Masque of the Red Death

The Sound of Music

With compulsory masking looming up, we decided on a final shopping trip on 20 July, choosing Kingston upon Thames as a nice place. We managed to enjoy the family day out for some of the time, with shopping, browsing, river and sunshine.

Perhaps one fifth of the people were masked, outside as well as inside, despite the bright sunshine and fresh breeze. I wore a wide-brimmed floppy hat to limit what I can see, but it wasn’t only the masks: the constant signs and warnings and arrows, people in hi-viz jackets standing at entrances to tell you where to go, on and on, it built up until I felt as I had been assaulted – it was actually a physical feeling as well as mental.

However – our first stop was John Lewis, still an attractive department store with many lovely things beautifully displayed. On my own to the lingerie department, where the staff were older ladies and accustomed to distressed customers. None of the staff wore a mask and they interacted with me normally. However, I was in need of a new bra, but they weren’t allowed to measure me. Male readers might not be aware of just how difficult it is to find a well fitting and comfortable bra.

Then I discovered that we are not allowed to try them on. So ladies take a selection home and bring back those that don’t fit. And then the clothes have to go into quarantine before they can be put back on display. So there was little stock and few in my (approximate) size. Under all these circumstances you’d think there would be pretty and feminine bras available…oh no… what is this latest thing and why, are ladies supposed to be androgynous? Smoothed over, encased and no personality, and since when was a natural breast shape, nipple and all, an object of shame?

Next stop was Boots for hair care, make up, etc. Hair accessories, designed either for young girls or exceedingly ugly. Not unlike the bras. Nothing for actual women. Here the staff were all masked and also behaving very oddly. Jumping and dodging around me as though I were unclean. Clearly the masks made them frightened, not ‘comfortable’.

Needing help with the makeup, I asked for the assistant and then asked if she were allowed to remove her mask. Yes she said, in theory, but she had better ask. But then took it off anyway, and as she did so, taking a large step towards me. This happened without thought, it was simply her natural reaction, and then she too interacted perfectly normally with me. She seemed delighted in fact, poor girl, to have a nice friendly chat. What will it be like for her to spend her day seeing only masks and not human features? I am appalled for her and the many thousands of shop staff like her.

As we turned to go, my son spoke to me about it all, advising that I get used to it.

I replied that I don’t want to be used to it. My son understood, yet advised that would be best for me if I did. After we returned home I spent some hours thinking about this and made up my mind: No. I don’t want to be a person who is ‘used to’ such inhumanity. 

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21 Comments on Masque of the Red Death

  1. Zugzwang writes in Lockdownsceptics:
    “Since July 17th, therefore, the daily death statistics have not been published directly by the Government, which is currently “investigating” them. But they do go on being input into the Government’s coronavirus dashboard, which is fed by PHE. Not only that, they continue to illustrate the official thesis that while the virus may be on its way out, it is going very, very, slowly. The rolling seven-day average number of deaths per day on July 26th was 66, holding its own with 68 the week before. No decline recorded at all – and 444 deaths reported by PHE in the week ending July 24th.

    The thing is, though, that it is entirely mysterious where these deaths are occurring. For the week to July 24th there have so far been zero deaths reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland and just one in Wales. In the hospitals of England, the total recorded deaths (according to the NHS) were 67. So we have 376 unaccounted for (85% of them).”
    If you wish to read the full article it is here:

  2. Oh my! How absolutely for you! I just don’t see how you can really survive. And seeing it has induced mirror pain synesthesia in you too. I get this, but only usually as a result of seeing someone take a painful looking fall.

    The rest of you ↓↓↓↓↓, most of you anyway, are just simply insane.

    • Werdna,
      There is no evidence that wearing a cloth mask in public will have the slightest effect upon transmission of the corona virus. In addition fatalities due to that virus have dwindled to the negligible.
      There are, of course, public health officials, and some ‘scientists’ ( a broad church these days) who at least publicly state their support for mask wearing, but their motivations appear to be a lust for power, rather than a love for their fellow man.
      The imposition of masks upon the people of this country won’t affect viral transmission it will however prevent conversation, and just generally make the day to day life of the ordinary Briton a little more unpleasant.
      It is without question an infringement upon our liberty and freedom, and the people who have advised the government that this is the correct action to take are despicable.

  3. Just like the run up to our 2016 independence decision aka brexit, there is a huge chasm between how people feel individually vs project fear.

    Clearly Rosie you share this widespread feeling of genuine and severe distress at the twin prospects of both being forced to physically wear what is a non medical device and witness the same forced upon everyone else too.

    Here’s a reasonable answer

    All this masked by diktat being started now in the summer holiday season too, when the usual suspect bugs are most quiescent, annual flu and the Common Cold.

