I Need a Means of Directing People to BACK OFF!

chisue

One of these days being 'polite' could kill me. (I'm almost certainly dead if I contract Covid-19.)


How can I nicely, but *firmly* get people to stay away from me? (I can only 'back-pedal' just so far.) Is there a phrase?

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Elmer J Fudd

Please stay away from the interiors of public places - like stores.


When you see someone coming and it may be too close and perhaps not avoidable, a firm, determined and loud enough "Please stay back from me, I may be sick" should do it. If they ask With what, say something non-Covid-like (such as you're just getting over pneumonia) and you're concerned you're still communicable and also your resistance is down. No need to tell a stranger your life story.

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eld6161

How about “I’m socially distancing, please give me more space, thank you.”

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OklaMoni

cough, just cough... puts a stop to approaches. ;)


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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I'd get me one of those aerosol sirens and give 'em a blast if they got too near!! A blast of that and they'll keep their distance.......once they've picked themselves off the floor!

Seriously, just say loudly and firmly "Excuse me. You are too close. Please keep your distance."

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maifleur03

It may not work but hold up your hand about chin high palm out. Shake your head side to side slowly while doing it. Can help if you can look horrified. Those not looking good luck.

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bpath reads banned books too

My plumber looked at me and said “do you mind? 6 feet.” It worked, and didn’t harm our relationship.

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morz8

I think most recognize an open palm/hand out and up signal as 'stop'. I might add sweetly 'I'm distancing' without any need to explain.

I can motion a technical foul (basketball) too, or an illegal motion (football) and any of our friends would get it ;0)

Any time more than one has been in our driveway though, all I have to do is pop my head out the door and they respond with '10 feet minimum, we're being careful'...knowing I'm checking on their distancing.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

"Please, I need to keep my distance". No further explanation should be needed.

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Feathers11

Chisue, I'm not even in the vulnerable category, and people getting too close to me makes me nervous. I can't imagine the anxiety this gives you. I think a simple statement such as those above, followed with a "thank you" would work. If it doesn't, then you have every right to issue a more direct order to "keep away."

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Annie Deighnaugh

carry a pool noodle


Or maybe a t-shirt that says, "If you can read this shirt you're too close!"

;)

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Give me a wide berth please!

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bpath reads banned books too

I find it hard to keep 6’ from people in the grocery store. I am concentrating on my list, on the shelves, have finally remembered to pay attention to the directional arrows on the aisles, but when there is someone in the aisle and I need to pass, what do I do?

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Lucille

How can I nicely, but *firmly* get people to stay away from me?

carry a pool noodle (thank you Annie)

Wear a mask made of men's underwear with brown stains drawn on with Magic Marker

Carry a shotgun slung across your back

Carry a dead skunk

Carry a VERY well holstered live skunk

Use makeup to make some patchy skin areas and carry a sign that says 'Leprosy"



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bpath reads banned books too

Haha, very funny, very firm, but not very nice!

I‘m anticipating lots of pool-noodle light saber swordfights this summer!

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wildchild2x2

Unless someone sneezes or coughs or exhales sharply into your face at the very moment you pass nearness by itself isn't going to give anyone the virus. The six foot rule is a guideline. A n excellent one to follow but simply passing in an aisle isn't going to make much of a difference.


If I were in your place I would avoid stores altogether if at all possible. You are exactly the type of truly vulnerable person who should have others shop for them or use delivery services. And if you must go out then don't worry about being rude. Just tell them in no uncertain terms to back off.

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jemdandy

Carry a vial of skunk oil with an exposed wick to perfume the air around you. You will be avoided.

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joyfulguy

As you approach a person whom you think that you're going to need to pass in a store aisle, slowly take a deep breath while moving when you're some distance from the person in your path, then hold your breath as you approach and pass, exhale as you're moving away, then inhale slowly while moving as you are some distance from that person - and others, as possible. Try to not take a quick and substantial intake of breath when near others, especially if you've noticed someone lingering in one area, especially if it's a restricted space like in an aisle.

