The world seems to be divided right now, into those who still diligently wear a face mask on public transport, in shops and other crowded places, and those who don’t.
If you’re a conscientious mask-wearer, you’ve probably had the same daydream as us recently, the one where you fantasise about asking everyone else: why on earth aren’t you covering up?
To be clear, we don’t mean people who are medically exempt from wearing a face covering. That’s absolutely understandable, of course. But having observed a steep decline in the number of masks seen in public, it’s hard to believe that all these people are exempt.
And yes, we know that it’s no longer a legal requirement to wear a mask, but doesn’t it just make sense to carry on doing so?
Not only are you protecting yourself from potentially catching Covid you’re reducing the risk of inadvertently transmitting the virus. Because unless you’re doing daily Covid tests, you never know when you might be positive but not showing symptoms – even if you’re fully vaccinated.
That’s why regular hand-washing and the wearing of face coverings was recommended in the first place. And that’s why it’s good to keep your nose and mouth covered with your mask – people with masks dangling uselessly round their necks is the other thing getting on our nerves at the moment.
Popping a mask on for your commute, while getting the lift up to your office or nipping into a shop to is hardly a huge inconvenience, is it?
And there are plenty of people in public-facing jobs who have to wear one all day long. If, while buying lunch, you’re served by a cashier wearing a mask, the least you can do is put yours on too.
We’d all love to fast-forward to a world where the coronavirus pandemic is a distant memory, but unfortunately Covid case numbers are still rising, and the British Medical Association has called for the government to trigger Plan B pandemic measures, which include compulsory face masks in some settings.
The government says it’s sticking with Plan A for now, which includes vaccines for 12 to 15-year olds, booster jabs for some adults, and encouraging face masks in crowded places.
If only more people would follow the latter advice. Everyone’s free to make their own choice, of course, but wearing a mask is a way of showing solidarity, recognising that the pandemic isn’t over and we’re all in this together.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in