Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Masks.

Wearing masks in shops, banks, and enclosed public spaces became compulsory here on Friday.

I had a lot of experience with the disposable surgical-style masks when I was an EMT, and I doubt their effectiveness after wearing them for even a few minutes. It should also be remembered that they are worn to protect others, not the wearer.

But that’s not the point.

The government here dragged its heels on ordering the wearing of masks, resulting in many people questioning the point of issuing the instruction now that infection rates are low. This escalated into a smattering of ‘Anti-Mask’ movements springing up here.

And that’s not the point either.

Then some of the largest supermarkets, cafe chains, and retail chains announced that they would not be ‘policing’ the wearing of masks in their establishments. With the real police unlikely to consider it serious enough to intervene, and being too busy anyway, it seems to be a toothless law that is unlikey to ever see any of the £100 fines being imposed or collected.

That’s still not the point.

The point is, why not? Why not just wear one? It doesn’t hurt for the short time you are in a shop, and if nothing else, it reassures the others around you. I just bought a packet of five well-made washable masks from Amazon for not much more than £1 each, so price is not an issue. Some shops are even offering to provide free disposable masks for customers attempting to enter the shop without one.

In one supermarket I visited on Friday afternoon, every single customer was wearing one. Yes, mine made my glasses steam up a bit, but so what? I could still see. I didn’t stand at the bread counter thinking my civil liberties had been abandoned, and I was able to converse with the checkout lady who sat safe behind her perspex screen.

It may solve nothing, and may not even stop me getting the virus. But it might help stop a second wave, or at least reduce the effect of one. It might just work, so has to be worth trying. So if you are still undecided about wearing a mask when you go shopping, then stop overthinking it.

Just wear one.

75 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. I keep seeing idiots on buses with masks round their chins – they put the masks on when they board, so that the driver doesn’t say anything, then take them off as soon as they’re out of his/her sight, like a kid thinking they’re being clever by getting one over on the teacher. So stupid and annoying!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete, I’m glad to hear that there is a drop in infection rates in the UK. Just yesterday while walking along the streets I noticed that almost everyone was wearing their masks below the nose with some only covering their chins…At a time where cases are rising rapidly in my country. I’m just tired… Are people really that stupid?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice point Pete. We really need to follow the rules. I don’t understand why people don’t wanna wear masks. I mean they say it for their own good. If they wanna die, that’s their own choice. I hate people who don’t get the importance of being safe and alert. 😡😡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most people are following the rules, but there are quite a few who refuse to believe the virus is the real problem that governments say it is. I know better, as it killed one of my best friends.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  4. While I’m not against the use of masks, I’m against the reason why the government implemented this. It’s thinly veiling the fact that we’re wanted to return back to work as an attempt to rescue the economy. I can’t help but wonder if this and other measures are just for theatrics rather than actively working to provide a safe environment. I’m all for people continuing to act carefully, but I don’t want the false sense of security to overshadow actually working on the problem.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a very fair argument, and it has my support to some degree. But I lost one of my oldest and best friends to Covid-19 in May. He was only 4 years older than me, and will never see his only grandchild. So if it gets that personal for you, you might feel the same.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think you might have misunderstood. I’ve also lost someone during Covid and I feel enforcing masks is only putting a plaster on the issue. Maybe this may seem paranoid, but I don’t want people to become relaxed when the solutions are mainly theatrical rather than actively trying to fix the problem.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for clarifying. I tend to agree, as I said in the post, that so much of it is merely ‘reassurance’. But in a mad world, maybe something notional is helpful for many, and better than nothing at all.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. During the AIDS scare, right at the start, when nobody knew anything about it, I used to work in the London Ambulance Service, and had to treat suspected AIDS patients wearing full infectious disease protective equipment. It was very uncomfortable, and unbearably hot in the summer. But we did it Wearing a mask in a shop for 15 minutes is literally nothing by comparison.
      Thanks, Lucinda.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The whine about our rights being taken away, here in the US, is old. Our rights were ‘taken away’ with seat belts, motorcycle helmets, smoking in public buildings. We survived and are better for it. Now if only our ‘right to own guns’ were only taken away, or at least modified into something sensible.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I remember the seat belt laws being objected to. I wasn’t even that happy about wearing one myself at the time, (1983 here) even though I was an EMT and had treated people thrown through car windscreens. But within a few days, I had forgotten all about it, and just wore one.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are asking the same question that I have been asking for months in America. Why not? Are any of us enjoying the fact that this keeps getting dragged out longer and longer with more deaths each day? We’ve had more than a thousand deaths each day for the past four days in the US. If that isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yet there are still so many people who don’t seem to think that’s a cause for concern, as people are always expected to die. Of course people die every day, but there is no need for them to die for no reason, from a cause that could possibly be avoided.
      Thanks, Pete.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If you mean ‘2581John’, John, he is my first cousin Keith, and very dear to me. He doesn’t have to agree with the rest of us if he doesn’t want to, even though I sincerely hope his stand on this issue doesn’t cause him or anyone else any harm.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Here we have an order both by the governor of Texas and by our local authorities making it mandatory to wear masks in public places. And what happens? Even our sheriff doesn’t wear one and doesn’t enforce that order, because, in his weird reasoning, even telling people in the streets could be construed as “detaining” them, and that – he says – he is not allowed to do.
    I really don’t want to wish anybody harm, but for him I wish he would get infected and the doctors in the hospital would then tell him they can’t admit him because that could be construed as “detaining” him, for which they don’t have the authority.
    And that brings me to the point that angers me most: all those people who don’t wear masks endanger the doctors and nurses and ambulance people, those who are in greatest danger anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I don’t often comment Pete as my phone seems clunky on this site and I often lose everything I have typed but here goes (again).

