WHEN you have a goal it can easily be held hostage. That’s what is happening with the mask mandates. You’ve seen the signs: You may be refused service if you don’t comply and you may be asked to leave. You put on the mask because not to do so risks intervention by the mask police and a trip home empty-handed. Or a humiliating climbdown in order to secure that pint of milk. (Is it still legal to say ‘pint’ of milk? I voted Brexit to return to imperial measurements and reclaim the American colonies.)
So let’s change the goal. Go to the shops not for groceries but to find out if the mask police are willing to do the government’s bidding. With this as the goal you are going to succeed, no matter what happens.
I’ll bet there are many mask policepersons out there who would rather let you shop in peace. I shop unmasked where the mask policeman has surely concluded that his pay remains the same whether he ‘notices’ me or not.
So, there are two possibilities and you need fear neither.
1. You will remain unchallenged and you will be able to take note of a shopper-friendly environment worthy of your trade and that of your friends and family. You might even decide to buy something you don’t really need to reward the shopkeeper for good behaviour. It’s positive feedback.
2. If you are challenged you’ll find it easy to leave peacefully knowing that you have achieved your goal and have demonstrated to the shopkeeper that they are, apparently, losing sales by challenging you. They were probably hoping that you’d comply and they’d get the sale anyway. Instead you’re going to give some negative feedback, which is good information for them. This will help the shopkeeper develop a spine when it comes to pushing back against the rule-makers. You will be helping them find that fealty to commerce is more rewarding than fealty to the Wizards of Oz. You might think it’s harsh for them to be caught in the crossfire like this, but no one’s getting through this unscathed.
I’m not claiming that this is a genius plan and you may think it’s not worthwhile. But for some it will be just the step they need to reassert the autonomy that the meanies are trying to steal away from us.