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May 20, 2020

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“I need to keep social distance, please.” And when the move away, give thanks. Just as when saying no, don’t give Reasons.

This is you setting your boundary for you, not asking him/her to do something for an amorphous humanity. I think it’s much harder to ignore a personal request than one that seems hypothetical.

Have you seen pictures of a cafe in Germany, I think, which had people wearing hats with pool noodles on?!

I second Celeste’s suggestion. That sounds really perfect!!

I feel like The Washington Post had a piece on how to ask nicely. I'll share if I come across it again.

I've been tempted to just start coughing so hard that I need to remove my own mask to see if that helps people move away...

At the park or on a running trail, I tend to go with the usual "On your left!" and then expect them to move over. You may not get the requisite 6', but they will surely move and it's better than nothing.

With the tradesguy, whatever. You're paying HIM. He's a service professional. Before you even let him in the house or discuss the situation with him, set the tone. "We have concerns and would like you to wear a mask. It has nothing to do with your health." And then wait.

Thanks for starting the discussion. My husband, an essential worker in a cubicle setting, has just had to embrace being firm and straightforward. Anything less - anything that can be ignored - will be ignored by the people who already have discarded any support for masking or distancing.

So when you're asking for space (as Celeste suggested), or asking people on your property to mask to follow your rules, that seems straightforward if demanding strong assertiveness. But what about when one is in public, where there is a public guideline, and those around you aren't masking? (Like lining up outside a retail store - a situation I haven't had to deal with yet, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.) Good idea to come up with script beforehand.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else people have to suggest. It makes me deeply sad seeing all the people bragging about refusing to mask and commenting on how nobody (post office worker, grocery clerk, etc) minds, as I hear "Look how brave I am, insisting on putting others at risk, and how nice they are not to take issue with it!"

Bluntly: I don't feel safe asking anyone to do anything about their masks. I see a lot of them hanging below noses. I move away. I don't say anything. I'm scared of the possible response. That person may have a gun.

I am not thrilled to be living in a country where this is the calculus. I do not consider this the best country on earth anymore. This breaks my heart. (I had suspected it for a good long time. Our responses to ... everything ... for the last four years have confirmed my suspicions.)

[My boss is not requiring teachers in our building to wear masks unless they're having contact with parents, and the custodian who is in the building every day aggressively denigrates mask-wearing. My library is the central work space and I have had to go there a few times over the last few months and the refusal to wear masks INFURIATES ME. I do plan to say something fierce about the issue if we return to work in the building in the fall -- I expect that we will be going back. I do not have a script. It might just be, "if we aren't wearing masks all the time, I have to quit." And also, "Please put on your F*&^ing mask right now, you horrible selfish idiot." Okay, not that last one. But it feels cathartic to imagine it.]

Jumping back here to ask: How about the door-to-door solicitor who showed up just now, UNMASKED? I opened the door a crack because I don't know all my neighbors by sight well, and they occasionally need to knock on my door to say things like, "We have your kitty skulking in the back corner of our garage, and he won't come out," or "Did you know all your van doors are wide open?" and occasionally, "I think it's your toddler down the block there with no pants on." But he had a lanyard and a tablet, so I said fairly bluntly, "If you don't NEED to talk to me, this is a bad time." (NEED in case he was here from a utility to tell me I had a leak or something.) I haven't gone out for 2.5 mo (except to the broken-arm Dr), and it didn't register that he wasn't wearing a mask until my husband asked afterward.

?!?!

He did stand something like 6ft back, but still. We are tremendously privileged to be able to have our food come to us, but having made the decision to forego foods (cucumbers, sigh) that InstaCart doesn't list, it is a bit frustrating to have some random uninvited stranger bring exposure to US. Sure could have used a script, but I had no IDEA I'd need that one!

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