The damnedest thing just happened this evening.

Most mornings I go for a run in my local park, and every evening, I return there for a 3 km walk in my local park with my (Indian) husband.

As a mental exercise, we count the number of people wearing/not wearing masks, as I do when I’m running.

I think there has been a slight improvement in the numbers of people wearing masks, but there is still a stubborn percentage of people not wearing them.

Or wearing them as chinstraps.

This morning’s tally was 44/97 people not wearing a mask.

This evening 39/137 were not wearing.

Sadly, runners are regular offenders, and if I have another bloke telling me he can’t wear one because he’s a runner, I might…well, I don’t know what I might do.

But it pisses me off no end.

Realistically, how many times can I yell into the unmasked slipstream of a runner “I’m a marathoner and I wear a mask”…

This morning a bloke told me, with a beaming smile “Not required, madam,” and when I asked him in Hindi, “Who says a mask isn’t required?” he replied, still smiling away, “Koi requirement nahi hai” and walked on.

But this evening’s encounter takes the biscuit.

A couple approaches us on a narrow part of the track.

Woman wearing mask.

Man, tall, silver hair, probably in his late 50s. Not wearing a mask.

Not even wearing one as a chin strap. Not holding one in his hand.

I didn’t say anything, just gestured to my mask as we walked past, and guess what the man said?

“In your own country, madam” in very slow, drawly, patrician English.


I called after him “I beg your pardon?” but he walked on, and I was too weary to run after him and pursue it.

But unless I misunderstood him – and I don’t think I did – he was implying that as a foreigner, it was none of my business if he was/was not wearing a mask.

“Oh” says (slightly deaf) husband. “I wish I’d heard him, I’d have replied that this is my country.”

Jeez, am I fed up with all the covidiots around. Especially the racist one this evening.


  1. Akanksha Pundir

    I see that in cyclists, runners, walkers…we have groups of people exercising as a group in parks with no masks on…chemists handing over medicines with no masks on, police guys checking traffic offenders with no masks on…it just goes on and on and on…We are absolutely our own worst enemy. Followed by Pakistan and China, of course!

    1. Christine

      agree 100% Akanksha. Got ticked off by a young woman in the park yesterday, because “You have to understand I have just run 2km”…setting aside the fact that she unwittingly chose the wrong person on whom to use THAT spurious argument, it’s the sheer entitlement. I run therefore “you must understand” that I can’t wear a mask.

  2. Anonymous

    I’m just fed up of the whole thing. We have stayed at home, away from people. Wear masks and gloves when we have to shop. This country has been so slow to react and they dither over every decision. The powers that be are terrified of upsetting people in case they don’t vote for them next time. When is someone going to take charge and make the difficult decisions? We are going to slide into another recession and all the politicians will spend the next 10 years blaming each other. I dread to think what sort of a country my grandchildren are going to grow up in. Maybe the next spike will wipe out even more of us and the world will be more in balance. Who knows.
    OK rant over.

  3. Julian Parr

    Our colony is exactly the same – out of a sample size of 100, 98 were either wearing no mask at all, wearing it as a chin strap, holding it in their hands whilst talking on a mobile phone or only wearing it over their mouth but not their nose which might explain why New Delhi is the city with the second highest viral load after San Paolo, I don’t doubt Delhi will be able to get to number 1 as it usually does !

      1. Julian Parr

        Christine Pemberton Yes we hate them as they pound past us gasping like guppy fish and spraying sweat and saliva everywhere and even spitting onto the path, and usually virtually run into us in order to avoid the dogs. The irony is that presumably they are health conscious if they are running to keep fit so why on earth would they expose themselves to a potentially fatal disease and potentially infect others. Yes I agree with you that they, along with the cyclists are the worse offenders !

  4. Charlotte ter Haar

    Awful, Christine. But I’m interested that you are able to run in a mask. I have well-controlled asthma (most of the time!) but got very tight-chested simply walking fast across Victoria Station last week. Really had to take the mask off and apply my puffer urgently. I certainly wouldn’t be able to run in it (if I could run these days…. but that’s a different story). But good for you if you can – go girl?

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