The New Etiquette

In the next few months, most of us will start to face a whole range of new social situations for which even the most careful perusal of Debrett’s will have left us unprepared.

No doubt you’ve already already pondered how best to communicate some of the following ideas (or respond when others say them to you), so please write in with your suggestions. Our agony aunt will be addressing these and other social dilemmas in a future column.

Topics for discussion:

“I have a mask here, and am very happy to put it on if you are at all uncomfortable with the distance between us. Ah, you have one too? Let’s see who feels the need to put it on first.”

“We’d like to invite you for dinner, but are unsure how soon you will feel comfortable with this. Could you suggest some months that would work for you?”

“‘Dress: black tie and mask. Decorations may be worn.’ Would wearing a mask in my regimental colours be appropriate?”

“Your story is very interesting and you’re clearly very excited about it. Would you mind standing downwind of me while you tell it?”

“That’s a very kind invitation, but I happen to know your husband is an anti-vaxxer and I’m not coming near your den of contagion until the R number is below 0.2.”

“Mr and Mrs Wyndham-Smythe request the pleasure of your company at the wedding of their daughter Sophie, as long as not more than 14 other people accept the invitation.”

“I find you very attractive and I’m not currently socially interacting with anybody else at the moment. I don’t wish to be too forward but… would you like to be in my bubble?”

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