How about holding your left hand, palm facing out, in front of your neck, shaking your head side to side, so if they continue to advance you can bring up your right hand, with palm open as ready to slap, and closing into a fist if they come closer, while politely and firmly requesting, as advised above, that they give you the required 6 feet (in Canada and many countries it's 2 metres, which is 6 feet 6 inches.

Good wishes for safety for you as you carry out necessary activities.

ole joyful





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sephia_wa

I ran into Lowes earlier in the week to grab something, and when I was in line I heard the guy standing 6' behind me say to the person behind him, "say, would you mind stepping back a bit? 6 feet you know," with a nice smile. The person quickly apologized and backed up. I don't think the person was aware they'd stepped too close.

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breenthumb

If I felt really vulnerable, I'd try my darndest to avoid public close spaces like store aisles, checkouts. By the time you've made any kind of plea for distance, it may already be too late. Much less the jerks who may just not buy into your problems without even further dialogue.

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Raye Smith

Stay home if you're that terrified by the half a second it takes for someone to pass you. I've seen very few of the "absolutely terrified" at the grocery store here but my husband has seen more when he goes later in the day.

One thing we've both noticed is that the "terrified" are so scared that instead of picking up what they want and continuing down the aisle, they stand for prolonged times staring at a shelf or case, appears they can't make up their minds what to pick up. So they are hogging areas forcing other shoppers to get close to grab what they want from that case or shelf.

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jim_1 (Zone 9A)

Being the crude dude that I am, I might say something along the lines of, "Say, did you just fart?"

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hallngarden

You folks are a hoot! I was laughing at funny, but great suggestions. My little grand came up to our porch this morning wearing his scuba gear. He lives two blocks away. He did it mainly to make us laugh. He said people he met moved away as he was approaching.

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Debby

I am "that" employee at our drugstore. I firmly but politely TELL customers to social distance when I see them lined up too close together. I will say, "I need you to be six feet back from the person ahead of you, please". I don't smile because it's like I'm talking to children. Once the customers spread out that six feet, that's when I smile and say, "Thank you!!"

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Debby

To those worried in grocery stores while passing customers: unless that person you are passing is coughing or sneezing all over you, you can safely walk past anyone. You need to be in front of them for X amount of minutes face to face talking for you to worry. If passing someone in an aisle caused people to get sick, I would be dead a long time ago, as I work in a store and have passed so many people. The area I work in has had the second highest amount of illnesses in my city.

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Elizabeth


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Yeah, someone I know said she just says "6 feet!".

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chisue

A few here seem to think that the most-at-risk people should be cloistered -- what, rather than 'inconvenience others' to follow public health guidelines by wearing masks and observing social distances? Should I ask my DH to walk ahead of me ringing a bell and calling out, "Stay Back," as though I were a leper? (He has a couple of nice handbells, awards from his company.)

I don't know where the "terrified" came from. I'm just looking for a way to remind people I encounter to do a simple thing that is not yet a social habit.

You'd think people at a cancer clinic would know this, but (as Lukki has posted) you can't depend on it. A man from the city water dept. came to our door last week. He had a mask, but it kept falling off his face. The longer he talked, the closer he came. The more I backed away, the closer he approached. The greater the distance between us, the more he raised his voice to convey his ideas.

raven -- What a link! I'd no idea people had jumped on the mask thing with such a variety of ideas. I think the best mask is the cloth one that simply says what's necessary: "6 FEET".

I have to wear my N95, but that cloth mask contains the answer. I want a hat that has those words easily visible from *farther* than six feet. I doubt an all-over pattern of words would be legible, but it needs to say it front and back.


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sleeperblues

I was going to offer to send you an N95 but I see you have one. I feel comfortable shopping with mine on, but I’m not immune compromised.

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matthias_lang

Raye Smith, how can you tell a person is terrified? And then you attribute terror as an explanation for why they are not moving along as fast as you would like? I imagine the simplest explanation is the correct one: A person taking time in front of a store shelf is simply looking to find the product they want.

