Despite the lifting of all Plan B restrictions in England yesterday, half the country appears reluctant to give up wearing masks.
Now why doesn’t that surprise me? I’ve been telling you for the past 18 months that there would be nothing normal about the New Normal.
Even though Covid cases have fallen off a cliff, and the Omicron variant is now known to be about as dangerous as the common cold, millions of people are still running scared.
The proliferation of masks has been the most visible manifestation of the success of the relentless campaign to frighten everyone half to death.
Lockdown zealots are unwilling to give up control any time soon, if ever. In London, mayor Genghis Khan is insisting on masks being worn on public transport.
Despite the lifting of all Plan B restrictions in England yesterday, half the country appears reluctant to give up wearing masks. Pictured: Shoppers wearing masks on Oxford Street
Some shoppers at a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Vauxhall, London yesterday went without a face mask
He no longer has the legal power to fine passengers for non-compliance, but has warned that those who refuse may be kicked off trains and buses.
This at a time when office workers, at least in the private sector, are heeding the call to return to their desks, providing a much-needed economic lifeline to hard-hit city centre businesses.
Yet the struggling hospitality and entertainment sectors are rightly concerned that the continued widespread wearing of masks will discourage people from visiting restaurants, pubs and cinemas.
Who wants to sit down for dinner close to someone at the next table who clearly considers you contagious and a mortal threat to their wellbeing?
With so many refusing to discard their face coverings, it creates the powerful impression that Covid still poses a clear and present danger. Nervous Nellies and bedwetters will be deterred from venturing out.
Working From Home fanatics will seize any excuse, however flimsy, for refusing to go back to their offices. I wonder if the WFH brigade have been wearing masks in their own houses, only removing them briefly to pop another Hobnob in their gobs.
The proliferation of masks has been a visible manifestation of the success of the campaign to frighten everyone. Pictured: Shopper wearing a mask in Sainsbury’s in Birmingham
Neither does it help that leading supermarket chains — including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s —are asking customers to continue covering up.
Shoppers in Kingston-upon-Thames were telling reporters yesterday that they were sticking with their masks ‘until the virus has been defeated’.
Nobody has ever said that about flu, no matter how many lives it has claimed. So much for learning to live with Covid.
Masks remain mandatory in Scotland and Wales, with Wee Burney and Dismal Drakeford once again going out of their way to distance themselves from Westminster. Look how Sturgeon never misses a chance to pull on her designer tartan number.
Scots and Welsh Nationalists — along with Labour mayors such as Khan and that other two-bob chancer Andy Burnham in Manchester — have been falling over each other to prove they are much tougher on Covid than the callous Conservatives.
They have all chosen cynical opportunism and self-promotion, regardless of the inconvenience caused to their own citizens and the damage inflicted on businesses.
As the Prime Minister says, if Keir Starmer had been in power, England would still be in lockdown.
When restrictions were eased last year, Labour MPs insisted piously on wearing masks in the Commons, even though most Tories had cast them aside.
Depressingly, rather than setting an example yesterday, MPs on both sides of the House were still sporting their face coverings, even though the chamber was practically deserted.
Frankly, I’ve never had much faith in masks preventing the spread of corona, especially after the Government and ‘the science’ performed a 180-degree reverse ferret — initially claiming they provided no protection, before deciding that unless we wore them we were all GOING TO DIE!
The only times I’ve ever put one on has been going into the local pharmacy and visiting a doctor.
Even then, during my most recent appointment, the consultant’s mask only covered his mouth, not his nose, and I noticed some of the nurses and the receptionist were wearing them under their chins.
Lockdown zealots are unwilling to give up control any time soon, if ever. In London, mayor Genghis Khan is insisting on masks being worn on public transport
What has always baffled me, too, is why so many people insist on wearing masks in the open air, in the streets and in parks.
For some, such as the Worried Well, they are a kind of security blanket. For others, they are a fashion accessory, an ostentatious display of virtue signalling, designed to show how much they care.
