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The pandemic has turned people into tutting scolds. I can’t wait for that to change | Megan Nolan

We need to address the distrust that has come from regarding each other’s bodies as fatal, and being encouraged to curtain-twitch and rat on our neighbours

A spectre is haunting Britain – the spectre of the public. Can’t you feel them? They’ve been lying in wait for months, ambiently monstrous, doing God knows what in their homes. Watching overly large televisions, probably, and smoking things you and I haven’t even heard of. They have been hosting illegal raves in their garden sheds, and feeding their children sugary cereal and cocaine for breakfast – and now they are seeping on to the streets again. The public are a frightful lot: coarse, dangerous and not to be trusted. They don’t care about the real people – which is to say, me and my immediate family. They care only for themselves. Something must be done. The public must be kept indoors at all costs.

What do you think of when you consider the public? If you think of them as an entity that has something to do with yourself, then you are in a diminishing minority. This week, as life made its keenly awaited comeback, individual distrust of the public has become clear. A recent YouGov poll revealed a glaring discrepancy between the number of respondents who believe they will personally behave responsibly in pubs and shops, and those who believe the public will do the same. We assume the best of ourselves and lack the imaginative powers to extend that assumption to others, who will surely welcome the pub back by waving infected handkerchiefs in the faces of patrons and glassing bar staff.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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