Masks

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So, it’s going to be compulsory to wear masks in shops from 24th July.

OK – probably a good idea.

No – a very good idea.

But there are so many questions –

Why has it taken so long? How many people have become ill or even died due to masks not being compulsory?

If the powers that be have now accepted that it’s a good idea, why wasn’t it made compulsory immediately?

Masks work best when everyone wears them.

But what about retail workers? It appears that it isn’t going to be compulsory for us to wear them. I want to know why not. Are we immune? Or expendable?

You might only come into contact with one retail worker today – a retail worker will come into contact with potentially 100s of customers.

And another thing – I know that masks are intended to protect the other person. I don’t want to be responsible for infecting someone else, by not wearing one. But if masks aren’t compulsory for me, what does that mean? That I can’t be infectious? Or that no-one cares if I infect other people?

And wearing masks isn’t without its problems.

I need to wear glasses all the time, so a mask means that they steam up. Yes, I can cope – but as a designer, working on a computer screen a lot of the time, not being able to see what I’m doing is something of a draw-back.

The basic masks we’re provided with are too big for me. I have to tie a knot in the ear loops to make them tight enough to stay on, let alone tight enough to stop a stray virus.

Yes, it’s better than nothing – I get that. And I’ve started wearing one.

But it also feels like a backward step – I stopped wearing gloves all the time a couple of weeks ago. Again, because I work on a computer all the time, working in gloves (particularly gloves that were inevitably two sizes too big) was very difficult. And the information regarding gloves was very confusing, which didn’t help.

So, I feel like, somewhere along the line, I’ve either been lulled into a false sense of security or been bamboozled into thinking that the glove-wearers and mask-wearers were over-reacting.

I’ve been working without gloves (and without a mask) for quite a while – and it turns out it wasn’t safe. Because, if it was safe, why are people being advised to wear masks now?

I feel let down, confused, and guilty.

Luckily (and I suspect it is pure luck), I don’t feel ill.

How do you feel about masks being made compulsory? Were you wearing them anyway? Do you think it should have happened ages ago?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    100% agree. We wore our masks in Sainsbury’s on Wednesday. Some people stared but quite a few actually recoiled in horror as if the mask was a sign we were infected. Not so, but it shows how confused the message is.

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    1. I was surprised how few people were wearing masks in Aldi just now. Ah well, at least there’ll be no more excuses come next Friday. xx

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  2. Sheila says:

    Every bit of advice we have been given has been misleading or useless. So many delayed instructions have possibly led to unnecessary deaths.
    Earlier on in this tragic situation, my daughter could have allowed a nanny, a cleaner or an estate agent into her house, but not me, as her baby’s grandma.
    I understand this is an unprecedented situation for the government, but there have been so many u-turns and conflicting advice, it has made a horrible time far worse.
    I wear a mask, sometimes the only person to do so, in a shop. Yes they are uncomfortable, but if I can prevent myself from catching the virus, and then possibly infecting one of my family, they are worth their weight in gold.
    Scary times.

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    1. You’re right Sheila – it’s all been a particularly crazy sort of chaos. One thing I’ve had to get used to is that no-one can see my cheery smile, so they don’t smile back. First of all I wondered why everyone was so grumpy today, then I realised they couldn’t see me smiling at them because of the mask. Oh, and note to self – take the mask OFF before trying to eat a Haribo…

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  3. anglosvizzera says:

    It’s hard to know what “The Science” really says about this. Apparently gaseous exchange is unaffected – yes, there are videos of people using monitors behind the mask showing low oxygen levels and very high CO2 levels, but also videos using blood oxygen saturation monitors on fingers showing no effect on oxygen levels, which seems to imply that air goes in and out relatives unimpeded…in which case so do viral particles.

    We were originally told that Covid was spread by droplets (hence washing hands after touching things outside our homes and not touching our faces so as not to transfer it to that) but now The Science is saying it’s spread through aerosol rather than droplets. Which leads me back to, how does a mask stop aerosol spread in or out of the mask?

    I don’t know the answer, but I’m guessing that the best prevention is to keep those vitamin D levels high (as is now finally being discussed specifically with regard to our BAME communities) along with other micronutrients known to help prevent viral replication (zinc), help activate vitamin D in the body (magnesium), help strengthen our cells against invasion by spiky protein viruses (vitamin A), help immunity generally (selenium) and help our bodies fight any infection that gets past out innate immune system (which lives mainly in our nose/throat/gut) – which is vitamin C in decent amounts.

    Fear and worry impair our immune systems – so people who feel ‘safer’ going into shops where masks will now soon be mandatory will benefit, but it will also put many people off going shopping too. I know many people who are planning to do their grocery shopping online rather than have to muzzle-up in a supermarket where they could maintain social distancing. The net effect may well be zero.

    Now we are reading that half a million test kits ordered by the NHS were not sterile and already contaminated (eg the fruit that was tested being positive, and many nurses having sent off unused swabs getting a positive result) and that the deaths attributed to Covid were inflated as anyone with a diagnosis was counted, even if they got run over by a bus (Matt Hancock is starting an enquiry)…so who knows what the real facts are?

    The latest I read was that someone who knows a government minister says they are planning a second lockdown in August…let’s see what happens!

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  4. anglosvizzera says:

    Typo: *relatively, not relatives!

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  5. ‘Muzzle up’!!! I’m going to steal that!! xx

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