Ouch Too

Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: Sunny Clouds on 05 Jul 2021 11:55PM

Title: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 05 Jul 2021 11:55PM
I don't believe the risk has gone away sufficiently to justify abandoning masks in enclosed spaces such as supermarkets and buses.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I believe and I'm scared.  I'm not asking anyone here to agree with me about risk of infection.

What I'm particularly anxious about is the sort of person that's been a nuisance during the pandemic but that I expect to be more of one.  It's a type of person that gets too close.  For context, I live in a crowded urban area.

I'm not talking about the few that like to get too close in order to bully and harass, perhaps getting close enough to grope or upskirt or maybe just imply they're going to, or perhaps getting too close whilst visibly expressing (false) impatience behind people in queues etc.  In the pandemic, they've added getting too close to someone with no mask, and one in a supermarket found an excuse to get so close I could see his breath/spittle on my glasses.  (Seriously.)

But, they were there anyway, and they'll still be there, so 19 July won't change that.

The ones that worry me now is a likely increase in the ones that until now have got too close in their efforts to not socially distance. They're not trying to get too close, they just do because of over-compensation.

I live alone.  I have no partner.  Long covid terrifies me.  It frightens me far more than the possibility of dying.  Yes, I've been double vaccinated but that doesn't confer 100% immunity.

I've previously had postviral fatigue. When I was a student, people were understanding, although my university had no option for re-sits, you just had to get better grades in other subjects the next year to compensate.

But years later, I had it when I was 'trapped' in the modern psychiatric system and it was written off as retarded depression, except by some people who knew me long-term, including people who weren't my friends.

I know it's important not to panic, but I confess I'll be stocking up on shopping big time over the next fortnight so that I can minimise shopping afterwards.  I don't usually shop online where I am, although I have done so previously, but I think I shall start doing so.

Who knows whether it'll make any difference to my physical safety, but I'm hoping it'll keep me mentally safer.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Fiz on 06 Jul 2021 07:01AM
It's interesting the evidence now proving that material reusable masks provide far less protection than the medical disposable masks. Given that most people walking around are wearing material reusable masks then they may not be providing much protection anyway to be honest. 

I feel fortunate to not have the emotional spoons to be concerned about Covid although I realise that isn't altogether healthy in and of itself. 

My previously double vaccinated friend has now recovered from her recent bout of Covid and yesterday I met a lady whose double vaccinated son currently has Covid and is feeling really ill. It'll be around for a few more years yet I feel. I hope we get boosters in the autumn.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: lankou on 06 Jul 2021 07:12AM
Despite have had both "jabs," the advice from my GP practice and the specialist nurse over seeing the medication I am taking is to avoid crowds and shops. (Pretty much what I do anyway, even before the pandemic.)
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: JLR2 on 06 Jul 2021 11:20AM
Javid and Johnson's government are, I believe, trying to return to their herd immunity theory. Johnson as always is simply a wasted space, or in Glasgow parlance, a tube.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 06 Jul 2021 12:34PM
The mask thing is interesting.  I know there's been various research into it, including lab tests using different sorts of modelling, e.g. some with a mask over a dummy's face, some just testing what can be blown through a piece of fabric etc.

I've also come across that new stuff about disposables being better than fabric masks. What I do wonder, though, is how many layers of fabric and what sort.

I mostly use two layers of twin-layer cotton-based fabric masks, i.e. four layers of fabric.  Earlier in the pandemic, it was said that that was good, but maybe it isn't.

I think there are also issues surrounding washing and my guess is that it matters a lot how you wash them, but I've no idea what's the best way.  Using lots of detergent will mess up the virus' lipids, rendering it harmless, but could erode the fabric.  Hmm.

Maybe I'd feel safer if I researched the mask thing more, from a range of sources I trust.  Even if it doesn't make me much safer, it will divert my fears into a sense I'm doing my best to protect myself. 

I'm going through a phase where I've been fighting back against rock-bottom depression, and I'm trying once more to use old strategies that worked for me.  For instance, I've got several containers of things for storing, sealing etc. such as rubber bands, bungees, small tubs, safety pins, sticky tape, plastic bags etc., and I had a sort-out yesterday.

