Would This Have Been Acceptable Before The Crisis?!

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

Due to the current health crisis, masks are mandatory to wear on public transport, including trains. I’m on the train, reading an article on how the national train company has so far not enforced that rule and will now work harder to make sure that passengers refusing to wear a mask will be removed from the ride. 

At the next stop, a man enters and sits in the seat on the opposite aisle. He has a mask but it’s completely pulled down. He then gets a beer, gnaws it open with his teeth, puts the spit-covered lid on the little table, and begins to drink. I’m a little shocked, but he has headphones in and I also have social anxiety so I don’t dare to confront him and neither does anyone else. 

Soon, he’s starting his second beer — the smell on the train is horrible thanks to that — and the train inspectors come through to check everyone’s tickets. I internally cheer, because there’s four of them so it must mean they actually work harder to make sure everyone’s safe, right? 

Wrong. 

They don’t say anything, just check the man’s ticket. No, “Sir, please wear your mask,” or, “Please get off at the next station.” Nothing. The girl sitting across from me looks just as stunned as me. 

The inspectors then stay right in front of our seats, where the doors are, and chat. 

Then, the man without the mask sneezes. Three times. And I don’t mean small sneezes. I have noise-cancelling headphones in on full volume; I can’t even hear the train engines but I can hear that man sneeze loudly. It sounds gross. He also, of course, doesn’t even try to cover his face with his arm or hand. 

The inspectors do nothing. 

One passenger tells the man that he is gross and should wear a mask, pointing to his own mask and all. He doesn’t react. 

The girl in front of me and I make eye contact. Her eyes are huge and she shakes her head at me in disbelief. I do, too, and the man opens his third beer by the time I get off the train. 

I’m considering writing a complaint, since I’m mostly upset at the inspectors, but I feel like it won’t do any good since this wasn’t the first time I witnessed something like this in the last few weeks.

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