We all know the format of these questions. Two options are presented to pick between, both equally appealing or unappealing, which are meant to start conversation, so for example;
- Would you rather have a magic flying carpet or your own personal robot?
- Would you rather have one eye in the middle of your head or three noses?
- Would you rather have a bucket stuck on your head or a block of cement stuck on your foot?
- Would you rather be the best player on a losing team or the worst player on a winning team?
Well this week the government gave me a real life ‘would you rather’ conundrum in relation to the new face covering rules, here in England.
The guidance was released the afternoon before the rules came into force. Face coverings are needed in places people will be indoors for a few minutes (shops, banks, post offices) though not places where people will be indoors for a few hours (theatres, cinemas). It is all very confusing.
I have never liked things that obstruct my face. No matter how bright it is, I don’t wear sunglasses (luckily, it is usually to cloudy to be a concern). This also applies to baseball caps, fancy dress costumes, face paint and much else. A lot of this is because I am autistic and like many people on the autistic spectrum I struggle with change and new situations. To prepare for this, I ordered a mask online and then tried wearing it around the house, it didn’t go well.
The conundrum is that I have been given a ‘get out of jail free card’ from HM Government. Alongside people with panic disorders, cognitive impairments, people with breathing difficulties, issues affecting dexterity and many others, people with ‘other non-visible disabilities such as autism’… ‘are also exempt from wearing a face covering, regardless of the venue’. I have found my autism alert card from when I was diagnosed so I am good to go… or am I?
On the other hand, just because I don’t have to wear one, does that mean I shouldn’t do so? The risk of spreading disease or catching it myself is not something I want to consider. Also, there is the bigger problem of having to explain it to the people I come across. I doubt many would argue if I tried to explain (its not the British way!) but with the guidance released so late, it is very possible many people won’t know about these exemptions.
Processing information, talking to new people (particularly in a confrontation) and being overwhelmed by senses and information are all causes of shutdowns and meltdowns.
So what do I do? What would I rather?
I guess I will have to give it a try and see what happens. Time will tell.
Magic flying carpet, one eye in the middle of your head, cement stuck on your foot & best player on a losing team – you?