Some of it could have seemed very obsessive and pointless, but I'm a skin-picker, and sorting stuff fidget, fidget whilst listening to the news is better than picking, and as I sorted, I kept getting up, going round the house, up and down stairs as I collected stuff, sorted it, put some back and put some in the bin.  My legs were achey this morning but not nastily so and I felt less stressed.

So diverting 'aargh, maskless people not distancing, panic, panic' into 'what can I personally do to maximise my safety and that of others around me, such as seeing if a better mask would help' is much better, isn't it?
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 06 Jul 2021 01:10PM
Javid and Johnson's government are, I believe, trying to return to their herd immunity theory. Johnson as always is simply a wasted space, or in Glasgow parlance, a tube.
Herd immunity as they'd like to practise it could perhaps be better expressed as 'regarding lots of people as disposable'?

Johnson and his ilk see most people as being disposable zero-hours robots.  He'll do ok off the back of it, even if he never gets richer, he's had his glory and will have his social network making him feel good for the rest of his life.

It's not, I believe, as good as it could be for an economy, because human 'robots' are cheaper elsewhere. Better to get the best out of everyone, including those Johnson & his mates see as worthless.  But then I'm not running the economy and I never had the courage to be a politician, save for once, many years ago, standing for election as a councillor.  I don't think I'd have been much good.  You need aptitudes I don't have.  So all I can do is moan, share my views, try to survive, try to help others to survive.

Incidentally, my favourite connected bits of research into who can help whom.  The first you probably know, but the second?

It's been found that if you take children into a day centre or care home with people with mild to moderate dementia, it helps the people with dementia enormously.

But it also works in reverse.  An American experiment showed that taking people with mild dementia into a school for children with ADHD, the children improved enormously.

But why would children or people with dementia be productive members of society?

As for me, my story's well-known here.  I used to work, life fell apart, I found myself too badly harassed by the mental health services to cope with paid work as well.  Gradually, I got into voluntary work, then looked after my parents, and now I'm utterly terrified of trying to get into new voluntary work lest the DWP decides that it amounts to a change of circumstances and reassesses everything.  So I suppose in the eyes of Johnson and his mates, they'd be all too glad if I died.  Save costs.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 06 Jul 2021 02:08PM
Sorry, I'm still in long-winded mode.  If anyone's still interested, I'm not offended if you only skim/dip into my posts before responding.  No offence if you're not interested in posting more either.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Fiz on 06 Jul 2021 07:53PM
To be honest unless we close our borders which we never have and never will, herd immunity is the only option for us here whoever is the PM and whatever party is in power and yes there will be casualties unfortunately. 

As for masks, although research has apparently proved medical grade disposable masks provide greater protection than reusable washable masks they haven't explained the variables that could influence the findings. You're supposed to gel your hands thoroughly before you put a mask on your face and again before you remove it. That way if any virus got onto your hands and fingers wherever you were, it was irradicated before it was placed near your airways protecting you considerably. 

How do we know when analysing how effective different masks are unless we know that every person surveyed always gels their hands and fingers both before putting the mask on and before taking it off? 

Also I wonder if people who have bought reusable washable masks use them several times between washes rather than washing them after a single use? That would make a big difference in findings. 

Sunny, I would say that if you gel your hands before putting your mask on and before taking it off, and wash the mask after a single use, it's highly likely that you will be as well protected as anyone wearing a disposable medical grade mask but that's my personal opinion based on the variables that I don't feel can be known by the researchers. 

I'm skeptical about how often reusable masks may be being washed I have to say and I am sure that is a major reason they may not be as effective.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 06 Jul 2021 08:53PM
As I see it, the tests I'd rely on in relation to the effectiveness of face masks are lab tests.

In terms of material, as opposed to fit, there are tests involving seeing how much in the way of water droplets of various sizes can get through at what pressure.  That's a separate issue from my perspective from how effective a mask is based on how it's used.

As for sanitising hands, I wash my hands before leaving the house and if I don't put my mask on straight away, I carry it or put it in my pocket until I get to a busier road, i.e. I won't have touched anything before putting it on.  If my road is busy, I put it on straight away.  (It depends on time of day and day of the week.)

