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Have you asked anyone (a stranger) to keep their distance and what was their response?

(39 Posts)
MNnicknameforCVthreads Mon 31-Aug-20 08:18:28

I asked a couple (man and woman) to keep their distance while queuing for something yesterday. The man started swearing at me and trying to tell me the rule was 1m not 2m.

I’m still glad I said something but he was so horrible it set me on edge for a while afterwards.

Should I just keep my mouth shut in future?

OP’s posts: |
KatherineJaneway Mon 31-Aug-20 08:20:15

Anytime you 'tell someone off' you risk getting a mouthful of abuse back. Even if you are in the right.

I am assuming they could easily stay 2m away from you.

MNnicknameforCVthreads Mon 31-Aug-20 08:21:13

I should add, we were the only people in the queue and there was plenty of room for them to stay 2m away.

FWIW the woman was trying to calm the man down and was clearly embarrassed by the way he spoke to me.

OP’s posts: |
Tanfastic Mon 31-Aug-20 09:31:44

Unless someone was right up my arse without a mask on I wouldn't personally.

Someone told me off last week for sniffing a soap in a shop and threatened to sob me in (did it without thinking pulled my mask down momentarily). I told her to mind her own business.

Tanfastic Mon 31-Aug-20 09:32:25

Dob me in that should say

EleanorOalike Mon 31-Aug-20 09:46:21

I didn’t say anything but intentionally put distance between us and I got a dirty looks and whispered comments and “some people are so rude Nan, we don’t have Covid do we?” passives aggressiveness.

It was my first time at a supermarket having previously been in Shielding and then been put in Isolation for 14 days after a major hospital fuck up where they had 8 cases of Covid on the “Covid Free!” ward that my relative that I live with was working on.

I was in the queue ready to pay about 2 days after the isolation period ended and my phone started to ring. I didn’t answer it as I think it’s rude when you are about to be served and also because I didn’t want to risk getting germs on it. This woman was shopping with her grandmother and the whole way round I kept bumping into her and she wasn’t bothering to social distance. I hadn’t realised and they were stood directly behind me and they started commenting on the phone ringing and the grandmother was so close she was elbowing me and nudging me (like when you have a joke with someone and elbow them) and laughing about me not answering my phone. As soon as I realised that they were so close, without saying a word or looking at them or anything, I went and stood in front of my trolley as thankfully the man in front was now packing and far away so I wouldn’t be in his space.

The way I looked on it was that the woman was elderly and vulnerable and didn’t understand the need to social distance and not touch strangers so it was my responsibility to put the distance there. But the grandaughter was not happy. I’d upset her Nan. I was rude. She was only trying to be friendly. They don’t have Covid etc etc. I’m glad I didn’t actually say something!

BlackberrySky Mon 31-Aug-20 09:52:31

There is so much confusion and uncertainty about at the moment, it's hard to know whether people are genuinely confused or just can't be bothered. We keep having to modify our behaviour and I think it's inevitable that different people will interpret things differently. The other day I was at the opticians. Man, wife and son totally taking up all the space looking at glasses for the son, taking ages. I needed to pick up one frame as replacement for my son, and man moaned at me for getting too close. I pointed out that maybe he didn't need to take up the entire space as his family could be closer together as a group. He accepted that I had a point and moved. We managed to keep it civil but it could have gone the other way!

bofski14 Mon 31-Aug-20 09:53:42

Yes. I have been shielding so last week I went out for the first time. I took my daughter to a local toy shop and the aisles had one way systems that people were ignoring. We found one aisle that was free (only room for one trolley at a time - narrow aisles) and went up it following the correct signage. Cue another couple turning down into it blatantly ignoring the NO ENTRY sign. But everyone makes mistakes so I was hoping if I politely pointed it out they would give a simple "Oops sorry!" and turn back. But no. We came to a standoff where I didn't want to go backwards into the flow of people and they kept edging me further out. The man came right up in my face and said "You've got your face nappy on. What are you worried about, love?" I asked him to go back so we could continue in but he pushed past me shoulder barging me out of the way saying "Scared are you? Are you gonna cry now?" His wife was laughing and I was humiliated. I left my trolley and ran out. I don't think I'll ever go to that shop again. I know not EVERYONE is like this, but having been in since March I was hoping for a better experience where people had common decency and courtesy to others.

Ponoka7 Mon 31-Aug-20 10:48:13

I was on the shielding list but didn't shield. I do ask people to stand back and always get a trolley so I can stand in front of it. I've had aggressive and passive aggressive responses. A few have been apologetic.

I've just put on another thread how there's no back up from security guards, when the other person gets aggressive, which is disgraceful.

I've started shopping late at night just before closing and getting home deliveries when I can. Clothes sales should be down, so you'd think that supermarkets would get on board with SD support.

If someone's response is to rubbish Covid as a threat, I reply that for every three people that's died with Covid, two have died because of restricted hospital appointments, a lot of them children and I'm doing my bit so that doesn't happen over winter.

justanotherneighinparadise Mon 31-Aug-20 10:50:13

Someone did shout at me a few months back and I said nothing. I assumed she was ill or crazy or something.

