I was out running at lunch time in my almost deserted local park. In front of me there was a girl in her early 20s who was probably in the (surprisingly large) contingent of people who have just taken up running in the last couple of weeks.
She was on the right edge of the path, and coming the opposite way were an older couple (70s) who were on the left. This is a wide path, there’s ample room for people to pass in single file while maintaining ‘social distance’. So, did the couple move over onto the left? The (presumably) wife did, but the man had other ideas. He veered over to the right towards the running girl and said something aggressively to her which I didn’t quite catch, but the end of it sounded like “get over, bloody fiend”, while making a kind of swatting gesture in her face by swinging his arm as if to push her away. I presumed the context in his head was that he felt she was violating his “social distance”, though she really wasn’t.
By this time I was probably 10 metres behind her. She completely ignored him and just kept going (good choice). I was expecting something similar and as I was full of adrenaline I would have told him exactly what I thought. But then he probably guessed that from looking at me, and didn’t try anything with me. Which makes him a bully, only picking on people he doesn’t expect to retaliate.
A few seconds later the path forked, she went left and I went right and that was that. These things just happen so quickly, you don’t really process it at the time. I probably should have asked if she was OK but she might not have appreciated it.
I hope she’s not put off running again.