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Has Covid affected politeness when travelling?

GodAtum

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During lockdown I've noticed people less inclined to help people or accept help. For example, a mother was struggling up the station stairs with a pushchair, but she declined my offer of help as I would be within 2m of her baby.

The same thing happened with I offered to help an elderly lady with her luggage off the train. She declined my help as she said she didn't want other people touching her luggage.
 
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Highlandspring

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I saw an elderly woman fall down outside Tesco about a month ago and although she evidently couldn’t get up, she was shrieking at the people who had rushed over to help her (me included) not to come near her. I’ve no idea what happened in the end as I just left her to it.
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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I saw an elderly woman fall down outside Tesco about a month ago and although she evidently couldn’t get up, she was shrieking at the people who had rushed over to help her (me included) not to come near her. I’ve no idea what happened in the end as I just left her to it.
Goodness...

Luckily (the experience, not the accident), towards the start of the pandemic - when, arguably, the fear was at its worst - when an elderly woman carrying many bags of shopping tripped and fell right in front of me and I offered to help her up, she was very lovely and immensely grateful.

As for the question as to whether COVID-19 has affected politeness when travelling, I think masks (or lack thereof) have played a significant factor in this:

Just before Christmas, on a very packed bus in Portsmouth, I witnessed a man kicking off at this poor elderly woman for not wearing a mask, despite the fact she was exempt.

The man initially got on and sat down next to the woman, before aggressively jumping out of the seat and shouting "Get away! You're not wearing a mask!"

This led to a commotion at the front of the bus wherein the woman was forced to defend herself and the man carried on shouting, whilst other passengers started conversing about masks.

Alas, the man in question wasn't even wearing a mask - so his rude and totally unnecessary reaction absolutely reeked of hypocrisy to me...
 
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Gloster

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I still wear a mask on the bus if there is anybody within a couple of metres or the windows are closed. A few days ago, as I was heading for the seats over the rear wheels (easier to get out of), a youngish seated man blocked my way with his elbow and said, ”You don’t have to wear masks any longer.” I just ignored him, sidled round his elbow as best I could (I use a walking stick) and kept going. He made similar announcements to several other people: I am not sure if he was a nutcase or just trying to be helpful.
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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I still wear a mask on the bus if there is anybody within a couple of metres or the windows are closed. A few days ago, as I was heading for the seats over the rear wheels (easier to get out of), a youngish seated man blocked my way with his elbow and said, ”You don’t have to wear masks any longer.” I just ignored him, sidled round his elbow as best I could (I use a walking stick) and kept going. He made similar announcements to several other people: I am not sure if he was a nutcase or just trying to be helpful.
I don't think blocking anyone's way could ever be considered helpful...!

I wish this man luck if he ever comes around my way, where 95% of passengers are still wearing masks - what's he going to do then, block the doorway? :D
 

AnyFile

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I am not native in English language, but I have been taught the difference between ”You don’t have to wear masks/a mask any longer.” and "You must not wear masks/a mask any longer.” ...
 

guard1

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There are definitely a lot of unmasked undesirables on the railways at the moment with increased levels of anti-social behaviour from my own experience. However the same can be said for during the most oppressive periods of lockdown.
 

Bayum

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I wouldn’t say it’s inciting rudeness; both examples are grounds for refusing help from others. Don’t forget, the elderly can be fiercely independent and may not want your help in these situations, even before COVID. There’s just a better excuse now.
 

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