Over-zealousness

Cramlington
Other shops are available

COVID-19 has brought out the best and worst of us. As we are making our way back onto the shops it is interesting to see the different ways that they are attempting to keep their customers safe. 

It seems that we have fallen into three groups. The majority of us are going with the flow, moaning quietly about the inconvenience under our breath, yet accommodating the mild disruption in our day to day lives. Then there are the extremists, those who vehemently ignore all attempts at social distancing and mask wearing, while at the other end there are the overzealous who, if they could, would wear a full hazmat suit and ensure that we kepot exactly two metres apart at all times.

I consider myself in the majority but do recognise that I have overzealous tendencies. During the introduction of the COSHH regulations back in the eighties I did go overboard with what has now become known as PPE.

The measures that some of the shops have introduced come across as overzealous. A recent visit to one shop sticks out as an example. I won’t name the store but it is the one where you buy from a catalogue and pick up your goods at a counter. 

My local outlet was covered in signs and stickers. Barriers had been erected to keep the crowds apart and a one way system introduced to ensure the customers didn’t bump into each other. The counter-intuitive instructions were enforced by a couple of sales prevention officers, one of which barked orders at anyone who dared to stray off the path, even by a few centimetres.

The COVID safety mechanisms put in place by this shop looked ridiculous and unworkable. Its seemingly ludicrous measures were highlighted by the very low numbers of people in the shop yet perhaps that was the problem. If the shop gets full they could well be a lifesaver. This throws up an interesting conundrum. Should shops and businesses have different policies and safeguards in place depending upon the volume of people in the premises? 

What may seem as overzealous in some circumstances may be very practical in others. I should be less judgemental and support the shop in doing its best under very difficult circumstances.

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