SOMETIMES, when you’re feeling all civic and high-minded, you feel umbrage at the supermarket when a shopper strolls in without a mask. Your indignation is worse on those occasions when, nearing the shop, you realise you’ve left yours in the car and have to double back to retrieve it. You’ve even perfected ‘The Look’.

This is when you try to make eye contact with mask-less reprobates and fix them with a stare that lets them know they are irresponsible roasters.

It threatens to ruin what you’d hoped would be a relaxing and therapeutic half-hour idling aimlessly among the comestibles while Adele breaks her heart in the background.

And then you catch a grip of yourself and realise that if anyone’s a roaster it’s you. During the lockdown you’ve probably broken several rules on many occasions. You’ve shaken hands when you should have bumped elbows; you’ve rarely bothered to check the two-metre distance rule; you probably had a few cheeky and self-indulgent trips beyond the five-mile boundary at the start of the Covid.

When the pubs re-opened you swore you’d find a seat at the back and sip your drink quietly and have subdued and careful chat with your chums. As the Bacardi rate accelerated though, your Covid caution evaporated exponentially. Soon it was flying out the window amidst beery hugs. Caligula’s parties were more socially-distanced than Saturday nights at the taverns I frequent.

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