Hooped Skirts

As we now start thinking of social distancing BBQ’s I was amused to read one scientists advice on the BBC. He was talking about various ‘sensible’ precautions to make things safe for everyone. One of my favourites, which made me laugh out loud was:

“You could ask your guests to set their alarms for every 45 minutes or every hour in a staggered way, then everyone could wash their hands when their alarm goes off. If you’re hosting, say to everyone “we’re all going to wash our hands once an hour.”.”

Not only will people be queuing for the toilet, one person at a time into the house, but every 45 minutes all six people queuing to wash their hands, I can really see people following that advice. Mind you most of us don’t have gardens the size of tennis courts anyway. The scientific expert pointed out that six people social distancing take up the area of half a tennis court. I think most people will have a garden that can maybe take 2 people or perhaps 4. If you have a garden at all.

Still we are getting used to queuing now. I do wonder how other countries manage, not all countries do queuing. Years ago, back in the 1980’s we visited Israel and discovered that they don’t really do queuing there. I gather that is the case in several countries. In Israel we were doing our British orderly queuing and then a couple of people just walked right in front of us. We were horrified. Of course we apologised to them and assumed they were right, we are British after all. Not really, we got cross and said we were first. They ignored us and carried on, so we gave them a hard stare, I bet that taught them a lesson.

In the USA they have a totally different system. No orderly British lines. People must have amazing memories over there. As you arrive somewhere you take note of who is in front of you and who arrives after you. Then when your turn is. That way you can stand wherever you like and wait your turn, mentally noting arrivals and counting off the people in front of you. It seems only Brits stand in orderly lines. So social distance lines must work differently elsewhere. I wonder how they work? Do you think in Israel that they stand around outside at a distance, sort of milling around 6 feet apart; each person trying to stay near the door but being gradually pushed away by the movement of each other. Then when the steward on the door says: ‘next’, the person who has manoeuvred best to be near the door slips in quickly? It must be a sight to behold.

Another great idea this scientist had were 6 foot sticks. You twirl them around to check social distances. I wasn’t sure if you were meant to carry them all the time, sort a defence system, like a lance. Or just to set up social bubble markers. He did mention drawing marked out areas in chalk. So maybe just for measuring. Shame because I fancy having a lance to swing around as I go down the High St. That will ensure people give me 6 feet clearance. Although as the footpath is only about 3 foot wide I might smash a few shop windows. Do you think the shop owners and police will understand it’s on scientific advice?

Now I realise that some people will have been waiting for a mention of hooped skirts. After all that was the title of the blog. If you have stuck with me this long; well done, you deserve an answer or maybe a medal. Here we go; I have an amazing idea for social distancing. Hooped skirts, bring back hooped skirts. You know the type of thing I mean, those Victorian wide bottom hooped skirts that have a structure holding them out. Except my idea is even better, mine are 6 feet wide. So, 6 feet wide hooped skirts for everyone, yes men and women, young and old. It’s a medical necessity so don’t feel silly about wearing it. Not only will it keep us all in social bubbles but it solves the problem of young children not understanding the whole keeping away concept. They will just bounce off.

A few practicalities do occur to me. We will need wider pavements. It will work better in the USA, their sidewalks (pavements to us Brits) are already that wide. Not sure a 6 feet wide hooped skirt will fit everywhere in Wellington where I live. Might be a bit of a squash in the chip shop and could be an issue down the aisles in Asda. Again the USA will score on the wide aisles in their shops. Then there is the issue of sitting down, might be a few issues of the front lifting up and unintentionally showing your underwear. Plus us wheelchair users. We will need special wheelchair hooped skirts that go around the wheelchair. After all to wear one in a wheelchair is silly, it would stick up in the air and cause a draft. No, much better to put a hooped skirt on the wheelchair itself, you can see how sensible an idea that is. There is then the issue of what police Constables should wear? Is a hooped skirt the most practical outfit to chase criminals in. Builders might struggle to climb scaffolding in a hooped skirt, not to mention racing car drivers. I don’t think one would fit in a formula one car. In fact the more I think about it the more areas might have one or two minor issues. But I am sure these tiny problems can be overcome. Then we can all start wearing our new outfits and be safe. I look forward to the day when we all sweep down the road in our multi coloured hooped skirts; did I mention they were multi coloured?

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

7 thoughts on “Hooped Skirts”

  1. Thinking about it, we did visit a few surrounding states. Plus there were some surprising road junctions. Sort of a cross roads where the first person to arrive at it had priority. No lights or standard give way to the left or right. Just first come first go. I drive while there and hoped to not meet too many of those. Do you have those where you are?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thinking this is possibly a four way stop. If so, yes I have them where I live. The person who stops first proceeds, the person who stopped second goes next, etc. It can be a bit tricky when you first start learning how to drive, but usually it goes pretty smooth. There’s usually a small sign under the stop sign saying “four way”, but not always.

      Some states I’ve been to also do roundabouts (which I think is more of a European thing?). I don’t like them, but I’ve heard they’re safer. Stubborn me just will need to get used to them if they come my way 😊

      Also, if everyone stops at the same time at a four way stop, the person on the right goes first (which I can never figure out).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right, my wife reminded me of the name yesterday. I agree about roundabouts though, especially small ones they can be very tricky. I like clear road guidance to ignore; I mean follow. You also have an odd system in the States where you can still turn right on a red light if it’s clear, that caught me out.

        I think you would find the UK interesting. Our son in law found our roads down in the South West so narrow he couldn’t believe two cars were meant to pass each other. Mind you I have the same disbelief.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit I have only been to Utah and I was surprised that they didn’t line up in takeaway restaurants but maybe that’s unusual. I think us Brits are particularly queue minded though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never been to England or the UK, so the difference could be quite apparent and I just don’t realize it. No worries either way. I think you’re right though; in general I think we kind of keep an eye on the group of it’s a casual line. I think it depends on the circumstance. Now I’m curious! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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