So we’re now moving about in the new world. Not loafing in armchairs in the local cafe, but queuing on giant yellow footprints spaced two metres apart for a takeaway coffee. Not dancing in the kitchen with 20 friends but sitting in a circle of six, in the garden, two arms’ lengths apart. Everything is a bit different or unrecognisably altered and it requires more considered behaviour and a new higher standard of manners.

Here are the basics.

Find an alternative smile: You can’t see anyone’s mouths at the moment. The best smile alternative is the good old thumbs up, or a happy wave. Also lots of nodding.

Move like Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy: Which is to say, be aware of the approach and retreat of everyone around you and react respectfully. 

Remind each other, politely, of the SD rule: When someone is blocking your exit, then a cheery “Hello! Coming through!” is the acceptable response. Or if Mr and Mrs No Spatial Awareness approach you with Google Maps to ask where the cafe in the park is, just say: “Woah! Social distancing, everybody!” and they are guaranteed to leap back like scalded cats. No feelings hurt.

Don’t be tempted to mask-cheat: When wearing a mask in a mask-required area, don’t tuck it under your chin like a beard net.

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