Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Masks and face coverings and the death of the high street

This is an expanded version of a comment I left on a friend's post:

It's now compulsory to wear face masks in shops in England and Scotland. There are concerns that the law will be unenforceable and companies are saying that they won't ask staff to try to enforce it. I'm hoping that peer pressure will make most people conform. That seems to be the case in Scotland -- or perhaps the Scots are just more public spirited and realise that if we're to emerge from lockdown, we need to put additional measures in place to protect people There is currently no law about wearing masks in shops here in Wales. I think we ought to have one and I have been wearing homemade masks since March. However, as the saying goes, the perfect is the enemy of the good. If most people comply, it will help.

Will covid-19 be the death knell of the shopping centre? The traditional high street and shopping malls were struggling long before we heard of coronavirus. Online shopping was tempting people away from the physical shop. And why not? You can browse in comfort, compare prices and read reviews before whatever you want it delivered to your door.

Regarding shopping generally, I've always hated it. Even as a teenager when my school friends went into the centre of Manchester every Saturday and spent all day wandering around the shops trying on clothes and shoes they has little intention of buying. If I needed something, I would get there are 9 a.m. as the shops opened, hurry around to get everything as quickly as possible and then head for home just as the crowds were descending. The only shops I liked were book shops and musical instrument shops.

People keep talking about how online shopping is killing the high street but living in the middle of nowhere, I've shopped by mail order since the mid-70s, so online shopping is just the new version of browsing through the catalogue, filling in the order form and putting it in the post. Mail order started in Victorian times, so why people think online shopping is a new concept, I don't know. It's much more convenient and means that people living in rural areas have as much choice as the city dwellers.

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