Author Topic: Wearing a face covering in public  (Read 855 times)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #15 on: 24 Oct 2021 01:09PM »
I wonder about the quality of some of the masks on sale.  This is just suspicion and musing on my part - I haven't researched it.

I'm mentally comparing what I think of as the 'cheap blue ones' (although obviously they're rather less cheap than they used to be to put it mildly).  I used to be quite comfortable wearing those in bed seasonally to keep allergens out.  But are the ones now made of the same fibres, in the same way, to the same standards?  I'm serious.

And if my suspicions are right, what other masks would that apply to?

I also notice with the cotton-based masks I wear that how I wash them makes a big difference.  It even differs between the different brands of mask what's best.

On a lighter note, in the summer and early autumn, I was having problems with masks I put on that took a few wearings to identify.  I was hanging them up to dry somewhere where they could be 'contaminated' by allergens.  I suspect most people wouldn't be so daft.  Watch out which trees you hang your laundry near outside, and which windows & doors you hang it near inside, Sunny!

One difficulty with all this is the wide range of masks now available, which must make research difficult, which in turn must have a knock-on effect on people who have other reasons for problems. At least my main reasons are just allergens and asthma.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4611
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #16 on: 24 Oct 2021 05:27PM »
I'm thankful that I barely ever go anywhere so can afford the same medical grade surgical masks doctors have always worn and apparently they are the best safety wise and apparently don't impair breathing so are meant to be ideal for people with asthma but even with them I now struggle breathing in them at times. For people who go out and about regularly I can understand that buying these disposable masks is just unaffordable.


I think if the government sold them to the public at non profit making cost price that would encourage far more mask wearing or is that too simple a solution.

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9054
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #17 on: 24 Oct 2021 06:23PM »
Quote
Oh, and the lanyard thing - different aspect - abuse of it is particularly problematic for those of us with hidden disabilities, isn't it?
I'm not sure those lanyards are useful at all since I heard they could be ordered over the Internet by just about anybody - so how can anyone know if the wearer really has an invisible disability or not??

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4611
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #18 on: 24 Oct 2021 09:12PM »
I got mine free years ago from tfl as I needed to request a seat on trains, especially the tube and found it really useful. I'm aware that many people uncomfortable about wearing masks will have got hold of the lanyards so they don't have to wear one but it doesn't bother me. I have no clue who genuinely does or doesn't struggle with masks so don't spend any time worrying about it.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #19 on: 24 Oct 2021 09:51PM »
I find the mask thing difficult in terms of worry etc.  I fully accept that there are some people that can't wear masks.  I accept that that includes people that have psychological reasons for not wearing them and people that have been unable to get suitable masks for their needs, in addition to those who can't physically wear one at all.

At the same time, based on my previous experiences of postviral fatigue, and very aware of people's attitudes towards fatigue conditions, I'm utterly terrified of catching the virus.  Further, when people don't wear masks, whilst I don't direct my feelings to particular strangers, nevertheless if I'm somewhere where it's realistic to suppose that a large proportion of those without masks are not genuinely entitled to be not wearing them, e.g. on a bus where over half the passengers, maybe even most of the passengers, aren't wearing a mask, I feel threatened by them, without knowing which ones genuinely can't wear a mask, which don't believe masks make any difference, and which ones have an attitude that "I don't care if I pass on this virus and you die."   

I have had people, particularly men, come up so close to me in places like checkouts that I could see their breath on my glasses and I've responded by saying clearly and firmly "If I can't trust you not to get close enough to me not to pass on a deadly virus, I certainly don't trust you not to get close enough to me to grope me or knock me over."

And that's how I feel.  The people getting close enough to me in the street or shops to bump into me and cause me to stumble don't wear masks.

Where I am, the majority of people I encounter, particularly in the residential side roads, are very considerate, as we play the socially-distancing dance in and out of driveways.  But this is a densely populated urban area and I don't necessarily go just in my own neighbourhood.

By analogy, it's like the very small proportion of people that dash to help me if I fall over who are what I'll call 'rescuer muggers' and 'rescuer gropers'.  Few and far between, but they exist.  That makes falling over more scary than it should be.  Ditto sitting near maskless people on the bus.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

On the edge

  • Marmite 5050
  • Diamond member
  • *
  • Posts: 223
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #20 on: 25 Oct 2021 09:19AM »
The thing about masks is over the counter and homemade ones are of little protection, they offer some. One GP told me, if you can smell someone's cigarette smoke or perfume while wearing a mask, then, you are by default inhaling aspects of their breath emission too.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #21 on: 25 Oct 2021 01:15PM »
The thing about masks is over the counter and homemade ones are of little protection, they offer some. One GP told me, if you can smell someone's cigarette smoke or perfume while wearing a mask, then, you are by default inhaling aspects of their breath emission too.

Yes, however, firstly, depending  on what aspect of it you're smelling, the cigarette smoke and perfume may be primarily carried on gases, whereas the virus is carried in moisture droplets; and secondly, as you point out, they offer some protection.

I base that observation as to how the smell of cigarettes is carried on personal experience not on research. As someone who has a nasty asthma-type reaction to certain cigarettes but not to tobacco, i.e. I'm safe round roll-ups, to the extent that there have been occasions when I hadn't seen the smoker and the smell was disguised by other smells, I've lost consciousness before I could move away and get my inhaler out, I've been amazed that with a cotton mix mask I can stand near smokers.

On the other hand, some aromatic oils and smells seem to get round the edges of my masks.  I say round the edges, because it definitely depends on the fit of the mask.  I think the relevance of that is the question of how far what gets to us smell-wise could be from general fug round the edge, in which case again the question is how far leakage of droplets round the edge of the mask would or wouldn't be less dangerous to others than strongly projected droplets from the front of an unmasked face.