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bpath reads banned books too

Chisue, I think all you need to do is say "6 feet, please". For now, a mask that says "6 feet" will be noticed, but I think a shirt or hat will not.

I'm having such a hard time with the one-way aisles in the stores. Does it really help? Especially when you have to cut between the people standing 6' apart waiting to check out.

Yesterday at the deli counter, I was standing on the "stand here" line and told the person behind the counter what I wanted. I pointed at the chicken and asked for "4 breasts" but I guess she heard "4 piece" because that's what I opened up at home. I didn't watch her pick out the chicken, I was chatting with the person 6' to my left.

I really need to pay more attention to the world around me.

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Raye Smith

Matthias, by looking at their face and body language, even with a mask on it's easy to see that they have that look of absolute terror. Which is sad being that in this area we've had less than one case a day and still only one death.

I'm not talking lingering for a few seconds, I'm talking over five minutes of standing in the same position. It takes me less than twenty minutes to pick up a buggy load. I could easily have gone up and down half the store in the time they stood there. If they still haven't made up their minds in that period of time, they should step aside and let others access that shelf or case.

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Lindsey_CA

@Raye Smith - please tell us in which state and city you live, so we can all make sure to stay away.

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matthias_lang

Raye Smith, you've done a fine job of convincing me that you exaggerate.

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Lucille

I imagine the simplest explanation is the correct one

1)To me, the simplest explanation is that it didn't happen that way.

I've seen very few of the "absolutely terrified" at the grocery store here but my husband has seen more when he goes later in the day.

2) I have not been inside a grocery store for a long time. However, I understand those who go, properly masked and distanced, to pick up groceries if they cannot be delivered or delivery is inadequate.

But it seems to me to be taking unneeded chances for two people who live together to visit a store twice on the same day. Once may be acknowledging necessity, twice is inviting disaster.

Of course, if as I suspect #1 is a product of Raye's imagination, #2 maybe be also,.

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Elmer J Fudd

Note no apology from raye about her rude and ignorant criticism of chisue.

Where do these people come from?

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patriciae_gw

Hah, I was going to suggest a bell -but only as a joke.

I am wondering how Raye knows a person stands there for five minutes? By standing your self for five minutes?

When someone blocks an aisle you patiently and pleasantly wait for that person to finish and move on. It is what you do on any normal day isn't it? Now I might feel peeved when people take an inordinate amount of time but like waiting for traffic it is just part of life.

Maybe we are relearning the rules of courtesy?

You don't want to either lie or tell your life story to strangers or be rude or constantly having to possibly offend. It takes all the pleasure out of being out for the impaired. We should all act like the person in front of us is Chisue. That doesn't help immediately though does it as people learn this new normal. I like the hat or a shirt.

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arkansas girl

I haven't had any problems with people staying 6 ft away from me. Maybe 6 ft is closer than you think? I know some people have trouble judging distances. I'm totally serious. One day I was probably 12 ft away from a lady and she was freaking out and telling me to get back. I just said, sorry but I'm way further away than 6 ft!

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Odd......living in an area that was hit early and very hard by the virus, I have yet to see anyone looking "terrified" at the grocery store!! Why would they? Virtually everyone is wearing masks (a state directive for any indoor public place), although distancing is sometimes compromised (very tough to maintain 100% of the time) and one-way aisles sometimes ignored.

If someone is blocking an aisle looking for a particular product, there is nothing preventing you from saying "excuse me, I need to pass". Most folks are happy to move along to accommodate others and will just come back around if they absolutely need to. At least that has been my experience.

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iread15

You can buy a tee shirt that says "Medically Fragile". It might work with some people. Best of luck.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Plenty of 'essential' workers have reported that they are most certainly terrified, in the strictest sense of the term. There have been some terrible incidents of people aggressively violating essential workers' personal safety.

Those of us who are paying attention to news, and information from health authorities are justifiably afraid - esp. because of blockheads who seem to have zero regard for anybody but their own selfish desires &/or political partisan fanaticism.

