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Should the government be telling us we should not be wearing masks

(8 Posts)
readytoretire Tue 14-Apr-20 11:03:12

Therese Coffey - work and pensions secretary said on sky this morning "On the contrary, the advice is still very firm - you do not and should not be wearing masks outside unless you’ve had clinical instructions to do so." Is she really telling us we can't wear masks if we want to! I think there is a huge difference between the government saying that they dont think wearing a mask is helpful vs telling us we can't wear one. Are the police going to stop us now if we chose to wear one!

OP’s posts: |
CendrillonSings Tue 14-Apr-20 11:08:37

I presume the reason that that’s the Government line is because there’s no chance the NHS will have enough masks if 65 million members of the public also rush out to buy masks. But you should make your own decisions on an individual level, and if the supply situation eases, I think we’ll all be wearing masks in public at a later stage in this crisis.

pocketem Tue 14-Apr-20 11:13:25

There's clear and compelling evidence for the wearing of masks by the public

The American CDC now recommends all people wear masks in public. Countries that have had this recommendation from the start such as Slovakia have far fewer cases and deaths. It's only our government's incompetence in failing to procure additional PPE til mid-March despite having three months advance notice of the pandemic that has led them to discourage mask wearing as we don't have enough even for our frontline NHS staff

PancakePattie Tue 14-Apr-20 11:15:12

I made a homemade mask but the only time I wear it is in the supermarket. I don't wear when I go for my daily walk.
I don't get why people are walking in deserted streets with masks and gloves on, or driving along in their cars similarly attired!

LittleLittleLittle Tue 14-Apr-20 11:17:27

Face masks are to protect other people not yourself.

There is lots of evidence that people do not wear and discard them properly meaning other people are at risk from infection from their improper use then I think the advice is fair.

pocketem Tue 14-Apr-20 18:38:06

Singapore managed to avoid lockdown until last week but in the face of a surge in cases has had to close schools and non-essential businesses, and had made mask wearing mandatory, with a $300 fine for anyone caught leaving their house without a mask on:

Everyone must wear a mask when outside of their homes. This applies on public transport, taxis, private hire cars, walking to or at markets, and also for essential workers at all workplace premises, whether they are frontline staff (such as food handlers, cashiers and bus drivers) or performing back office functions (such as data entry personnel and payroll executives).

Individuals may remove their mask while engaging in strenuous exercise outdoors (e.g. running/ jogging), but they must put it back on after completing exercise.

Mask-wearing is not recommended for young children below the age of two for child safety reasons. Medical experts have also advised that some groups may have difficulties wearing a mask, including children with special needs and young children aged two and above, and we will exercise flexibility in enforcement for these groups.

This requirement will be in effect during this circuit breaker period. First-time offenders will be issued composition offers of $300, and repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for egregious cases.

Inkpaperstars Tue 14-Apr-20 18:47:10

I think surely she must be off message implying people must not wear them.

I know in the US they have said please do not wear any that could be useful in a clinical setting and are advising homemade fabric ones.

duffeldaisy Tue 14-Apr-20 18:52:42

As long as people wear them correctly, don't pull them down, and take them off and really carefully with full handwashing and no risk to others - and most importantly that they make the masks themselves, then I can't see how they can be worse than not wearing them.

The problem is that there's not enough PPE for NHS staff or careworkers, so I'd never try to buy proper medical masks as they're needed. But there are lots and lots of free patterns and videos online showing how to make masks out of t-shirts/fabric. There are also videos on how to (and how not to) handle them safely.

I'm going to make some just to put on for the supermarket. Even if it doesn't stop me catching it by that much, at least it'll mean if I have it then it's like wearing a permanent hanky, so will protect others if I've got the version without symptoms.

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