35mm · Film photography · Photography

Not thinking things through

I was paid today, so decided to combine my exercise with a trip to the cash machine at the local shopping mall. Knowing that cash machines are a pretty high-risk vector for transmitable viruses like COVID-19, I decided to protect myself by wearing a plastic glove. I bought the gloves recently as a means of avoiding physical contact on surfaces that others are likely to have touched – they’re just the thin plastic type that you sometimes find at petrol-stations to avoid getting fuel on your hands, or in sandwich-shops to allow the person preparing the food to avoid touching the ingredients. I would have felt uncomfortable buying surgical-style gloves (even had I been able to find any) given the recent shortages in PPE that have been encountered by frontline healthcare staff.

Sadly, I didn’t think through the process of withdrawing the money in a contactless fashion, and it quickly became apparent that next time some greater consideration of the process will be required.

I decided to wear a single glove, thinking that I’d only be touching the buttons with a single hand, and removed my card from my wallet, entered it in the machine, and then replaced my wallet in my right pocket (as I had nowhere else to put it). I could then enter my pin, select the amount I wanted to withdraw, and remove the cash with the gloved hand. All good so far.

However, I now realised that I would have to reach over into my right pocket with my left hand to get my wallet back out. I also realised that I couldn’t open my wallet with just my left hand and insert the cash without risking scattering it all over the floor. Also, and possibly key – I was holding the cash in the gloved hand that had touched the potentially compromised buttons on the machine, thus transferring any contamination onto the money I had to put in my wallet anyway! In the end I touched the outside of my wallet with the “gloved hand of contamination” in order to complete the task too.

Short of (literally!) laundering the money to clean it of anything harmful, I’m kinda stuck with the situation. Thankfully I can avoid touching the money again (at least until any pesky viruses might have been rendered harmless) and will certainly refrain from rubbing it all over my face or anything, so I think I’ll be ok (plus it’s probably absolutely fine and uncontaminated anyway).

Given that many places are dictating card-only transactions at present, it might have been better left in the account…

Unrelated to all this, here’s todays picture, a bingo hall in Sheffield city centre – somewhere else (along with the cinemas, theatres, gigs, bars, retaurants etc.) that’s likely to remain dormant for the next few months.


Canon Sure Shot Supreme & Lomography Color Negative 400.

Taken on 1 March 2020

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