And that fear is for the health and safety of many others, not just ourselves.

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Raye Smith

Guess you'all are having reading difficulties because nowhere in my post does it say that hubby and I went to the same grocery store the same day. As for that matter, there's nothing wrong with doing so. I have to go to three grocery stores just to get all that I need, nothing unusual about that. Even in the big city it was necessary to go to multiple stores to get products in my preferred brands.

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morz8

There are many of us willing to go without our preferred brands and buying what's available. It's not an enormous sacrifice, we're talking about a meal or two that might turn out a little different. Thankfully, compromising has been the name of the game here. Most are willing to be mildly inconvenienced and we've had a very low virus count in this community. I'd like to think that's at least in part because we've been exercising caution.

The last time I was in three stores in one day must have been back in early February, when I made an approx monthly trip an hour away to the closest Costco, stopping at Trader Joe's and Top Foods same trip as none of those stores are available to me here at home.

OT - just adding, how I miss Trader Joe's mirepoix. Our Safeway (only store) doesn't carry it premade. It's such a little thing, and its not like I can't chop my own, but only that some days - I don't want to!

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I'm missing Trader Joe's too.

I honestly see complaining about or railing against my own inconveniences as so trivial and petty, compared to the horrible experiences far too many folks are enduring right now.

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Lucille

I have to go to three grocery stores just to get all that I need, nothing unusual about that.

Ordinarily, no. During a pandemic, each public place you visit increases your chances of becoming infected.

I go to zero grocery stores now.

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nickel_kg

I'm used to picking up cans or jars to read the nutrition label, mostly to avoid too much salt. Now I'll stand in front of the shelf, peering to see if there's a can or jar with that part of the label showing, so I don't have to touch. I don't think I've ever held anyone up, though.

Jumping to conclusions based on a glance at someone's face, or a skim through their written words -- it's easy to misunderstood, I think.

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Annegriet

Hand up--please stop. I am socially distancing for my health as well as yours.


Chisue-- I'm sorry that you are having this problem. I am discouraged by the lack of seriousness by many with regards to social distancing.


How about that pool party in the Ozarks? Geez Louise.

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Jasdip

Very frustrating. The parks were allowed to open as of yesterday. This is a large park in Toronto yesterday, and it was packed.



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cmm1964

Sorry I agree if you are that medically fragile stay at home. You will spend more time being aggravated by others not distancing that it won’t be worth it. Where I am living there are plenty of people walking around without masks. What can you do?


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rob333 (zone 7a)

I did it. I went outside!? Into a building even. I wanted to see if my barkeep for Sunday brunch was there. There was one entrance, one exit, with arrows for both. Every worker was wearing a mask. Every single person, except for one customer, wore a mask. Gave my barkeep a $25 tip for a $10 meal--haven't seen him since March, even though I used to go every Sunday.


The one exception was some idiot who blocked our entrance in. The state requires the restaurant to ask several questions. Great! Don't do it a foot from my face. I did complain, and I will go back to not going in. Whew. Once in months is ok with me. Back to my own or delivery.

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kittywhiskers

chisue


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Jasdip

cmm1964, It's the fact that people who ignoring the rules because they don't like to wear a mask, they don't want to be a sheep, the gov't can't tell them what to do and every other excuse they can think of, can possibly bring the virus home to their family. That's the infuriating part.

Funny how all the shops say No shoes, no Shirt, no Service, people have no issue with that, but wear a mask? Hell no!

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Raye Smith

I think the most people I've seen at one time in the grocery store since this started was fifteen - that's less than one person per aisle. No lines at the checkout either.

I've had more conversations with the checkers and some have had their hours cut and were happy to see people in the stores so they could keep their jobs. Are you supporting your local stores by shopping there?

Kittywhiskers - love it, grumpy cat for grumpy people!

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maifleur03

cmm1964 did it ever dawn on you that there are people who are living alone in areas where there are no delivery services who do not have a friend or family member to do things for them???? Your comment reminded me of when I went for my yearly mamo last year and the clerk insisted I had to give the name and address of a close family member who lived in the area. If 5th cousins are close family members good luck with that.

