Monday 29 November 2021

Omicron Face Coverings - Dooda Alert

And so the time approaches for reimposition of face covering rules on public transport and in shops, as part of the measures announced in response to news of yet another Covid-19 variant, this one called Omicron. Some parts of the UK - Scotland, for instance - had never relaxed this particular rule, and for Scots the world had not fallen in as a result. But this most minor of inconveniences was too much for some media snowflakes.

Pretentious? Who, moi?

To no surprise at all, the most high-profile toys-out-of-pram petulance display this morning came from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, who has clearly concluded that wearing a face covering for a small part of her day is an unwarranted affront to the freedom, and indeed wellbeing, of Herself Personally Now.

Hence her dedicating her show this morning to platforming the kind of guests who would agree with her that face coverings are unnecessary and ineffective. So off she ranted. “We're told it's just for three weeks, it's just a mask, what's the big deal? Prime Minister, forgive me if millions of us don't believe you anymore. You told us time and again we have to live with this virus, and every time we do, you don't let us do it”. Waaah! Not fair!!

Who would she invite on to sow doubt in her audience’s mind? No, not Mike Yeadon this time. “Face masks return to public transport and shops tomorrow but Prof Carl Heneghan doubts how effective they really are ‘Germany and Austria mandated medical grade masks. They're now bringing in complete restrictions to deal with the rise in cases’”. The Prof loves his selective analysis. And so does Ms Hartley Dooda.

Meanwhile, despite the freezing cold weather, she wants to know Why Won’t They Think Of The Tourists? “Arrivals from overseas must isolate until they get a negative PCR test from tomorrow, but travel expert Paul Charles warns quarantine will kill off in-bound tourism. ‘The Government has taken a safety first approach but it's not the best approach’”. And what, pray, is the best approach? Stats? Analysis? Nah.

Instead, Ms Hartley Dooda has got an MP to speak. Sadly for her, it is the irredeemably batshit Desmond Swayne. “Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne: ‘I've decided I'm exempt from wearing a mask due to my genetic predisposition to liberty. This is utter hysteria. Every time I ask for the evidence I'm told it's about sending a message. Well I don't like the message’”. Reduce virus transmission? Nah, Des doesn’t like that message.

And just to prove that there is no limit to her shameless spreading of hysteria, Ms Hartley Dooda goes completely OTT. “Some helpful information on mask exemptions for those who find it ‘severely distressing’ to be forced to wear a pointless piece of cloth over their face to go about their normal lives. Remember, they've never worn masks in No10 Downing Street. It's all just the theatre of safety”. Severely distressing? Shine a light.

Wibble, meet hatstand. But the cause of Ms Hartley Dooda’s mardy strop can be described very simply: this is an inconvenience to Herself and so must be challenged by all the means at her disposal. If wearing a face covering cuts down transmission of Covid to the extent that fewer people become severely ill (and worse) then it has done its job. Feeding the non-compliance lobby is grossly irresponsible, whoever does it.

But Ms Hartley Dooda only asks the question, so she’s in the clear. Not good enough.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at


  1. It is often said that “nobody is illegal” but the day after I lead the Panzers down Whitehall that will change. And Julia Tory Sewer's name will be high on the list of People Whose Very Existence is a Crime.

  2. " don't let us do it."

    "It" being get sick and die.

    Be my guest, stupid woman.

  3. My facemask prescription for JHB comprises about 5 feet of Gaffa Tape.

  4. I can just imagine these people 80 years ago. Not observing blackout regulations and refusing to use air raid shelters as people were still dying.

  5. So old stinky thongs ranting about masks again ? Tell me something new and entirely unexpected please tim

  6. Hi Tim. Two of us just returned from a week's holiday in Inverness. Both of us are exempt from wearing face coverings due to severe breathing problems - in my case asthma and breathing problems due to a heart condition, while my mate has to use a CPAP machine to ensure he continues breathing while asleep. Bearing in mind this was in Scotland, I enquired about our wearing "exempt" lanyards and Reception said "No problem, if challenged just explain why". We were the only ones wearing lanyards so the exemption obviously wasn't being abused. I extend heartful gratitude to everyone who wears face masks to protect those of us who can't.

  7. How odd Spewer won't willingly contract Covid to prove how "harmless" it is.

    But maybe not so odd.

  8. However:

    'The doctor who discovered the Omicron variant said the UK was “panicking unnecessarily” and that the symptoms are “extremely mild”.

    Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told The Andrew Marr Show she first encountered the variant in a man in his early 30s who presented with tiredness and a mild headache, but none of the usual coronavirus symptoms.'

    Perhaps wearing a mask is not great imposition in itself, but wearing one because Simple Boris says "Put your mask on your face", is a different matter.

    1. To 20:51.

      On the other hand:

      Perhaps wearing a mask is a good idea because, er, it's a good idea. And nothing to do with Bozo The Clown.

  9. Reduce virus transmission? Seriously? Hmm... what am I missing? what am I.. not... seeing? That's obviously not the message the tories are sending.... so what the hell is crackalackalin here?

  10. Should Ms Brewing Hate become seriously ill from Covid, I do hope she'll forgo treatment. Or at the very least, place herself at the back of the queue.

  11. @iMatt, if the example of Candace Owens is any guide – covered by this blog some three months ago here: – the answer is a resounding “NO!!!!1!!!eleventy!!”

  12. Preposterous rant by Steve Baker,one of the original swivel-eyed loons and a born-again Christian to boot; preferably whilst wearing steel capped Doc Martens.

  13. – MPs who voted against the reintroduction of mandatory mask wearing. And not a few of them are regulars on these hallowed pages; the odious Philip “Private Members Bill” Davies, his part-time squeeze and Third Reich pinup Esther McVile, Christopher “Upskirt” Chode, Penfold's stunt double Mark Fran├žois [“note cedilla” – Ed.], various pre-Cambrian DUP wonks and, natch, Desmond Swyne.