The ongoing global health crisis has brought a lot of changes in many of our lives. For some of us, that means there are new rules about where we can go and when.
Most of us have been advised to wear masks to help prevent spreading the virus, and many of us are practicing social distancing. And while these changes might be a little hard to adapt to, they’re generally understandable. It’s for the greater good, right?
Well, one mom in the UK, Mandy, recently found out what happens when social distancing measures are taken a little too far. It all started when she needed to make a pretty commonplace errand: a trip to a nearby post office.
She had just dropped her oldest daughter off at school, and she planned to take her 7-month-old son, Liam, into the post office with her.
No big deal, right? It turns out the post office thought it was a very big deal. Staffers told Mandy that her son couldn’t come inside the post office with her.
Mandy says that the woman running the shop even suggested that she just leave her son outside while he slept in his stroller. The staff at the shop reportedly offered to “keep an eye” on the baby while he slept, but Mandy was having none of it. She was furious that the shopkeeper was treating her baby “like a dog.”
Since the incident caused a bit of an uproar (understandably so!), the post office ended up reviewing its own social distancing guidelines. Now an adult may bring one child inside the office with them. However, Mandy is still plenty mad that she even encountered this treatment.
Mandy explained, “I went to post a parcel after dropping my little girl off at school so I got in the line for 10 minutes as there was only one person in and out at a time. I just stepped inside the door when a lady told me there was no babies or children allowed. I’m sure children run around sometimes so that’s understandable but my baby was in a pushchair asleep anyway.”
Mandy added, “I was told I could leave my baby outside. I’m not leaving my baby outside he’s not a dog, I’m not not going to tie him up outside. The shop assistant said she would keep an eye on him for me. I had no idea who the shop assistant was, I wasn’t going to trust them with my baby.”
Mandy makes an excellent point! It’s pretty bizarre that the post office even offered to watch the baby so casually like that. “I was absolutely fuming, you can’t expect to leave your child outside, it’s wrong. It’s only a little corner shop so I could understand if you weren’t allowed pushchairs inside and I could carry him in, but I was was told I couldn’t bring my baby in at all.”
Mandy ended up asking her husband to run by the shop when he finished his work for the day, but she also brings up two great points: What would a single mother do if in the same position? Plus, how could the shop have ensured the baby’s safety if he were just left outside in his stroller?
“What if somebody took him whose fault would it have been then? Would it have been my fault for leaving my baby there? Or their fault as the assistant said they would keep an eye on him?”
A spokesperson for the shop issued a statement on behalf of the owners and tried to explain the reasoning behind the extreme guideline.
The spokesperson said, “We’re sorry to hear that a customer had an unsatisfactory visit to our Tupsley branch. Due to the narrowness of the shop the postmaster introduced restrictions at the start of lockdown. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by not allowing children into the shop. These restrictions have now been reviewed and an adult is now allowed to bring a baby or child into the shop, if the child is supervised during their visit.”
This period of social distancing has been challenging for many, of course. Most people are trying to do the best they can with a situation that few of us ever saw coming, and generally, it seems that a lot of people have adapted. While the shop may be tiny, it’s funny that anyone there ever thought restricting the entry of children who are with an adult would be a policy worth adopting.
This isn’t the only strange story to come out of this period of time. In Italy, a man has been practicing social distancing by wearing a massive disc. MSN writes, “He created a giant disk which followed the suggested person-to-person distance, with two straps to hang it onto his shoulders. With the bright yellow color and only a small hole for his body, it was quite the funny sight.”