Last night was my first night out in quite a while. Phoebe and Spencer asked me if I would like to join them at the new Asian restaurant Tonkatsu. Phoebe had been for lunch the previous Sunday and the food looked great.
Not having been out much for the last year and a half as I get so incensed about people doing stupid things like wearing masks in cars on their own and stupid rules like having to wear a mask from the entrance of a pub’s outside garden until you sit down at the outside table. Then if you want to go to the loo…don’t get me started about the Covids not infecting you if you are sitting down versus standing up!
To put this in context, I want to make very clear that usually, I am a very law-abiding citizen who hardly ever breaks rules – those, that is, that make sense to me. Like not killing, hurting or robbing someone or calling them horrid names or it being wrong to withhold jobs or fair pay based on sex, skin colour, accent etc. Free speech for all (but not hate speech) seems like a good idea. All that good stuff.
One of my core values is a very strong sense of fair play and personal sovereignty. When I was quite young, around 7-8 years old, I decided I didn’t believe in god, so I used to stand quietly in School Assembly but wouldn’t sing or pray or bow my head. I stood up for myself if challenged on it – and I was challenged regularly. My kids both have the same sense of fair play and I love that about them.
Having twigged very early on in all this nonsense after doing some research, that the virus aerosol can easily get through anything but a full-on white medical mask and that this Mask Mandate was at best a way of making people feel safe and at worst a symbol of power and authority.
In the interests of complete honesty, however, I must tell you that I have worn one about 3-4 times, mainly to go to the dentist, because they won’t even open the door unless you have one on, and because the dentist had to work TRIPLE masked with a plastic visor on top of that too. I held mine out at the bottom so I could breathe properly though, especially in an empty waiting room.
The only other time I wore one was when I went out on an errand in Brighton with a friend and we went for lunch. They wouldn’t have served us if one of us hadn’t complied with the mask-wearing and ordering via phone and Bar Code. So I took one for the team and I absolutely hated it. I took it off in the loo and threw it in the bin to go back to the table.
My deeply practical young adults wore them all the way through this illegal lockdown just for an easy life, they don’t see it as complying with evil creeping authoritarianism, they see it as not cutting off your nose to spite your face. They think I’m mad to be making my own personal protest and sometimes I have to agree with them but it seems important to me.
Anyway, back to my first night out in a while.
It started well, I wasn’t challenged at all, so they must have thought I was exempt (instead of just seething inside).
Then the waitress came over and proceeded to give us some totally nonsense instructions that completely contradicted those given by a different waitress in the same restaurant to my daughter only last Sunday. The food was good but the place was rapidly emptying and the kitchen closing around 9pm (even taking takeaway orders into account). This was a Saturday in central Brighton, so sad to see, but it could have been because of the football.
Then we went to go to a pub where some of Phoebe’s friends were watching England thrash the Ukraine, arriving just in time for the end of the match.
We spotted them sitting outside and naturally headed for their table where they were keeping spaces for us.
Immediately a security goon came over and said something along the lines of “Oh no, you can’t just come in there and sit down, you have to go around the side there and come in that way’. At least, I think that’s what he was saying as I’m a bit deaf and he had a cloth mask on. I’ve realised how much I lipread since everyone started covering their faces.
For the sake of peace and to continue a pleasant evening I complied, walking back out through the ornamental trees, down the to end and in via what looked like the entry point and sat down firmly at the table. Then he tried to tell me no, I had to get up, go back out, go all the way around the side of the pub, into the pub, and sign in etc.
So I totally lost it at this point.
I stood up and said very loudly “No! I will not comply, this is ridiculous. Ridiculous, do you hear me, we are all outside and we are perfectly safe. This pub will NOT now get ANY OF MY MONEY’ and walked off, everyone watching.
Phoebe’s just told me that her and Spencer walked around as requested and nothing happened at all. Nobody checked anything, they didn’t have to sign in, they just walked through the pub – inside – and out into the garden again. She called me to make sure I was ok, but I was home by then with my feet up watching tv.
So, I will NOT be going out again until the 19th July and I will ONLY be spending my money in places that 100% get rid of ALL THIS NONSENSE.
What I’ll do later in the year as they inevitably try and lock us down again, I haven’t yet decided.
(And why, oh why, do people think it’s ok to just drop the filthy things on the floor? If they really believed in a deadly virus, is this not just as dangerous as spitting at people’s faces?)