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bpath reads banned books too

Kitty, I need that mask!

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Jasdip

This is a local food boutique/butcher/deli. They posted this pic this weekend along with their gratitude to their amazing customers who were lined up wearing masks for the well-being of their employees.


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arkansas girl

kittywhiskers, she needs a T-shirt with that on the front and back.

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sleeperblues

Wisconsin is filled with a bunch of covidiots! Less than 10% of the people in Sam's club yesterday had masks on, and gave us weird looks. I will wear my N95 mask that I purchased (not taken from the hospital I work at) to keep myself safe. I know that I'm not infected, and I will remain un-infected because I practice social distancing, hand hygiene, and wear a mask in public.

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Lucille

covidiots

I like that. I was just thinking that maybe I had stepped into the Twilight Zone, seeing all these people who are not following Covid guidelines and thereby, courting death for themselves and others. Thank you for reminding me that other people have a healthier perspective.

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ci_lantro

Less than 10% of the people in Sam's club yesterday had masks on, and gave us weird looks.


I was in Menard's a few days ago; 100% of the people were wearing masks. Store policy.

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lisa_fla

I win would just say_ please stay back, I’m on chemo. I bet anyone would stay way back or go down a different aisle.

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Raye Smith

All you need is a complete containment system that covers both hands and head.


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amylou321

^^^^

I would totally wear that if it came in pink......virus or no virus. I don't like strangers in my space.

Chisue, I don't think you need to be cloistered,but recognizing the nature of others,if I was in your position, I would avoid public spaces as much as possible until things improved. If that is not possible, a simple "Excuse me maam/sir, do you mind moving back/forward a bit? I am on chemo and need to be careful. "

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cmm1964

Yes maifleur I was mostly referring to the original poster. In my area which is very wealthy and has every take out and delivery service option available I’m seeing many elderly and frail people in the grocery stores. There are also numerous people on a Facebook that offer to shop etc for people as well. A few days ago I saw an elderly gentleman with an obvious leg wound in a wheelchair with two things to buy in the check out line. These are people who live in a high rent area and drive luxury cars. Not everyone in my area is wearing a mask which I have no control over. I always offer to shop for my elderly neighbors every time I go to the store. They usually accept my offer as they are adamant about not going out.

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ci_lantro

I am wondering how Raye knows a person stands there for five minutes? By standing your self for five minutes?


No mystery because I encountered the same thing--how I know that the person was occupying one spot was because I shopped a couple of other adjacent aisles waiting for that person to clear out. She was still there, in the same spot, after I had gathered my other things.


Then there were two people engaged in conversation on opposite sides of a main aisle in the store at the appropriate 6' apart. But anyone who needed to get past had to violate their space. I waited a bit but they were oblivious to the fact that they had blocked the aisle so I ended up having to duck & plow past them.

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Raye Smith

Thanks ci_lantro, glad to see someone else has the intelligence to reason if a person is standing in the same spot over a period of time. And with one of them, their buggy was at the next set of freezer case doors blocking anyone from opening that case also.

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marylmi

I would just come out and say " 6 feet please, I am on chemo". I think most people would understand that. Of course there is always one or two that don't care about anyone else ...unfortunately .

Regarding someone standing looking at something for a long period of time, I encountered that the last time I went shopping. The bread isle is at the end of the store which makes it my last stop. I needed bread and just wanted to get out of the store but there was a guy ( older) looking right where ( of course) my bread was located. I could have said 'excuse'me and reached by him but I didn't want to get that close . Sooo I went back around to kill some time and tried to give him space and time. I know it was well over 5 minutes . Looked at things I didn't want or need ,and checked back and he was still there so finally I just stood with my cart so he knew I was waiting and finally he picked a loaf. In normal times I do that sometimes if I'm looking for something different but not now unless no one around as I'm sure they feel the same frustration as I do.

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graywings123

Am I the only person who had to google the word mirepoix?

