One man in Salford, England was spotted wearing a snake instead of a face mask while traveling on a bus.
While local authorities have not charged the man, they have expressed their dislike of the act, citing it as ‘a mockery of essential SOPs’.
The bus was going to Manchester from Swinton. Many passengers were shocked at the spectacle. Some expressed the same sentiment as the local authorities. They cited that the man was making fun of coronavirus SOPs.
Others agreed it was undoubtedly ‘entertaining’ and ‘surreal’ to watch the man remove the snake from his neck.
One anonymous passenger claimed she thought the snake was a ‘funky mask’. She realized the truth when she saw the snake wrap its tail over the handrails.
Currently, the man remains unidentified, despite several videos and pictures going viral. In each online post, the man’s face is blurred to protect his privacy. The dominant online sentiment views the act as ‘a publicity stunt’.
As of yesterday, local authorities have issued an official statement, condemning the man’s actions. They cited that ‘snakes are not adequate replacements for face masks.’ All videos and photo evidence confirmed the man was not wearing a mask.
According to the authorities, wearing face masks is mandatory, especially on public transport. The only exceptions are for those who cannot wear masks because of their health, age, or disability.
Even the bus company has spoken about the incident. One representative for Greater Manchester reported, “government guidance clearly states that this needn’t be a surgical mask, and that passengers can make their own or wear something suitable, such as a scarf or bandana.
“While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin – especially when still attached to the snake.”
Essentially, both the company and local authorities agree: reptiles are not suitable replacements for face masks. Locals are encouraged to take SOPs more seriously, as fighting the coronavirus pandemic is a collective task, not an individual one.