Stand and Deliver!

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At least Dick Turpin wore a mask.

Was the infamous Dick Turpin the first mask wearer? As one of the highwaymen of the day (and there were many), he and his masked gang would apprehend stage coaches calling out “Stand and deliver!” They made the coach horses stand and passengers deliver their valuables.



Dick did well for a few years but eventually was caught after shooting his landlord’s rooster. His letter to his brother to arrange leniency was not delivered because there was six pence owing at the post office.

Today’s highwaymen gain access to your wallet with an official demand via EMS and pistols are not necessary; however, the wearing of masks is back in vogue and if caught without one you can expect a (un)healthy fine.

Yes, it’s Covid-19 again, and one of the ways to keep this viral pandemic under control is to limit the exposure to the virus, experienced by the public. And one way to accomplish that is the wearing of masks.


The following recommendations are world-wide and in the main are common sense. Remembering that the virus’ maximum concentration is at your nose and mouth and is partially trapped by the face mask, so wearing the face mask is a first line of defense. Imagine your mask as a hot-bed of virus.

Here’s a few do’s and don’ts

Don’t touch your mask while wearing it.

If you accidentally touch your mask, immediately wash or sanitize your hands. Soap and water for 20 seconds or full use of hand sanitizer.

If your mask becomes wet or dirty, switch to a clean one. The common surgical type masks do not last long so have more clean masks ready when your present one becomes dirty or has strands of material breaking away from the inside.




Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.

Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask. Don’t put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help.

Don’t put masks on children under 2 years of age, they are not the ones most at risk.

Don’t use face masks as a substitute for social distancing, though it is nearly impossible to drink liquids through a mask. Put the mask back on between courses at a restaurant.

Personal note – I keep a couple of spare masks hanging from the instrument ‘stalks’ of the car. I find that otherwise I arrive at venues requiring masks and mine has been left at home.