Masks are part of the bitter political divide, the new Brexit and Remain battlefield.
They give serial, passive-aggressive finger-waggers licence to ‘tut-tut’ and admonish those of us who don’t mask up, providing yet another opportunity to flaunt their bogus moral superiority.
And we all know how they voted in the referendum.
Worst of all, masks are an unwelcome barrier to social interaction, an assault on our very humanity.
OK, so if you are considered genuinely vulnerable, it’s your right to carry on wearing one.
But as for the rest of you: just get ’em off.
Downing Street staff are said to be in a state of ‘paralysis’ because of the current turmoil over parties and speculation about the PM’s future.
Surely, given the amount of gargle they manage to get through, including a suitcase full of vino collapso, that should read: Paralytic.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs have fallen to the forces of revisionism. Disney is rethinking plans to remake the classic fairy tale.
The company says it has cast a Latina actress as Snow White and is ‘consulting with members of the dwarfism community to avoid reinforcing stereotypes’. That could mean dropping the Dwarfs altogether.
Already, the plans have come under fire from actors of restricted growth, who fear they could be put out of a job if pantomime producers follow suit.
Still, if a Latina actress can play Snow White, will we see Peter Crouch and Stephen Merchant as dwarfs in panto next Christmas? Bring on the Oompa Loompas!
Broadcasters and broadsheets have for some reason started referring to Kiev, capital of Ukraine, as Kyiv.
I can only assume it’s another simple case of intellectual snobbery. The use of ‘authentic’ foreign names, rather than those with which we have always been familiar, has been going on for years.
Recently, reporters covering the fall of Kabul started calling it ‘Karble’ and talking about the Taliban as the ‘Dhaarrrll-eebaaahn’.
Daftest of the lot was when I watched a BBC hack delivering a piece to camera from ‘Mumbai’.
Trundling along in the background was a truck with ‘Bombay Plumbing Services’ written on the side.
PUT YOUR TROUSERS ON, BORIS, YOU’RE NICKED!
It’s a staple of every police drama on TV, the copper pulling a bottle of Glenhoddle from his desk drawer and pouring slugs into a selection of grubby coffee mugs and paper cups.
Can Dick of Dock Green assure us that during lockdown no one at Scotland Yard has taken a swig of gold watch in the squad room in the company of fellow officers at the end of a long stake-out?
If they have, I’m sure they would argue it was a ‘work gathering’ within the meaning of the Act. Which is Boris Johnson’s excuse for the Downing Street bring-your-own-booze bash.
You can’t imagine Jack Regan (pictured) kicking down the door of No 10, pinning Boris up against the wall and barking: ‘We’re The Sweeney, son, and we haven’t had any birthday cake’
I repeat, the No 10 drinks party was an affront to everyone else playing by the rules. But I do believe Boris when he says he only popped in for a short while to thank his staff.
BoJo is a bit like Young Mr Grace in Are You Being Served?
I can just imagine him appearing briefly on the terrace flanked by a couple of scantily dressed lovelies and telling his troops: ‘You’ve all done very well.’
As for Cressida, what’s she doing ordering a full-scale investigation into No 10?
Others have already commented on the sheer stupidity of this ludicrously expensive waste of police time and resources.
My take is that it’s part of an establishment coup against a PM they can’t abide, and launched by politically motivated senior officers at the Yard, who owe their elevation to the Left-wing freemasonry Common Purpose.
Half of them, including Dick herself, are lucky still to be in a job after a series of outrageous high-profile cock-ups and abuses of power.
You can’t imagine Jack Regan getting involved in this kind of heavy-handed witch-hunt, kicking down the door of No 10, pinning Boris up against the wall and barking: ‘We’re The Sweeney, son, and we haven’t had any birthday cake.’
And if Dick of Dock Green had asked DS George Carter whether to investigate a thirsty jolly-up in Downing Street, he’d have told her in no uncertain terms: ‘Don’t do it, guv, it’s not worth it.’