I SHOULD like to add to the debate over whether dealing with Covid 19 may result in a more friendly society.

Neighbours ask if there is anything we need, and we all come out at 8pm on Thursdays to clap the NHS.

Gardens have never looked so neat, cars never so clean; there are more (though short and at least two metre distant) conversations.

As an elderly person - I am 78 - when I leave the house for exercise I quickly learned the generally used method used by people approaching on the pavement – a hand signal to show who would leave the pavement to walk on the grass verge or road to ensure a two metre social distancing.

There are more “good mornings” from strangers than pre-lockdown, but some younger people seem less aware that a gap of two metres cannot be achieved on a pavement; even if they think about it, they obviously believe that it is not their role to give way to people obviously at least three times their age.

Last week, when we were supposed to be exercising only with household members, I was told of an elderly lady walking on Carmel Road in Darlington. She was overtaken without warning from behind by a large group of runners (one enormous household?) who kept on the pavement. When she said something about “social distancing” she was abused by the rear runner who called her “just a silly old woman”. Not only breaking the rules, but selfish and rude.

My daughter in a southern town has experienced a similar attitude – apparently runners like to time themselves over the same route each day and to deviate to cross the road to achieve social distancing would alter the distance they run.

They obviously believe that their wishes are paramount and take precedence over any silly rules designed to save lives.

Name supplied, Darlington.