Have you always fantasised about living like the Phantom of the Opera?
Are you sure?
Oh well you’re going to have to do it anyway. This isn’t actually a very good analogy as the Phantom’s mask doesn’t cover his mouth/nose but he’s the only person I could think of who is known for wearing a mask and I’m trying okay!?
Oh wait a second…
Have you always dreamed of being a member of chart-topping electro pop duo Daft Punk?
Well you’re about to get lucky. As countries all around the world have been using face masks in an attempt to stay alive and fight the pandemic, Britain has just caught up. Previously, wearing a mask has been a matter of personal choice but from the 24th of July masks will be mandatory for anywhere in public you’re likely to make face to face contact. It’s not clear why the introduction of this measure is delayed rather than immediate, perhaps so you have the chance to show off your fave lipstick at the supermarket one more time. Some people think this policy is already coming too late and that the government’s response could have been Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Okay I’m done now.
Interestingly both Daft Punk and the Phantom of the Opera are French. Is this a coincidence? Probably not. What do the French know? Can they be trusted? Probably not. Can I be trusted? Of course.
Just in case you’re wondering what the rules actually are…
In England from the 24th you can be fined £100 for refusing to wear a mask. Children under 11 will not be required to wear a face covering, neither will people who can’t do so without experiencing extreme distress.
Others who are exempt include:
Anyone who is being relied on for lip reading by a deaf person
Police or public transport staff
People who have difficulty due to a physical or mental disability
This announcement was made as the government faced accusations of confusing messaging around whether or not people should be wearing masks when out and about. This confusion was enhanced when Michael Gove was pictured exiting a Pret a Manger without one, then his colleague, Liz Truss, was pictured leaving the same Pret eight minutes later, mask securely in place.
Health Minister Matt Hancock stepped in just a few hours later to clear up the confusion and announce the policy. Gove had now been pictured exiting the same Pret with a face mask on.
Balance has been restored to the world. I am no longer confused and I will never be confused again. I don’t really rate Pret a Manger, though.
TT’s top story
Coconut pulled in £2.4m through crowdfunding this week. They don’t trade in exotic fruits but they do provide an accounting and tax tool for freelancers.
Have you heard?
One in three UK firms are expected to cut staff in the next three months
The British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly recruitment outlook has revealed that 29% of 7,400 firms surveyed are expecting to conduct lay-offs in the third quarter – the highest the survey has ever recorded. The latest unemployment figures show almost 650,000 people have been taken off company payrolls since lockdown began, while job vacancies are at the lowest since records began.
Meanwhile, the care industry is having the reverse problem
They’ve got roles to fill but they’re worried about finding the people to fill them. Trade bodies and unions have criticised proposed changes to the immigration system that have recently been unveiled by home secretary Priti Patel, saying that the social care sector, small businesses, the agricultural sector and women are among those who will be negatively impacted. Critics have particularly termed the omission of social care workers from the Brexit fast-track visa system as “a disastrous mistake” and having the potential to create an unmitigated disaster.
App of the week
Beat Blade: This game is my latest obsession. In it you control a little man with a sword whose sole purpose in life is to hit coloured blocks in time with pop songs. He doesn’t know about the coronavirus. He isn’t worried about the economy. All he knows is music and blocks and the destruction of those blocks in time to that music. Often, I imagine I am in his place. It’s pure escapism. It’s good.
Word of the week
bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or trying to please them.
‘The recruiter was attempting to ingratiate themselves to potential new clients by sending them gift baskets full of hand-sewn face masks.’
Dog of the week
Bonnie is a 13 year old alsatian collie cross. Her mum fell in love with how wonky her face is and decided to adopt her.