    Ah yes, the Common Cold, a collective of 200+ viruses including assorted CoVs for which there’s been no successful vaccine to date and may never be, which in turn may be a better outcome, given that if our living immune systems are primed react to such an artificially-induced broad range of CoVs (6 so far, each with differing severity), then super-sensitivity must increase the risks of life-threatening secondary effects ie cytokine storms)

  4. My husband and I went out on the same day to our local independent garden centre. We live in a very rural area (Norfolk) and haven’t needed to go where other people are very much at all since March, so were interested to see how people were embracing the mask wearing. I was prepared with what must now be normal accessories in the form of a zip-lock plastic bag with masks, gloves, antiseptic wipes and handwash, and an empty bag to put potentially contaminated used items in. When we arrived we were quite prepared to abide by any rules, which were clearly displayed. But something happened when we walked in that hadn’t previously occurred to either of us. When we looked at the other customers, it was evident that the only people who were in masks stood out as ‘vulnerable’. We felt that had there been a pride of lions or a pack of hyenas stalking the compost sheds or trying to blend in with the (sadly depleted) array of late summer bedding plants, it would have been the mask wearers that would have copped it. So, although we are quite prepared to cover our faces pro tem, we are going to continue to go out as little as possible until normal service has been restored.
    We now have another social hurdle to overcome. We have been invited to friends for supper tomorrow. She’s not much of a cook, and has suggested takeaway pizza. This presents us with a problem, as we have developed an aversion to food prepared by strangers (just who has touched it, and did they wash their hands?) New normal? Neurotic normal.

    • Hmm, quite a puzzler eh.


      Perhaps feel a little gratitude that someone desires the pleasure of your company, even though that someone cannot cook?

      Or perhaps feel elevated in status that such is the case, if to you, gratitude does not seem seemly?

      • Oh, more than a little, I can assure you! It will be our first ‘social’ since early March, and good company beats fodder every time. It’s just a poser for neurotic types like me!

        • Why not offer to take the pizzas yourself? Collect from or have delivered from Tesco or similar giving you the chance to quarantine them?

          Alternatively, try one of the techniques now required of us all when dining with Russian friends. Drop your dinner on the floor, scape up, run under tap, stick in oven, eat. I always carry a Flash bleach spray just to be on the safe. (Just kidding.)


        • Just Some Woman

          Perhaps you should stop reading Daily Mail health scares, or similar?

          Out, out, brief candle!
          Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
          That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
          And then is heard no more. It is a tale
          Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
          Signifying nothing.

          • Phooey. That’s a mad Scotsman for you, never mistaken for a ray of sunshine even 400 years ago.
            We are such stuff as dreams are made on.
            There’s a double meaning in that.

  5. Dear Rosie,
    You write with a human feeling, entirely missing from the humourless public health lunatics.
    This enforced masking of our fellow Britons is positively Soviet, and I share you hope that we never ‘get used to it’.
    The desire to bully, control, and enforce that seems to be commonplace amongst senior civil servants and NHS managers should be resisted by all of us.

  6. Can’t help feeling we’re missing an opportunity for unseemly mirth here.
    Is Rosie saying that John Lewis has boobed with his bras?

  7. Apart from all the well known warnings about muzzles, as laid out here, along with the re-breathing of one’s own co2 enriched air etc.. There is another aspect which has not been mentioned much, and that is the condition of a spent muzzle.

    Having been placed over the mouth and nose and breathed through for some time, and assuming that the wearer has the lurgy, the mask that is discarded eventually finds its way into landfill, where the seagulls and the rats can browse to their satisfaction.

    Eventually though, any self respecting rat or gull will get bored or full up, and go somewhere else with their claws and mouthparts “enriched” with covid, as they try and steal your dinner or beg.

    We are breeding an army of infection.

    Muzzles are a disaster, and they should only be worn by people who vote Labour aka fearful puritans.

  8. Yes, a cry from the heart -and from many millions of hearts.

    But if we become used to it or not, the most likely scenario for our future is that our freedoms of action, speech and thought -and our freedom to create our own material abundance- will be ever-increasingly constrained as the marxist-inspired people take further control of our daily lives.

    Virus, or no virus.

    Too few people can think outside the ideology now proclaimed in the education systems and in the mainstream media, and there are almost none who regard it worth their while to sacrifice their own time and own money to join with others who would organise, resource and implement the push-back-

    -a push-back that must be never-ending, for the marxist-inspired ideology and its associated campaigns, such as the fake/false human-caused-climate-hysteria, now run deep and wide across the West.

    • Seconded, Harry. There is surely a Marxist coterie even now concocting reasons why face-masking should become permanent. Big Brother never misses an opportunity to intensify the slow suffocation of our lives.