IN February 2020 I was working in one of London West End Theatre’s and had to travel on London Transport’s tube to get to and from the theatre.

I chose to wear a mask on the tube, as Covid was rearing its ugly head, but although we had heard it may be a “bad virus” we were still not aware how “bad” it was to become.

Mask wearing was not mandatory at that time, and in fact early in the pandemic, public health messaging about masking often offered inconsistent and conflicting statements, often dismissive, which led to public confusion and subsequent scrutiny.

For me, common sense said wear one, yet there were those who chose not to as it was ‘against their human rights’ or it was ‘discriminating against them'.

As the days progressed I witnessed the gate staff at TFL Victoria, and indeed Oxford Circus, receive aggressive and abusive comebacks to their polite ‘please wear a mask when travelling on our trains’.

I can imagine bus and possibly taxi drivers had the same treatment.

Fast forward to here on the Island, where I am dealing with my late father’s estate.

I was in one of the big supermarkets, and witnessed the ‘meet and greet’ staff suffer the same rude and unnecessarily aggressive abuse, as if the non-mask wearer challenged was above being asked to wear a mask in the store.

How is this so difficult for some, who clearly feel wearing a mask is beneath them, with the challenger being beaten verbally into submission?

Either wear a mask, or if the wearer is exempt, then please wear an easily visible lanyard, thus avoiding the challenge at the shop front.

The big supermarkets have stated they are now clamping down on those who refuse to wear a mask whilst in their stores. This is not happening.

Staff should not have to suffer verbal abuse when challenging customers.

When will people realise that wearing a mask or other face covering is mainly about protecting others from you?

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