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Sunflower Lanyard

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Yes I will be securing the new card inside the plastic sleeve this time so it won't fall out.

All legislation regarding Covid restrictions ends on March 26th which is days away so not only will no one need to wear a mask if they don't want to but people can walk around in crowded places with Covid as there'll be no need to self isolate if you have it. So the days of people using the sunflower invisible disabilities lanyard to avoid mask wearing are about to be obsolete so it can return to its original use of indicating someone has an invisible disability and may need adjustments or assistance.

That’s true for England, not sure about the devolved administrations.  Wee Nicola doesn’t seem to want to relinquish control as we still have masks on transport

Sunny Clouds:
It's also the case that in England, there is nothing to stop a service provider requiring the use of masks to enter their premises, travel on their transport, use their services at home etc. as a matter of civil contract, provided that the service provider makes reasonable adjustment for people who, by reason of being disabled, cannot wear one.   Where I am, various bus companies have made it a contractual requirement to wear a mask on their buses at times during the pandemic when it has not been a criminal offence not to.

Further, I take a different view as to future need, since I'm not convinced we won't have a new variation in sars-cov-2 and/or outbreaks of different viruses that would give rise to a need for future restrictions.  But maybe I'm unduly pessimistic.

Yes companies may request customers wear a mask and refuse to provide the service if they don't but they'll lose custom. Companies most likely to request customers wear masks are on public transport as that's where risks are highest and people have limited choices if they don't use the service but I think this will rapidly reduce in other businesses once legislation ends. I've rarely been in shops but this week have been in B&Q, Lidl and the pharmacy and I was the only customer in all three of those places wearing a mask though all the staff were wearing them. I was surprised to see all those faces especially in the pharmacy. I think we have hit a weariness over it all generally and admit that despite being in the group 4 vulnerable and previously shielding, I have had enough of it too.

Coronaviras has been around for decades. There's a big scare in the north of England about dogs getting sick with Coronaviras which is tabloid rubbish because dogs have had Covid for decades too. 9% of kennel cough is Coronaviras and that's been commonplace as long as I can remember. Hopefully the human form will continue to diminish in severity and become the background virus circulating that it has been for many years.

Sunny Clouds:
Coronavirus isn't a virus, it's a type of virus, and the sars-cov-2 sort hasn't been around for a very long time.  Are you perhaps thinking of sars-cov-1?

I hope that mild versions of sars-cov-2 will dominate.  Over the centuries, that's tended to be what's happened with most of the severe diseases, both viral and bacterial, because the severe forms  kill most of their hosts, so they don't get passed on, only mutations to milder forms do.

The difficulty with modern medicine is that people can survive far more deadly forms of diseases these days, which makes them more likely to be passed on.  We also have far more travel both within countries and between countries.

Since vaccination was discovered, it has been our main weapon against nasty diseases, and the Victorian compulsory smallpox vaccinations, together with improved hygiene, were important in dealing with that disease.  Polio was tackled in multiple countries the same way, without legal obligation but with willingness, but then I wonder how many children you have to see in an iron  lung before not wanting your own child to end up in one.

I'm afraid, though, that whereas vaccination has been our main weapon for a long time against nasty infections, the anti-vax movement has undermined that, plus a selfishness that has meant not ensuring that poorer parts of the world can be vaccinated.  I suppose we can see it as nature's revenge on us for British & European invaders of other parts of the world killing lots of people with our infections, mostly unintentionally, but sometimes deliberately.  (Not only is there the infamous Siege of Caffa with dead plague-ridden bodies catapulted into a city, there are other examples without well-known names, for example in the Americas and Australasia, with indigenous peoples sometimes deliberately infected with western diseases brought over by invaders.)

That being said, 'long covid' is forcing us to face our failure to fully get to grips with postviral conditions.  For comparison, I have taken the view for decades that we should routinely be vaccinating babies or at worst late primary school children against Epstein Barr virus, but it's only now being more widely accepted that various chronic fatigue type conditions are related not just to initial infection, but to previous infection.  (For the avoidance of doubt, this is not an argument that all CFS is related to previous EBV infection.)

Meanwhile, there are people in parts of the world where they're used to routinely wearing masks because of pollution where there appears to be quite a bit of amusement over Western squeamishness over masks.  I would like to think that the wearing of masks to keep smog out of our lungs would become more socially acceptable in urban areas of the UK, where there have been shown to be links between high pollution and a range of health and behavioural problems, particularly in children.

That being said, I think that some parts of the media and key politicians have used face coverings such as niqab as symbols of 'unwanted foreignness' to an extent there's now an objection to seeing other people's faces covered that actually seems daft to  me.  When I was a kid, it was normal to wrap your woolly scarf round your face in winter, and nobody assumed you'd take the time to unwind it if you popped into somewhere on your way home from school or work.  That would be different from unwinding it to chat with someone.

Oh well, who knows which way things will go.  In the meantime, I'm now choosing between some new masks so as to get high-grade ones to protect me now that it's not realistic to rely on 'my mask protects you, your mask protects me'.  I'm having enough problems still with PEM since my last severe acute illness three years ago without wanting to risk worsening it with long covid.


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