Once the mask is on, I keep it on until I get home unless I'm close to home and the road is clear, when I take it off, and like everything else is triaged when I get in.  I wear separate clothes when going out except for walks at quiet times when I can go in the road or dodge into gateways to engage in the social distancing 'dance'.

I change when I get in.  I scrub the face mask with handwash and leave it to soak in soapy water and rinse later.  I then get on with sorting and cleaning what I've brought home. 

Today I stuck three masks in the washing machine, but I don't usually do that.

There are some advantages to having obsessive compulsive traits when it comes to hygiene.  Pity the same traits are a disadvantage when I'm standing in a supermarket queue...
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Fiz on 07 Jul 2021 06:16AM
I'm sure you are as safe as you can be sunny. 

I'm not sure what if any scientific studies on masks were completed. They might just have asked every person who tested positive for Covid what sort of mask they've been wearing and based the results on that. Perhaps we give our country too much credit for seriously fund Ng out what's best for us.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: oldtone27 on 07 Jul 2021 09:54AM
I recall reading some test results, quite recently, but these were mainly focused on the materials and construction and how permeable they were to various droplets.

I haven't seen any real world results taking account how easy mask designs are to wear effectively or how well they are worn.

My observations, mainly in the supermarket, are that they often don't cover the nose. I wonder how much that reduces performance.

As for the request for the public to exercise common sense, I don't see much evidence for that either.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 07 Jul 2021 11:56AM
Yes, the results I've seen have all related to the material not how people are wearing them.  

I see quite a few people without them, but as I see it, for someone like me with my current degree of mobility living in a dense urban area, there's some scope for being picky when and how I shop.  Some supermarkets have a higher proportion of people without masks or with chin-slings, but they may also have quieter times when you can go through the checkouts almost alone.

Mind you, today, I'm trying to get this in perspective.

When I went to a supermarket yesterday, I walked along residential roads that have turned into motorways thanks to the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods system the government funded in 2020, and which lots of towns/cities rapidly implemented.  (I.e. the one where they block off some stretches of road with planters, diverting traffic elsewhere.)

As in so many places, here they've changed traffic from being spread out through lots of 'rat runs', mostly at a fairly steady speed except for some boy racers, into very heavy traffic along fewer roads.  Some, mostly main roads, are clogged with slow moving traffic jams and others have drivers racing along them, desperate to make up for lost time.   That drives cyclists onto pavements.

Thus a scheme to reduce pollution and increase walking and cycling has made pollution worse, made walking less safe, and increased accidents.

So maybe I need to get things in perspective and ask myself not whether my masks will keep viruses at bay, but whether they'll keep exhaust fumes at bay.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 07 Jul 2021 07:52PM
I know we have to re-open society at some point, but I think the face-coverings should have remained mandatory in shops etc until at least everyone who can be vaccinated, has been.  It's rather 'all or nothing'...
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 07 Jul 2021 08:17PM
I wish they'd at least ramp up services for people with long covid before opening up, but it's easy for the government and various others sharing their political viewpoint to talk about the pandemic in terms of deaths not long term illness and maybe permanent disability experienced by an awful lot of survivors.

I wonder whether they'll increase front line benefits refusals now?   Eek, numbers of sick and disabled people eating up the budget, quick, change the rules or increase the 'performance targets' for frontline staff.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Fiz on 08 Jul 2021 10:30AM
I know we have to re-open society at some point, but I think the face-coverings should have remained mandatory in shops etc until at least everyone who can be vaccinated, has been.  It's rather 'all or nothing'...

Yes I am very surprised that mask wearing appears not to be mandatory in crowded places soon. Boris saying he hopes people will continue wearing masks on public transport especially places like the tube out of courtesy for others is laughable almost. There will be some that do, and they'll be the lower risk people who are more careful generally. 

I am looking forward to being allowed to sing in church for the first time in 16 months, and would have been okay if we were asked to wear masks.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 08 Jul 2021 12:18PM
I think a lot of people have been missing communal singing, whether in places of worship or elsewhere.  Horrid for those for whom that's important.