Mirepoix (mirh-pwah) noun. In French
cooking, a mix of carrots, onions, and celery, usually finely diced,
and used as the seasoning base for a meat dish or sauce. ...

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Yayagal

I feel saddened that people make harsh judgments without any thought to the other person whom they don't really know. You know who I mean. It would be far nicer to be considerate. It's far easier to do so too. BTY, I'm very high risk.

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chisue

I rarely go out, but must do so sometimes. My small city requires masks indoors, and 95% of the people comply. The *distancing* thing is still being learned.

I can't wear those cute cloth masks; I need the greater filtration of an N95.

Speaking to another person inevitably draws them even closer, so that's not the best solution.

I'd like to find a little cloth hat that says "6 Feet", both front and back. That can be grasped at a glance and is a pretty innocuous reminder. Unlike a shirt, a hat would always be visible, and...I would actually wear such a hat. Maybe *pink*!

We are ALL vulnerable to the effects of this virus. ALL of us will be safer if ALL of us simply act courteously. The accepted amount of 'personal space' is already viewed differently in different cultures. Spacing in a time of pandemic can become a social norm.

It's been a help to discuss this on the KT. I guess I could take one of my reversible sun hats and just write on it! Loving hands at home, eh? I'd prefer a manufactured item -- less 'personal'. LOL

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amylou321

^^^

Those are just a few of many such products on etsy.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I can think of a number of reasons a person might stand and stare at a shelf in a store - among them being brain fog from illness or stress...

And I've yet to see those complaining about their "rights" and "freedom" being impinged by health and safety protocols express sincere concern, sympathy or empathy for the suffering.

'Just stay home' is so insensitive - what if someone cannot? Is it impossible for some to imagine how that might be a possibility?

Whatever happened to 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself'?

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matthias_lang

I don't read strangers' hats and t-shirts. Doubt I would read words embroidered on their masks either. I just don't pay such detailed attention to others' clothing, especially when I'm concentrating on a task such as shopping. The words on a hat from more than 6 feet away are probably too small anyway. And I feel intrusive reading words off someone's chest. If others are like me, expect embroidered messages to be missed.

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chisue

amylou -- Impressive link, but I couldn't find a way to filter for *not baseball cap*. I'd like a hat like the narrow brim cotton hats I have. They might be called fisherman's hat -- maybe a foot across. Unstructured. You can fold them up.

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amylou321

^^^^

3 different styles that you can customize. I think the 3rd one is the one closest to what you are describing....

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jakkom

I somehow doubt that people paid strict attention to this over Memorial Day weekend, but this photo made me break out laughing when I saw it. It's a great idea.

If we could only travel around outside with our own personal 6' circles, cartoon-style! I can see all the women in those giant hoop skirts, but whatever will the men do?!?

We have several friends who are immuno-compromised. Even when the lockdown ends, they are all saying they will be very reluctant to go out in public. Successive waves of infection look to be inevitable, I fear.

Anyway, this is the photo: Dolores Park, San Francisco, CA:


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chisue

amylou -- THANK YOU! What I was trying to describe is evidently a 'bucket hat'. Now to see if they can make the logo BIG enough to be seen from six feet or more. (Why on earth don't they make a pink one? LOL)

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amylou321

That is my exact thought on everything ever that doesn't come in pink. WHY NOT?!?!!?

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mdln

https://www.etsy.com/market/custom_safety_vest


there are also ones where you can personally customize the text

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Elizabeth

Wow! That tabard is very bold. No missing that message.

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kitykat

LOVE that photo of the park... grew up one block from there, went to Mission HS 58 years ago...

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arkansas girl

Are you going to the stores in the times designated for those that are vulnerable and over 60? At our stores, they have some times set aside for those people, usually early in the morning. Might try going then.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Reports here are those special times get very crowded. I'm doing curbside pickups and delivery only.

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jemdandy

Carry a sign that you can quickly flash. It reads, "Back off - I am infected." Flash the sign and cough a bit.

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