Bloody hell, has it really been two years? I guess time also flies when you're having very little fun at all.
As you are almost certainly aware, on Easter Monday the few remaining Covid restrictions in place will be lifted and we can go back to how life was in 2020. (Except, that is for those of us that have died, have lost a loved one, or who have to live with the debilitating effects of a severe respiratory illness)
Although I have major reservations about the wisdom of this, it is clear that their is no appetite among the body politic (and no cash) to continue living with even the most minor public health measures/infringements on economic activity.
So, (barring any last minute announcement from the FM) from next week we will no longer be asking you to wear a mask when shopping with us. We will also be (mostly) unmasked ourselves*
It will be nice to see your faces and I have to apologise for exposing our own to you. This does also mean I'm going to have to shave a bit more regularly. Most excitingly though, this means I can get back to my regular levels of tea consumption - It has been wildly frustrating watching numerous mugs go cold during a busy spell.
There are, however still things we can do to protect the vulnerable and we should still proceed cautiously where we can.
We will ask you to keep at a distance - we didn't breathe in strangers faces back in the day and there is no reason to start now.
We will continue to isolate if we show any symptoms.
We will test before mingling in groups and we ask you to do the same. (assuming LFD's are available)
We won't be giving out samples (YET - it will happen soonish, though)
We will keep our masks in our back pockets and don them again if a customer requests. Please don't be afraid to ask us.
I think a good rule of principal is to act with the caution of the most cautious person in the room at any time. No matter how indestructible we consider ourselves to be, we are probably only at a few steps remove from somebody considerably more vulnerable.
This virus is till out there and it is as deadly as ever - but it's clear the UK is changing the way it mitigates it. Let's hope that my pessimism is misplaced and this really is the beginning of the end.
*One of the most annoying things about the denialist/libertarian nutjobs is their refusal to wear a piece of cloth when spending a few minutes shopping, without for a moment considering that the staff in the shop might be wearing one for up to nine hours without complaint.