Laura Dodsworth

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Masks: Manners, Manipulation and Maths

By Laura Dodsworth According to Michael Gove, wearing masks is good manners. Nicola Sturgeon says they are a sign of ‘solidarity’.  Matt Hancock has admitted they are to ‘give people more confidence to shop safely’. The emotionally manipulative and coercive language around masks focuses on what they represent – showing you care. Who wants to be impolite? Who wants to be derided for not caring?  While very few people are wearing masks on the high street, online mask shaming is in your face. Covidiot. Selfish. Get over it. Mask up. Granny killer. “Just been to the supermarket and I’m amazed at how many older folk are not wearing masks! I’d be pushing my trolly round Aldi in a hazmat suit. Mental.” That’s more self-congratulatory than mask shaming, but it got me thinking. I’m stocking up at the shops on things I like to buy in person before I switch to online shopping on the 24th July. I don’t enjoy shopping anyway, but add in a queue on the pavement, hand sanitiser in the doorway, stewards checking we don’t get too close to each other, and then a mask inside, and the retail experience has been finished off for me. I also went to Aldi, stocking up on washing power, and thought about how few people were wearing a mask – almost...

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July 2024
Free Speech Union

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