This week, many enjoyed their first meal or coffee out of their own home for months. If they were anything like me, the first time was a warped sense of normal. I imagined myself blinking in a brand new sun as I took my seat with a friend (a person not from my household, the excitement!). We laughed to ourselves sitting at a table marooned in a sea of socially distanced lino, QR scanned ourselves in and did a quick internet search as to the rules on when you were allowed to remove the masks.
In the spirit of social support, I decided to spread my coffee money around my small town and the following time I arranged to meet a friend at another café. We ordered our coffee from a maskless barista and sat down, feeling slightly awkward.
We discussed the prevalence of conspiracy theorists, blaming the lawless plains of social media and the echo chamber of unvetted comments. We drank our coffee, served by a similarly maskless waitress and discussed what kind of a business decision it was, in a small town, to so boldly ignore both public health advice and also the law.
I will not be supporting them again; there are plenty of other cafes in town who are all doing their best to fulfil public health requirements and protect everyone in society. I didn’t go through the pain of lockdowns and home learning to do it all over again because a few idiots think they know better than a whole lot of very educated experts.