supermarkets announced this week that customers not wearing masks would be banned, I was taken by surprise. I had assumed that such a prohibition was already in place.

A fortnight ago a man in the vegetable aisle at Waitrose had a very loose bandana around his face, which regularly slipped to expose not only his nose but his mouth too. That was enough to get a very hard stare from me. I hoped staff would boot him out, as they had a young lad who’d wandered in maskless a week or two before Christmas.

True, there are some who feel it’s all too much: not only the strange people who think the whole pandemic is a charade or conspiracy; but also those who simply aren’t convinced by the science around mask-wearing, or who find face-coverings intolerably uncomfortable. Really though, for all that masks make communication more difficult, there is little else that more explicitly sums up our communal effort to do whatever it takes (and perhaps more) to combat Covid-19. I’m here all day for them.

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