    I can’t agree with much that you have said except perhaps your suspicion that masks don’t work.

    I won’t address all the other issues around Covid and lockdown as the arguments on all sides have been made ad Infinitum for months.

    My concerns are these:

    In the last few months we have seen the death of the handshake, the hug, the air kiss and other forms of greeting where physical closeness is required.

    The mask is now killing the friendly reassuring smile given to a stranger, and the cheerful enquiry of well being to a passerby, that we took for granted only months ago.

    Entering a shop full of mask wearing strangers reenforces the fear of catching a virus a fear that has been battered into us all by national governments, the WHO, and the media for months now.

    Wearing a mask will help to psychologically maintain a state of fear that can only get worse as winter arrives.

    Phrases such as ‘anti maskers’ seems to deliberately diminish the wider concerns some people have down to the ‘it’s just a mask’ debate.

    Healthy people are now referred to as ‘asymptomatic carriers’ and can be viewed by others as potential virus carrying killers. One sneeze and we’ll all die.

    The wearing of masks is destroying trust, social cohesion, and the opportunities for contact with others that humans all require.

    That is the harm I see it doing.

    I believe it is a price too high to pay just to delay a few thousand deaths.

    For me, it is not the ‘flattening of curves’ or ‘reducing the transmission rate’ that is important. It is the protecting of societal norms that is the ‘greater good’.

    Society seems to have forgotten that the harsh reality of life is death.

    If people want to wear a mask the they are free to do so. I won’t. I will comply with the restrictions society puts on me only so far as I feel is reasonable. I don’t see this as self centred as I am very much concerned with the type of society I leave for our kids.

    Memento Mori.

