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Opinion : Should everyone wear face masks in public?

| April 18, 2020


One of the great debates taking place at the moment is should we all be wearing face masks in public when the lock down ends?

In many countries that have been affected with viruses like SARS everyone goes out wearing a face mask. Indeed in some countries the people can get in trouble with the police for not wearing a mask.

My good self is no expert on the matter but from what I can understand it seems the basic ‘surgical masks’, like dentists wear, are more aimed at protecting others rather than protecting the person wearing the mask. However the top of the range, and more expensive, FFP3 type of mask is designed to protect the person wearing the mask.

However here in the UK it seems the wearing of masks in public, particularly the ‘surgical’ type of mask, is frowned upon specifically because they don’t protect the wearer.

Does this not expose a rather selfish ‘me.. me… me…‘ trait running through modern society? Surely we should be considering others besides ourselves? If everyone was wearing at least a surgical type mask then everybody around would be protected, with the wearer being protected as a result of everyone else in close proximity wearing a mask.

Isn’t the main thing to stop the spread of the virus? So surely wearing masks could be a big help in achieving this?

Recently Germany has joined the list of European countries saying masks should be worn after the lock down is eased to reduce the risks of an upsurge in cases of COVID-19.

In my opinion it’s only a matter of time before the UK Government changes its mind and says that we all have to wear masks in public.

Unfortunately the masks are disposable so if everyone had to wear a mask it raises the question of where are all the masks going to come from if everyone in the UK is to have one?

No doubt the first response of the powers that be would be to ‘buy them from a supplier in China’ rather than to have the fore-fought to manufacture them here!

How would supplies of the masks be distributed? Would they be available to buy in supermarkets, etc…? I wonder if the Government would introduce a ‘mask tax’ to raise revenue from those purchasing masks?

Will we see a gap open in society between those who have a mask and those who can’t afford one and thus fall into the trap of ‘mask poverty’?

But why do the masks have to be disposable? Isn’t is about time someone invented a reusable mask that could be used over and over again?

It amazes me that the whole mask is disposable. Indeed why not create a mask that has a main body made of a reusable and washable material, similar to a gas mask made of rubber or PVC, with round disposable fabric filters to allow breathing. That way the main part of the mask could be reused while the small fabric filter could be disposed once it has reached the prescribed time limit of operation.

Surely the ultimate design of mask would be similar to a full face motorcycle crash helmet with a visor to shield the wearers eyes, a seal around the wearers neck and provision for a replaceable fabric filter added to the front?

As for my good self, well, yours truly will definitely be wearing a mask when venturing out after the lock down ends. After all surely any protection is better than none?

However my good self may draw the line at wearing a mask when going into a bank, just in case yours truly was mistaken for a robber….

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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