ChavvySexPond Mon 31-Aug-20 11:08:03

Often. And they're always arsey.

The scariest just shouted a stream of angry conspiracy theories at me about muzzles, and Bill Gates and 5G and 99%

The funniest bellowed.


in a large empty supermarket where she had literally just touched me as she reached last.

At a picnic where we all sat two metres away from each other (but some people grouped with people they don't live with) some middle aged blokes arrived to play cricket and constantly fielded into our group of families, once falling over rather a close to a family group.. They were extremely belligerent when challenged to stop doing it rather than keep doing it but apologise.

The more so have these encounters the less I can be bothered to go out.

Gunpowder Mon 31-Aug-20 11:09:30

I think it’s ok to nicely ask/remind people to give you space, it’s unkind to tut or tell people off like they have made a moral failing when they have probably just forgotten for a second.

ChavvySexPond Mon 31-Aug-20 11:11:38

It doesn't matter that they're the minority round here, and that it doesn't always happen, people who break the distancing rules and are aggressive when challenged are the potential shit in the sandwich of any outing so it's easier not to bother sometimes.

Dontrainonmyparade Mon 31-Aug-20 11:27:50

Yes, in a queue. I ‘felt’ someone behind was too close. I turned and looked, he was right behind me, like a normal queue. I thought for a couple of minutes and decided I had to say something. So I said ‘I’m sorry, I feel like you’re too close to me. Would you mind moving back?’ He nodded and did. Probably not far enough but at least he didn’t get defensive and aggressive.

I’ve noticed it more and more recently though. We don’t go to many indoor places but outdoors I think lots of people think it’s ok to just carry on as normal, queue as normal etc. I don’t think I’ll bother saying anything again as it feels like it would be a constant refrain based on the last week or so!

lockdownalli Mon 31-Aug-20 13:23:38

Yes, I have very politely asked a middle aged man to move back a little as he was needlessly standing in a queue right behind me.

I got a mouthful of foul abuse.

SqidgeBum Mon 31-Aug-20 13:29:13

No, because the risk of getting someone from someone who you are near for a matter of 1 or 2 minutes is very low. You need exposure for about 10 minutes onwards, and then of course if they are wearing a mask that risk goes down again. Logic and science says getting coronavirus from someone standing slightly close to you in a queue is so minimal you would have to be the unluckiest person on the planet to contract it.

I think people are a bit obsessed with this whole 1m, 2m thing. Its not worth snapping at a stranger for.

KaleJuicer Mon 31-Aug-20 13:36:37

I was queuing outside a good 2m behind someone who apparently had spatial awareness issues as she turned around and bellowed “BACK UP” at me. She seemed to want a maintain a 8m bubble around herself which just isn’t feasible in London...

Topseyt Mon 31-Aug-20 13:42:08

No, I haven't. I couldn't be arsed with that.

I wear my mask as required, I keep some distance myself where practical but I refuse to be paranoid about it. I don't worry if someone else is close by for a few minutes.

I've had a bad lockdown for reasons I won't go into on this thread, and I am just so utterly done with it all.

That said though, if someone politely asked me to stand back a bit then I would do so.

Nosebogey Mon 31-Aug-20 15:29:14

@bofski14 that’s sounds awful sad people can be so aggressive sad

latticechaos Mon 31-Aug-20 15:37:17

Only at work really, but it's fine there because we've all been told a thousand tmes to respect requests for space.

Managed to exchange incivilities with an older man who managed to corner me one time.

ShastaBeast Mon 31-Aug-20 16:19:43

People on both sides are hard to deal with when you are in the middle. I keep a respectful distance but don’t think 2m is possible or necessary outside. Around 1m is fine and less, if pavements are narrow, is probably not high risk, and certainly lower than stepping into the road. I haven’t asked anyone to step back as I don’t think the risk is high enough, but I have been shocked at how close people get.

People who abuse others for being sensible, either end, are idiots. The conspiracy theorists are the worst.

Deelish75 Mon 31-Aug-20 16:24:55

Someone commented to me when I tried to put as much distance between them and me as I walked past them (indoors, narrow walkway, before masks) comment was “don’t worry I haven’t got corona”, I said “I might”. Her face dropped, I walked off.

MNnicknameforCVthreads Mon 31-Aug-20 17:56:33

I shan’t be saying anything again as I think PPs are right that people don’t take kindly to being “told off” and also the risk is small.

That said, I do think people have forgotten how incredibly contagious corona is and things could start to get ugly again in the not too distant future.

OP’s posts: |
frozendaisy Mon 31-Aug-20 18:05:58

Wish people would stop thinking making it it "told off", more a gentle reminder.

But I find if you give people space, be friendly and polite, it helps keep the shoutie ones in line as it's not hard keeping a bit of space is it? How boring must your life be if shouting at a stranger when you have been asked to keep a bit of space must your life be?

lifestooshort123 Mon 31-Aug-20 22:09:50

My grandson says that 'giving them my granny glare' often seems to have an affect. If I think someone is walking towards me too closely then I combine the glare with stopping in my tracks and stepping back - this usually has the desired affect as well. I'm too chicken to confront people verbally tbh.

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