    Next week, the Covid resistant Mao suit. Just wear one. What harm can it do? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You don’t have to agree, Keith, and your opinion is always valued, as you know. My friend Brian Cushion died of Covid-19 in May. I’m sure you remember him. I would happily wear a mask all day to have prevented his death, so I don’t think it’s too high a price to pay on the offchance of keeping my loved ones free from this virus.
      And while I agree about this government possibly wanting to create that ‘state of fear’ you mention, to try to gloss over their own earlier shortcomings, I certainly don’t feel that fear myself.
      I hope all is well with you otherwise, I had a long chat to your brother last week on the phone.
      Love to you and Olga, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. i’m with you 100% Pete. i truly believe that wearing masks save lives. i just learned how to make washable filtered-masks and i’m giving away to promote its use. it does save lives!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. We always wear masks when we go out. Like you said, why not? I am as concerned of others as I am myself so it only makes sense. I try my best to avoid those who refuse to wear one. We live near the state border so when I forget that fact and go to the grocery store in South Carolina, very few people wear them. Putting your glasses on top of the cloth does help with glasses steaming up, but my glasses tend to slide down the fabric. You can also use the paperlike bandage tape to tape the top of your mask across the bridge of your nose. One of my high school friends is a wuilter and she made 500+ masks and gave them away free of charge. She even paid for the postage to mail them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems that mask-wearing is more devisive in American society, Maggie. Many places I see on TV have nobody at all wearing them, and others almost 100%. I am going to try all the tips with my glasses when I go shopping tomorrow.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t disagree Pete, although I find wearing a mask uncomfortable and slightly claustrophobic and I didn’t like the feel when I was looking down to empty the trolley or use the card machine, I felt like I had something in my eye. Maybe I just need a different kind of mask, but I refuse to buy disposable ones as I feel that is more rubbish going to landfill or worse into the ocean. I much preferred shopping using the one way system, 2m distancing and only allowing a few people inside at a time! I really hope this doesn’t become a permanent solution as it is not enticing me to the High Street (which I believe is the only reason it has been imposed).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, I much preferred the more rigid controls inside the supermarkets, as they actually made my shopping experience faster and easier. But I am aware that smaller shops cannot operate well with similar rules, and it was always going to be a matter of time before the mask option was used. Yes, it’s all about jobs and profits, but I still see no reason not to wear one if you are only in the shop for under 30 minutes or so. I definitely could not sit through a play in a theatre or film at the cinema wearing one, so that will not make me go back to that form of entertainment.
      If you have a Sainsbury or Asda near you, I understand they are not enforcing wearing masks.
      Best wishe,s Pete. x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not wearing one and not having the distancing rules isn’t going to get me in those supermarkets. I agree for small shops it is probably necessary as distancing is more difficult, but I think the larger supermarkets and stores could have stayed as they were. I shan’t be travelling on a bus, train or plane either if the journey is more than an hour!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Some people are so self-centred, thinking it’s all about them and their civil liberties, they won’t do anything that is for the greater good. I’m still wearing the disposable masks while waiting for my ‘Nicola’ mask to arrive. She was photographed wearing a tartan mask and the company who makes them (and donates a percentage of the profit to Shelter) has gone from being on the point of laying off all their staff to taking on more to keep up with the demand and there’s a six week waiting list for the charity mask.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Without wishing to be contentious, will the 2m [or 1m? still unclear] distancing rule now be discarded in shops? The logic being that if masks are intended to prevent the spread of airborne bacteria, close proximity, i.e.: less than one metre, will not represent a threat. Just a thought. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In both the large supermarkets I use, (Tesco and Morrison) the rules have already gone as far as when you are shopping. (Two weeks ago.) The only one maintained is to wait until the previous customer has paid before loading your shopping on the conveyor belt. My local HSBC bank is still keeping the ‘Only 3 customers at a time rule’ though.
      (And always feel free to be contentious on here, Jon)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    2. People were definitely not keeping their distance in the supermarket I went to on Friday. Yes everyone including me was wearing a mask, but I’d rather they had kept the 2m distancing and one way rule! It was a free for all. And people were wearing masks below their noses, fiddling with them, pulling them down to talk and one lady had removed hers to answer her phone! What is the point? Doesn’t encourage me to visit shops that’s for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fear that wearing masks does imbue people with a false sense of security, and they really do need reminding about covering their nose too. I actually pointed at a youngish man with a mask below his nose, and he moved it up, realising what I meant.
        Best wishes, Pete. x

        Liked by 2 people

  14. As I think I have mentioned before we have had compulsory mask wearing for a long time now (months), so long in fact that it is now second nature and if I’m heading to the shops in the car I check that there is a mask on the dash before I set off. Its not difficult and has soon become a habit.
    I have noticed the masks with the metal strip than can be moulded to the bridge of your nose stop the fogging up of glasses:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The disposables I had with the hard strip wouldn’t hold well on my nose, which I think is why my glasses misted up. I am going to try the new fabric ones tomorrow, as they sit really high on my face.
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen lots of ‘Anti’ talk about brainwashing, crowd control, thought police, etc. For me, it is just about good manners, and social responsibility. Not that different to instictively wearing a seat belt in a car since 1983.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

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