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People wearing the sunflower lanyard without masks

(110 Posts)
Nosebogey Tue 11-Aug-20 15:28:25

Just wondering how you are finding it?

I haven’t been to any shops (bar once) since the mask rule came in. We are exempt but didn’t have the lanyards the time we went in. Everyone else in masks, a bit of staring but not much else. Since then though someone else exempt posted on the local faceache that she’d been approached by a man who removed his mask, coughed in her face, told her he had covid and that he hoped she died from it from not wearing her mask. It’s made me a bit nervous to try again because lots of people commented on her post blaming her for that situation confused . And someone else I know who lives in another area was shouted at in a supermarket by another customer for not having a mask on to the point where she had to leave the shop.

Have you found people to be quite understanding or have you had shitty/scary comments too?

OP’s posts: |
LuluBellaBlue Tue 11-Aug-20 15:29:46

What does the sunflower signify?

Turnedouttoes Tue 11-Aug-20 15:30:18

Is this what the sunflower lanyards mean? That you’re exempt from wearing a mask? There was a whole family of 7 wearing them while we were out yesterday, I thought it was some sort of school trip

AllTheCakes Tue 11-Aug-20 15:31:58

I don’t think the sunflower lanyard has been very well publicised tbh. If I was worried, I would wear a badge instead!

lorn195 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:32:21

@turnedouttoes Sunflower lanyards represents hidden disabilities. I have one as I have hearing loss, my husband has one as he can't wear a mask. We both have cards in a clear pocket explaining this.

lorn195 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:34:23

@Turnedouttoes attached a photo.

SingToTheSky Tue 11-Aug-20 15:36:07


What does the sunflower signify?

The sunflowers aren’t specifically for mask exemption, they’ve been around since before the pandemic but were much less known then. It’s generally to signify hidden disability, people use them for shopping if they’re autistic and might need extra help for example.

But it is now being associated with mask exemption.

I have one, but only use it sometimes, depending how I feel (eg if I’m in an anxious mood where I may get flustered while shopping and want people to know why), and I often put it on just for bus rides as I’ve attached my “please offer me a seat” badge to it (I have some physical conditions as well) but I still wear a mask as I’m too anxious about being judged 😳

SingToTheSky Tue 11-Aug-20 15:38:23

I might sometimes try going without the mask when it’s really difficult (I was out yesterday and struggled a lot) and if I did I’d definitely wear the lanyard but I should probably sort the card out explaining too. But I get so paranoid about it (same with using the priority seating)

lorn195 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:40:55

@AllTheCakes I agree, it does needs more publicity as I have seen more and more people with them on, especially as it just doesn't cover those who can't wear masks.

Forgone90 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:43:40

The sunflower lanyards are common for hidden disabilities. Like autism etc. Mainly used in airports and other travel hubs.

Nosebogey Tue 11-Aug-20 15:44:05


I don’t think the sunflower lanyard has been very well publicised tbh. If I was worried, I would wear a badge instead!

Yes, this is what is worrying me a bit! We have the exemption card to attach to the bottom but not sure how well known it is. Or if people respect it if they DO know what it is tbh.

OP’s posts: |
MarshaBradyo Tue 11-Aug-20 15:46:07

I don’t have an exemption (and use a mask) but those stories are sad.

Horrible to be targeted in such a way.

Witchend Tue 11-Aug-20 16:07:08

The problem with the sunflower lanyards is anyone can just buy them.

I think with the exemption card on they're probably more credible, but I suspect that people will look at them with a bit of suspicion, and if someone's going to be nasty about someone not wearing a mask, then I doubt it will make any difference.

Nc967125 Tue 11-Aug-20 16:11:00

I haven't experienced wearing one without a mask myself but I have been wearing one when I take out a young autistic lad I care for as he cannot wear a mask. We've had no comments - although he is a child so people may not mind as much and his behaviour does give it away that he has a disability also.

LonelyGir1 Tue 11-Aug-20 16:11:40


Is this what the sunflower lanyards mean? That you’re exempt from wearing a mask? There was a whole family of 7 wearing them while we were out yesterday, I thought it was some sort of school trip


Although you said family, you had me in stitches at a school trip smile

Agree that it’s not well publicised. People may not have even noticed the lanyard.

SingToTheSky Tue 11-Aug-20 16:20:10

You don’t even need to buy them witch I got mine in Sainsbury’s just by asking.

Callipygion Tue 11-Aug-20 16:39:26

I saw a lady wearing a lanyard (don’t think it had sunflowers on though) in the local Co-op. She had a notice hanging off it, about credit card size perhaps a little bigger, with “I am exempt from wearing a mask” written in large letters.

Stillinbedat10am Tue 11-Aug-20 16:44:50

I purchased this lanyard instead of the sunflower one as I liked the fact that it very clearly states my situation in text that can be read from a distance round the actual lanyard itself.

I have had no problems wearing it in either shops or trains, other than in a franchise of MacDonalds when I went in for takeaway and the lady at the door was working with a system where she had to ask her manager's permission every time she needed to allow someone with a mask exemption in.

This system didn't work particularly well as she had to leave her position on the door and several other masked people then just walked straight in which played havoc with their maximum numbers and social distancing plans, but she was doing as she had been asked and at no point did she make me feel uncomfortable about it.

Stillinbedat10am Tue 11-Aug-20 16:46:00

I should add that my disability is hidden and in no way obvious to a casual observer.

OzziePopPop Tue 11-Aug-20 16:46:49

I wore mine yesterday (with exemption card) and had no issues but I’m a wheelchair user too so possibly my disabilities (hidden and otherwise) are more ‘believable’?

SengaStrawberry Tue 11-Aug-20 16:56:27

My son has a lanyard (got it before Covid) and I’ve bought these cards to attach to it. No comments so far. It’d be a very foolish punter that dared to challenge me.

bookmum08 Tue 11-Aug-20 17:01:16

The sunflower lanyard scheme has been running for several years now - way before covid. Very few people know what it represents or what it's for. Yes anyone can get one (my daughter's came from Sainsbury's for free), you don't need to prove anything.
I just wish people would mind their own beeswax about people not wearing masks. There are many different reasons why people don't wear them. Some of those will just be arseholes who think it's hilarious not to wear a mask, but most will have a genuine reason.
I don't understand why people (general public - not employees) think it's their business.
Covid has really bought the worst curtain twitching nosy parkers out of their holes.

minimike Tue 11-Aug-20 17:11:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Chloemol Tue 11-Aug-20 17:11:27

The problem is anyone can buy the lanyard and download the exemption card

Floralnomad Tue 11-Aug-20 17:16:18

I think it’s way too easy for people to just download / pick up cards and lanyards etc think mask exemption should require a doctors certificate . I knew about the sunflower initiative before Covid as my dd has hidden disabilities but even the sunflower ones can be picked up with no proof of disability which at the time of a pandemic is a bit ridiculous .

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