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AIBU - face masks need to be for health and social care staff not the general public

(76 Posts)
pigoons Fri 17-Apr-20 14:08:40

I am getting increasingly cross with the calls by people (Sadiq Khan and others) that people should have to wear face masks when venturing out in public.

WTF? There is a chronic shortage of PPE for those who need it i.e. frontline health and social care workers etc. Why insist members of the public then need to source mask for limited health gain?

Not to mention the difficulty of sourcing and the cost of buying masks currently - quick search is showing £56 for box of 50 disposable face masks (prior to covid these retailed for £7.99). And don't get me started on home made cloth masks - these have been proven pretty pointless.

World is indeed mad

OP’s posts: |
Geepipe Fri 17-Apr-20 14:18:58

People are free to buy face masks if they wish. You can buy them everywhere including on wowcher currently. The more people use them the less likely people will spread it thus making the crisis in homes and hospitals better. Of course nhs and care homes should have ppe but the tyoe of masks the public can buy like fabric with filters are not used by the nhs so its totally fine for the public to be encouraged to use them.

Unshriven Fri 17-Apr-20 14:20:53

Didn't he and others make the point that any scarf/home made mask will do?

Thescrewinthetuna Fri 17-Apr-20 14:22:03

I don’t think they mean the medical masks, I think they mean a mask as in a scarf or a homemade cotton type one?

Unshriven Fri 17-Apr-20 14:26:01

I mean you wouldn't want your surgeon improvising with a fleece neckwarmer, but it'll do better than nothing to slow asymptomatic transmission in public.

steff13 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:26:28

I've bought homemade masks off Etsy, and our Surgeon General made a video showing how to make a "no-sew"mask. I don't think they're expecting people to get the same type of mask healthcare providers need.

Barbie222 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:27:34

I think the kind he meant was the hanky kind? Not the plastic face shield which is what's recommended for active Covid cases like we see in ICU.

Lycidas Fri 17-Apr-20 14:28:09

@steff13 Can you share that video?

Ihaventgottimeforthis Fri 17-Apr-20 14:32:32

The idea is that homemade cloth masks actually aren't pretty pointless, they will be actually quite significant as we emerge from lockdown and start to come into contact with asymptomatic people.
Even a small effect from a cloth mask can help reduce transmission, and that can be important. As well as the psychological effect of us remembering we are still all in a pandemic situation.

Hazelnutlatteplease Fri 17-Apr-20 14:33:55

Three layers of cotton may not be effective enough in a of medical setting but they do enough to reduce transmission generally.
Especially of those who already have it but don't now yet.

'Proper' face masks should be reserved for medical and care settings. But fabric masks have widespread value.

steff13 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:34:36


Hadenoughfornow Fri 17-Apr-20 14:36:49

We have bandanas. DM is going to start making some masks from material she had.

I would not buy any that will take supplies away from those that need it. But bandanas covering face / mouth should hopefully protect me from passing any virus I may have on.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Fri 17-Apr-20 14:45:38

Ooh I've just done that with a cloth I had from Lush. Really did take 30 seconds. But I can't breathe very well, which is more due to the Lush stink (TM) than the thickness of cloth.

Aderyn19 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:46:55

I don't think the NHS are going to miss the couple of dust masks I had left over from DIY.
Obviously doctors and nurses should be prioritised for the 'proper' ones but it's sensible for everyone to wear what they can get hold of or make

Pebbles574 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:47:42

Lots of mask patterns here:

Annarosez Fri 17-Apr-20 14:48:04

There isn't actually a proper shortage, the government have just been inadequate in their response to the crisis and not purchased the proper PPE.

Other countries have supplied their medical staff with the correct PPE and also advised or enforced that the general public wear face coverings/masks too.

Annarosez Fri 17-Apr-20 14:49:07

Also if masks reduce transmission of the virus (as is now thought) then there will be positive consequences for the NHS staff involved in caring for Covid-19 patients.

Vincent05 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:49:07

The countries that are managing Coronavirus well ( so not having 1000 people die a day like we are) are all wearing masks whilst out in public. I think that tells you everything you need to know. You can make a homemade one you don’t need to buy PPE

steff13 Fri 17-Apr-20 14:51:18

As well as the psychological effect of us remembering we are still all in a pandemic situation.

This is a good point, I think. We've been in the house for weeks, none of us is sick, we don't know anyone who's sick. It would be easy to forget the gravity of the situation in these circumstances.

bluebeck Fri 17-Apr-20 14:56:43

YABU - I just bought 50 masks for £12.99. If I don't have a mask I won't feel able to go out and do shopping, so would have to place an online order, depriving someone else of that slot.

The inadequacies of the government have led to the shortage and absence of PPE for public service workers. Not people wearing the odd mask to go to Tesco.

Keepdistance Fri 17-Apr-20 15:10:45

Where was that from?

Yabu op we all need to be wearing them.
All other countries are.
And tbh i dont think schools should go back either way but certainly not without them.

Look at photos from 1918 pandemic the nurses are wearing them...
Our gov is basically useless

Marchitectmummy Fri 17-Apr-20 15:14:24

We aren't a nanny state thank goodness so people should choose where they wish to spend their own money. Its not for you or I to dictate.

Keepdistance Fri 17-Apr-20 15:15:09

We've had months now we could im sure have got production of them ramped up here. Plus obviously gov faukt for not joining in the EU scheme

islandofdoom Fri 17-Apr-20 15:19:59

We have bandanas and cloth masks. I wouldn't buy masks the NHS could use.

Valkadin Fri 17-Apr-20 15:27:03

DH has a heavy duty one for when his hay fever is bad I think it’s a cyclists mask with a decent filter in it.

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