Comment

Wearing a face mask to the shop is a small price to pay to save lives

Preventing further spread of COVID-19 is the least we can do to thank front-line workers

Preventing further spread of COVID-19 is the least we can all do to thank and protect front-line workers

Picture: iStock

I hollered like an Alpine goatherd calling in the chamois from a distant valley, but still the man behind the counter couldnt hear me. I was trying to buy some stamps at the post office but, muffled behind my home-made face-covering, I could not make myself heard.

Take the mask off, madam, please, he said. So I did, and normal service was resumed. The trials and tribulations of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the community. Now Im awaiting the 100 fine.

Problems with PPE throughout the pandemic

PPE has been nothing but trouble since this pandemic began and its hard to accept that it went so horribly

Preventing further spread of COVID-19 is the least we can all do to thank – and protect – front-line workers

Picture: iStock

I hollered like an Alpine goatherd calling in the chamois from a distant valley, but still the man behind the counter couldn’t hear me. I was trying to buy some stamps at the post office but, muffled behind my home-made face-covering, I could not make myself heard.

Take the mask off, madam, please, he said. So I did, and normal service was resumed. The trials and tribulations of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the community. Now I’m awaiting the £100 fine.

Problems with PPE throughout the pandemic

PPE has been nothing but trouble since this pandemic began and it’s hard to accept that it went so horribly wrong. COVID-19 didn’t just pop out of nowhere and take us all by surprise — the government had months to prepare.

‘Let’s remind people of the alternative to mask-wearing – further lockdown, another spike of the virus, and maybe more nurses’ lives lost’

However much we excused those in power for not getting it (in all senses of the expression), there was no justification for their dithering; disaster planning is part of any government’s responsibility and they should have been on top of it.

Face coverings are now required for us all – on public transport and inside shops and other public places – and as ever it is incumbent upon nurses, even retired nurses like me, to lead from the front and generally chivvy folk along.

If you don’t have a good reason not to wear a mask, why wouldn’t you?

Some people find wearing a mask unacceptable. I’m not sure why, when most of us are giving thanks that we are still alive.

Perhaps I’m being hard-hearted, but for those adults without a medical or psychological reason not to wear one, it’s a matter of doing your bit and getting on with it. You may look a bit silly, feel a bit silly, but it’s a small price to pay.

If stopping the spread of a deadly virus is not reason enough to slap something protective over your mouth and nose, then we must encourage people further. Okay, so your glasses steam up (try washing them first in soapy water, said an optician friend) and unless you have a voice like a foghorn, no one can hear you.

A small sacrifice to save the lives of front-line workers

My deafness is a problem, and hearing aids get caught up in the mask elastic, but I have discovered some rather smart designs of face covering, which has cheered me up. And now I zip around the supermarket in record time - none of my neighbours recognise each other so we no longer stop and gossip.

While the public still remembers how nurses have gone above and beyond the call of duty during COVID-19, let’s remind people of the alternative to mask wearing – further lockdown, another spike of the virus, and maybe more nurses’ lives lost.

Let’s remind them that wearing a mask is a small sacrifice, and a way of saying thank you to the front-line workers who put themselves at risk for others every day.


 

 

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