I hold a view with masks that wouldn't be popular, especially with Boris & mates, that we should, within three months of the start of the pandemic, have had established a mask-exemption scheme.  But as we all here know, they can't even run a proper disability assessment system, or at least not one that works for claimants or the UK's budget, as opposed to get-rich companies, so they'd just farm that out and mess it up as well.

I believe that only a small proportion of people not wearing masks are genuinely exempt, and I want to scream at people that don't wear masks so I force myself to avoid even looking grumpy because there are people who have genuine reasons and I can't tell which people do or don't.  I

I think also that an awful lot of fear has been stoked up online about supposedly being harmful because you breathe in some of what you've just exhaled.  It's no use arguing that one unless you're good at citing examples succinctly, with specific sources etc., and you know how hopeless I am at being succinct.  But imagine you're being told to wear a mask and you believe it could kill you to wear one or do you very serious harm.  You'd soon claim exemption. 

As I look at my past and my future, I have moments - to my shame - when I wish I'd been less ethical and got myself a job in the sort of organisation that's notorious for exploiting the current political system.  I bet if I'd had interview coaching and put up a good CV and exploited contacts, I could have had a nice, secure little niche in something like Serco or whatever.  But then if I'd done that, I'd be sitting here now guilt-tripping.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Fiz on 08 Jul 2021 06:30PM
I'm sure a lot of non mask wearers could wear masks but I think most GPs want to please their patients and would sign a form to someone with mild asthma who wouldn't be affected by a mask or who has mild social anxiety in case they get anxious about the mask. Plus, I used to wear a mask whenever I left the house and while on steroids up to April 2021 was absolutely fine wearing one. Since stopping steroids I have extreme fatigue and wearing a mask causes me to sweat and almost pass out and it's difficult to breathe. What I do is wear a mask until I am struggling to breathe, then remove it for a bit, rest and regain my breathe then attempt to wear it again. Sometimes successfully and sometimes not. And I doubt that medically I would be deemed exempt from mask wearing so if such an exemption scheme existed I might struggle. But because of my problem with masks it's very rare I enter public buildings, I shop online fortnightly. 

My thought early on in the pandemic was that people who couldn't wear masks should be requested to use online shopping or find someone to shop on their behalf of that was possible. So not banning non mask wearers from shops but I felt such requests would reduce the amount of people in shops etc not wearing masks.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: oldtone27 on 09 Jul 2021 09:02AM
On mask wearing, when the compulsion was first introduced I noticed still quite a few people were not wearing mask in my local supermarket. Presumably they were claiming exemption as the door staff were quite diligent checking people on entry.

As time went on I saw fewer and fewer people not wearing a mask, and is now quite a rare sight.

I do wonder how this will change in a few weeks time.

For myself I dislike masks as my nose immediately starts running and my eyeballs mist up. I don't wear glasses. I not sure what I will do. I will probably play it by ear and wear a mask if I consider the store too crowded.
Title: Re: 19 July changes - scared
Post by: Sunny Clouds on 09 Jul 2021 12:50PM
I find the type of mask makes a difference and I think different masks suit different people.

I find also that it makes a difference how I wash my masks.  I usually wet them, rub with handwash then leave to soak for a while before rinsing and hanging up.  I found that where I hang them up makes a big difference in the hay fever season, and also, given my tree-mould allergy, in certain sorts of damp weather.

I found I got a problem with sebhorreic dermatitis on my face with a batch of shop-bought cotton-blend masks until I bunged them through the washing machine instead of handwashing.  I hadn't had that problem with multi-layered home-made cotton-blend masks a friend had sent me.  I think the ones my friend sent me were a higher proportion of cotton.

But after one machine wash, the shop-bought masks seemed fine hand-washed.  

In certain weather conditions, I find it worth my while to switch masks if I've walked past too many plants I get a reaction to, because mould spores and pollen seem to stick to the mask and still get in.

That's when I could wish I'd got a super-duper mask that's designed to stop lots of different stuff rather than having as its prime function to trap moisture which may be carrying the virus, rather than other sorts of particles.