Keep it covered

“Keep it covered, James.”

Those were my father’s (rather embarrassing) parting words at the airport, before I headed off to Portugal with friends to celebrate the end of our GCSE examinations.

As far as Personal Protective Equipment goes, a ‘love glove’ is all I’ve ever needed, but until now, that’s all changed.

In preparation for the re-opening of Chez Michelsberg, I’ve had to scour the web for visors, masks, gloves and gel, to keep my customers as safe as possible.

I find online shopping, tedious and frustrating at the best of times, and that’s before wading through international standards on the capture rates of 0.3 micron particles.

Whilst that might be useful information for forthcoming participants on University Challenge, it’s four hours of my life I’ll never get back.

If I ever find a Corona virus, I’m going to slowly burn it with a magnifying glass and pull it’s wings off.

As far as masks go, unless you’re in a leather-walled dungeon in SOHO, it’s not a good look, and increasingly our streets are going to resemble a scene from the TV series, Chernobyl.

Only yesterday, I spoke with a visor-clad shelf stacker in Waitrose and felt like I’d been transmogrified onto a SpaceX flight with Elon Musk.

Whilst there are high-spec / medical masks that keep the wearer safe, our priority will be to wear something in public to prevent the spreading of germs.

A scarf would do the trick nicely, but from a style point of view, needs to be considered carefully.

Our Italian cousins will no doubt look resplendent, as they promenade down the Via Condotti, generously swathed in the latest silk and cashmere offerings from Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana.

Less so the lad queuing outside McDonald’s, his nylon football colours strung about his face, like a ‘person of interest’ from Crimewatch UK.  

Churchill said, “never let a good crisis go to waste,” but when a manufacturing partner asked me whether I’d be interested in offering my customers cotton masks, to match their bespoke shirts, I genuinely thought he was joking.

When he started to discuss monogram and stitching options, I was shaking with laughter.

In line with the current wave of nostalgia surrounding VE Day and the Blitz spirit, a make-do-and-mend scenario could be fun.

Let’s get our creative juices flowing and rather than feel the fear, let’s have fun with it.

Terry Thomas moustaches, Viking beards, Batman ears and Hannibal Lecter mouth guards are all for the taking.

Following Boris’s announcement on Sunday, the move towards getting Britain back to work continues, and fifty page documents and flow charts aside, what we are really going to do is just SHIG it, or, See How It Goes.

For now, my shop must remain shut, perchance to open in June / July.

Until then, my latex covered hands are tied but at least, to Zed’s delight, I now have a mask to complete the look.