If we need any further indication of the longterm seriousness of the current public health precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, then we’re told everything by the fact that sailing and yacht clubs are finally responding through acquiring stocks of facemasks with their club insignias or other club-related messages conspicuously displayed.
On the shores of Belfast Lough, the Royal Ulster YC (founded 1866) has been experimenting with a neat white model on which of course the Red Hand of Ulster is unmistakably prominent. And down in Crosshaven at the weekend, the 300-year-old Royal Cork YC – frustrated in many of its Tricentenary Celebrations – took delivery of its first consignment of customised masks from sportswear and accessory specialists Rashr, and these new items make a Tricentenary statement which will turn them into treasured mementoes in the years to come.
In fact, if this corona-battling business goes on as long as many fear, we’ll see further developments with the various indicators of an individual’s ranking in the club hierarchy being incorporated in their facemasks. It’s a complex area - for those unacquainted with the arcane secret signals of club status, the word is that it’s all to do with swallow-tails and the display of balls.
Of course, if things go on for too long, we’ll stray into a dark world of extra-special equipment being supplied for the elite few. An acquaintance in Uruguay – which has, largely unnoticed, been exceptionally successful in combatting the pandemic despite being neighbour to disease-rampant bigger states – has forwarded this image. He tells us it may look like an army officer’s outfit, but it actually is a thinly-disguised Commodore’s De Luxe Coronavirus Kit which is current being developed and test-marketed in South America.