Mask Free

First mask free day.
Maybe a quarter of folk
still covered - including me!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

It is now no longer mandatory in England to wear a face covering, despite the still high daily COVID infection rate. Actually yesterday was first mask free day but other than going for a bike ride, when masks were not necessary anyway, I didn’t go out among people. Whilst I acknowledge we need to learn to live with this disease I feel that it is still too early to go maskless. I am happy to walk along the road without a mask, avoiding close contact, but I prefer to put it on to enter shops, and I also use the sanitizer. However, mask wearing is still ‘recommended’ in crowded places and some major stores are still insisting on masks, but many are allowing customers to please themselves.

Out shopping today my local shops still have signs up but do not enforce it, leaving the choice to the customer. It seems that I, although not entirely alone, am in the minority! I wonder how many of my co-mask-wearers will be intimidated into doing without soon, not wishing to go against the idea that if the majority think its okay it must be okay – this is easily done, even I felt that I stood out like a sore thumb and that maskless people looked at me as if I was an idiot. How much worse will it be when there are even fewer of us wearing them?

Faces

Faces
half-covered with masks
makes it hard
to recognise acquaintances,
especially out of context,
in places
where you would not
expect to see them.

They Think It’s All Over

Well I’m back from a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend in the Derbyshire Dales with our motorhome and our tandem. What beautiful countryside, with rough pastures full of buttercups, dry stone walls and verges full of wild flowers – much of it the ubiquitous Cow Parsley or as we called it when I was a child, Mother Die, but others were in evidence as well. Swallows flitted all around our camping field and I even spotted a curlew standing statue-still only a few yards from the road as we were cycling along. There were also plenty of hills and steep-sided woodlands rising up from the lanes beside us. I haven’t yet had time to download any photos from my camera so nothing to share I’m afraid.

One minor problem of the weekend is that we found that the whistling kettle that we use on the gas cooker (we had no electric hook-up so relied on the gas) was in serious danger of losing it’s handle which had nearly detached itself. The meant that we had to cycle into the lovely little town of Bakewell to buy a new one – this was Bank Holiday Saturday. What a mistake! The town was jam-packed with visitors (okay, so were we visitors too!), very few masks and no social distancing in evidence. It seems that, since everything is due to open up later this month all being well, the majority think it is all over already. The same problem was true of the off-road Monsal Trail that we rode along to get to Bakewell and back again – crowded, no social-distancing or masks. At least we found a kettle after spending quite a long time looking for a shop that could sell us one and being sent on some wild goose chases when we stopped to ask! I may have had both jabs but I’m still not comfortable with a quick return to so called ‘normality’.

This was however a minor hiccup, the weekend was most enjoyable and out and about on the country lanes we were virtually alone (except for passing traffic). We kept away from the popular places where crowds would gather. By gum, it’s hilly up there though and we were glad of our electric assist!

Site content copyright of Elizabeth Leaper (Libby).

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