15

July

To Fear, or not to Fear.

Wednesday July 15, 2020


They’ve taken away the one-way system around Tesco and suddenly I don’t feel safe anymore.

I was trying to analyse this feeling as I swept around with my trolley. The removal of the arrows means I can go down the eggs and bakery aisle the way I prefer; I can miss out the aisle with the chilled cream cakes and the aisle of beer. Next week, cream cakes and beer might be on the list – but this time I can walk on by.

Shopping is faster without the one-way system. I go at a time when the shop is less crowded, so the 2m rule is no more compromised then previously. So why do I feel so anxious?

Last Tuesday I attended a training session, learning to fit colourful and quirky spectacle frames, like the ones I wear. There were three of us on the training and, owing to the nature of the measuring, maintaining a 2m distance was impossible; we needed to be up close and personal.

After a serious conversation between the three of us and the trainer, we decided not to wear masks – and I felt perfectly comfortable with this. After the session, we all trooped across to the café on the other side of the road. It was crowded, the tables close together, the waiting staff hurried and harried. I did not feel comfortable or safe.

On the way home, I stopped at the motorway services for a comfort break. Every other washbasin was taped across; every other hand-dryer was disconnected; there were signs all over exhorting everyone to keep their distance. The coffee shop had a screen between the servers and customers; the tables were far apart; there was a clearly marked line to stand behind while waiting for your order.

I felt comfortable and I felt safe.

On reflection, I think I like to feel cared for; I like to feel that my safety is a priority for any shop or business with which I interact.

I know some people are dismissive of Covid 19 and think too much is being made of it. They dislike the idea of compulsory mask-wearing; they feel the 2m rule is both unworkable and economic suicide.

But perhaps those people do not have friends who have become seriously ill or died of this virus. Perhaps they do not have anyone close who is in the vulnerable group.

I am reopening my studio next week for personal consultations. Before I really thought about this, I sighed as I read through the long list of recommended precautions I must put in place. I did the Beauty Guild Covid Awareness training merely to get the required certificate to hang on my wall. Now, however, I realise my clients will want to feel comfortable; they will need to know I take their safety seriously.

And I do.

So, thank you, Tesco, for removing your arrows.

Can you put them back again now - please?

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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