I daresay in years to come there'll be more research.  I wouldn't count on a government like ours helping people to get the right kit based on that research, though.

It's all horribly difficult, isn't it?  And some people understandably take the view that the protection provided by masks seems small so what's the point, whereas I see it like traffic lights.  In the UK, it's considered normal for a last car to squeeze through as the lights are changing, and if there are cars waiting to turn right, the lights changing can cause them to respond with a quick dash.  But it seems to me that with those limitations, traffic lights are still worth having.  I bet some people coming from countries where they strictly obey traffic lights are baffled why we bother with them at all, though.
« Last Edit: 25 Oct 2021 01:17PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #22 on: 25 Oct 2021 01:18PM »
A lighter note - I suddenly thought how wonderful it would be if smartphones had sort of extending screens, so that people could extend the screen and then type messages into them to display at a font big enough for most people to read, with only few words on the screen, perhaps scrolling, 1.5m away!
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #23 on: 25 Oct 2021 02:41PM »
Sky news item 6 July 2021

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-what-does-the-science-actually-say-about-face-masks-12349337

Leaving aside their journalistic take on it, they cite a range of sources including research into specific cases/events.

My summary of what they said (very paraphrased) is that masks don't stop transmission but reduce it to an extent that makes it worth wearing them.  But I have posted a link for anyone that wants to check the research.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

oldtone27

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2990
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #24 on: 25 Oct 2021 02:49PM »
That was my understanding of the situation.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #25 on: 26 Oct 2021 02:30PM »
I just went to a dance group.  It's a couple of buses away.  When I got there, I'd just taken my mask off but was told by the receptionist that they have to be worn inside the building.  I've not claimed an exemption anywhere and didn't ask for one, but they were adamant that everyone has to wear one which seemed unreasonable given that some people genuinely can't.

I don't feel able to dance with a mask on, so I turned round and went home.

It's not my dance group and it's not my building (it's owned by the local council there), so it's up to them what clauses they put in their customer contracts, but it's a small group in a very large room, with all the dances adapted for distancing, so I don't think masks are necessary.

If I'm honest with myself, my frustration isn't about whether it's reasonable, it's just that I've run out of groups/activities I can participate in, most requiring a level of hearing acuity I don't have and others having other obstacles.  I probably shouldn't be dancing anyway given a physical problem I've got.  I'm still going to grumble, though.  It's my pathetic justification to myself for buying those calorific biscuits I've just munched.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

oldtone27

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2990
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #26 on: 26 Oct 2021 02:45PM »

I have just been to our VI group coffee morning. It is held at the local theatre/arts centre and although they request hand sanitising they don't insist on masks. The venue is air conditioned and quite high ceilinged so is quite airy.


Most of the staff do wear masks , but none of our group was, and we haven't for the last few weeks since restrictions were eased.


I also go to a short mat bowling group in a bowls club which does not have air conditioning but they do ventilate the room well.Again the members tend not to wear masks.


In both places folk are careful to stay away if they feel a bit unwell. I don't no of any Covid transmission amongst them. Just a  few sore arms from flu jabs.


We are in a fairly high incidence area. One wonders just how variable are the conditions for transmission.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #27 on: 26 Oct 2021 03:29PM »
It's a difficult judgement call with groups, isn't it?

The room the dancing's in is a re-purposed old building.  If you compared it for floor space and height, think of a parish church with all the pews taken out.  Now put about a dozen people in it.  You can do dances far enough apart to reach out your arms and not touch.

But when we started back, first the manager said we weren't allowed to keep the doors at one end of the hall we use open to outside as we used to before the pandemic, then last time she got anxious and started checking our temperatures. 

I wonder whether they're worried because it's an oldies' group.  But ironically, that means that unless people aren't telling the truth, there's only one member of the group that hasn't been double-jabbed (plus flu-jabbed).

Looking on their website, I struggle to see how some of the activities could function at all with masks on.  I stress that the message I was given was that I couldn't go in the building at all without a mask on.

I have a sense of the absurdity of it all.  A government that says masks are all about 'personal responsibility' meaning that lots of people aren't wearing them where it would, in my opinion, be verging on essential, yet others are going too far the other way.

I suspect there's no way I'll be happy with this.  I like consistency. I'm fine with changes as we learn what's best, but this muddle fries my brain.  No wonder some people are just giving up.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9054
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #28 on: 26 Oct 2021 06:03PM »
Quote
I like consistency. I'm fine with changes as we learn what's best, but this muddle fries my brain.  No wonder some people are just giving up.

Completely agree - I think mandatory mask-wearing should be reintroduced and have done with it; take all the indecision out.

Sunny Clouds

  • Charter Member
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5607
Re: Wearing a face covering in public
« Reply #29 on: 26 Oct 2021 06:20PM »
The problem with mandatory mask wearing is that in the absence of system or resources to assess who's genuinely unable to wear one, that means either doing what we were doing before and simply accepting self-declaration of exempt status, or stopping people unable to wear masks from leaving home in a society where there's already insufficient support for disabled people and where people I know by phone (but not local) said the promised support for people like them that were supposed to be shielding wasn't there. 

You know how politically negative I get, so I have to work to tell myself not to assume that that's deliberate.  A 'survival of the fittest' mentality.

That's why even though I get upset over the odd bit of antisocial behaviour where I am, I value where I live.  Can't go shopping or pick up your meds?  Ask a neighbour. 

Mind you, neighbours of mine were clearly worried what they might catch from my household because they gave my teddy bear a facemask last Christmas.  Teddy likes his facemask.  Perhaps I should send him along to the dance group in my place.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)