Bullies are hiding behind the mask of Covid – we need to stop the hate

AFTER a blissful weekend of switching off to stomp around our glorious coastline, it’s a bit of a shock to come back to a week where we’re plunged back into the most contagious symptom of Covid ever.

Nah, not the Moronic – sorry, Omicron – variant but hatred.

Because the level of vile, aggressive ­division in this country on absolutely everything these days is shocking.

Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. But get one thing straight – whatever choice you make it does not mean you are ­better, kinder, morally superior or ­entitled to be downright rude to another human being.

It’s only a piece of cloth – how hard can it be? You wear a seat belt when driving, don’t you? Blah, blah, blah.

But for so many ­people it is hard and they should be respected, not threatened with physical violence.

Seat belts are 100% proven to save lives in a car crash. Masks aren’t 100% anything. Especially the flimsy, often filthy ­pieces of material most folk (very nearly) wear.

Germany has had one of the strongest global medical mask mandates all summer yet infections have soared as it faces a fourth wave.

  • Boris Johnson to hold TV press conference today as Omicron Covid variant spreads

Scotland never ditched masks either and it too has a high infection rate.

Yet it’s stunning how many folk – including some professional comedians – think it’s perfectly acceptable to state they’re going to punch someone on public transport because they are mask free.

What a sorry state of affairs we have come to when physical violence is deemed socially acceptable by those who consider themselves virtuous, claim to care about mental health and have #bekind on their social media biogs.

A friend’s severely autistic teenage lad had a full breakdown after being rudely confronted by a mask Nazi on a London Tube.

  • Brits can be fined over £6k from tomorrow for not wearing face mask

He’s a strapping lad and looks perfectly healthy. But his condition means he has very limited coping strategies. And yes, he was wearing his exemption badge too.

But this is where we are now – debate has been replaced with hate; reasoned conversations by screeching slanging matches.

Everyone is always convinced that they are totally right and anyone in opposition is instantly stupid and selfish and needs to see the error of their ways.

But I guess after Brexit and the way our education system is going, with “trigger warnings” on everything from Snow White to Shakespeare, agreeing to disagree was always going to be a dying art.

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My heart truly goes out to supermarket and public transport staff who have been left to question and enforce the mask legislation. They face intimidation and attacks themselves.

So fair play to the boss of Iceland, who has said he will not encourage his workers to challenge the mask-less.

Likewise the travel industry, which, once again, has been plunged into uncertainty at one of its busiest times of year.

Meanwhile in South Africa – who first reported this new “super mutant” (and can we please stop with that ridiculous scaremongering language? It’s not a sodding zombie apocalypse) – no one is panicking.

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In fact, the chair of the South African Medical Association has been shocked by our “over-reaction”. Her words, not mine.

No-one there has been hospitalised or even fallen seriously ill. In fact, she describes the symptoms as a mild cold.

In any case, it’s the first of December so pinching and punching ARE allowed to wish someone good luck. Not because of whether their face is covered.

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