Will you still wear a mask while England's restriction has been lifted?

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Will you wear a mask after UK's restrictions are lifted?


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Hathaway

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Despite England's restriction being lifted, do you think Bojo lifted it too soon? Should we wait until the next summer?
 
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NickyRainbow

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Yes, I think it's too soon. I think it's absurd! I could perhaps understand lifting some restrictions now, but hyping tomorrow up as this free-for-all, all-or-nothing 'freedom day' is crazy to me. The situation has changed since this date was first suggested — things are so much more dangerous out there now — and I think the strategy should be changed to reflect that. Infection rates are climbing so high that we're not just putting the unvaccinated at risk anymore. Fully vaccinated folks still have a chance to get seriously ill, and that chance only increases the further this thing spreads. That's not even beginning to touch upon the fact that we're risking the health of the rest of the world by creating a melting pot for new, vaccine-resistant strains.

So yes, I think it's insanely reckless. I don't know about waiting until next summer, but I think a much more cautious approach was needed. Mask restrictions, at the very least, should have remained in place. For most people, it's a tiny inconvenience that can save lives, and there was absolutely no reason to explicitly tell the public that they didn't need to wear them anymore. Now the message is out there that the pandemic will somehow be magically over at the stroke of midnight, and everyone has the backing of the government to stop caring about the safety of the people around them.

The rest of the world would be laughing at us, if anything about this was funny. I had my second jab this morning, and thanks to Boris, it's certainly not the weight off my shoulders that I thought it would be a few months ago. I'm more frightened than ever.
 

Hathaway

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Yes, I think it's too soon. I think it's absurd! I could perhaps understand lifting some restrictions now, but hyping tomorrow up as this free-for-all, all-or-nothing 'freedom day' is crazy to me. The situation has changed since this date was first suggested — things are so much more dangerous out there now — and I think the strategy should be changed to reflect that. Infection rates are climbing so high that we're not just putting the unvaccinated at risk anymore. Fully vaccinated folks still have a chance to get seriously ill, and that chance only increases the further this thing spreads. That's not even beginning to touch upon the fact that we're risking the health of the rest of the world by creating a melting pot for new, vaccine-resistant strains.

So yes, I think it's insanely reckless. I don't know about waiting until next summer, but I think a much more cautious approach was needed. Mask restrictions, at the very least, should have remained in place. For most people, it's a tiny inconvenience that can save lives, and there was absolutely no reason to explicitly tell the public that they didn't need to wear them anymore. Now the message is out there that the pandemic will somehow be magically over at the stroke of midnight, and everyone has the backing of the government to stop caring about the safety of the people around them.

The rest of the world would be laughing at us, if anything about this was funny. I had my second jab this morning, and thanks to Boris, it's certainly not the weight off my shoulders that I thought it would be a few months ago. I'm more frightened than ever.
Totally understands. It is quite ridiculous about the "freedom day", personally thinking it is not a freedom day but a day that is pushing people closer to hell (especially when there are new variants continuously). I agree and think it is a bit too soon to lift up all the restrictions. Mask should still be worn in public transport and indoors. It is not just only protecting ourselves but also protecting the community. And as we can see the case has shoot up to around 50k in the uk currently, just hope that this scenario wont continue until winter.
 

stephenf

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Covid will not go away. In the UK most adults have had one jap of vaccine and over half had two. The death rate will never be zero, but most of the vaccinated population will only suffer a bout of varying levels of illness. The country is now bankrupt, the debt level is higher than income. Getting back to something like normal and living with covid will happen at some point. I will wear a mask on buses and trains.
 
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nicolane

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I'm actually half way between the two yes answers - I'm wearing a mask anytime I am around people who aren't in my bubble.
 
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waylander

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I don't go on buses and trains much anyway, but I will wear a mask in shops etc though the evidence for the efficacy of cloth masks against aerosols is unconvincing. I won't be going into crowded pubs for some time yet.
 
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MaeZe

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Might need to rescind that move, but it doesn't look like Johnson can take that step. Cases in the unvaccinated are soaring here, the stock market crashed and California is having more than 1,000 new cases a day!

Delta variant and people who think a public health measure is an attack on their beliefs created a double whammy here. And the delta variant combined with a lack of access to the vaccine is doing the same in much of the world.

Here we go again. :(


Edited to add: I still wear my mask everywhere even though I'm fully vaccinated. Not sure how long I'll do that for but now is no time to take it off.
 
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Diana Hignutt

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I'm in the US, in NYS where we have 70% vaccinated. I don't wear a mask at work, it's a small office and everyone has been vaccinated. However, I still wear a mask if I enter any public indoor spaces like stores and such. If the numbers rise in my county, not too much more, I'll probably start wearing a mask at work again, as I am high risk.
 

Friendly Frog

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I think I'll be wearing my mask for a long time still. Will certainly continue to do so indoor, on public transport and everywhere there are too many people.

And so many countries lifted restrictions before the vaccination percentage is adequate, not just the UK. In quite a few places infections are skyrocketing with a speed we haven't seen before. Damn you, delta.
 

Roxxsmom

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They're kind of backpedaling about the lifting of mask requirements in my county, where barely 50% are fully vaccinated and case numbers are increasing. They aren't requiring masks again, but they are recommending them. I've noticed that the folks working in stores and so on are nearly all masked again.

Of course this means that the folks who should be wearing masks the most (those who refuse to get vaccinated) will likely be the ones not wearing them now.

I think it's prudent to continue to wear them in indoor spaces, particularly where it's hard to maintain any reliable distance and the vaccinated and unvaccinated are likely to be mixing. As I understand it, case numbers are rising again in the UK as well :(

I think the evidence that mask use is actually very helpful at slowing the spread of the virus, even the cloth ones (if they have multiple layers and are finely woven from dense natural fabrics), is getting stronger and stronger. Is it 100%? No. And they work best when everyone is wearing them, as they are particularly effective in blocking the expulsion of droplets and aerosols. But masks are protective to wearers too, particularly in settings where the virus is present in relatively low concentrations (the usual case in public spaces). You don't have to block 100% of the particles to reduce viral load below the infectious threshold.


It's also possible now to get inexpensive KN 95, KF94 etc. masks that may be more effective than cloth masks (though fit and quality are variable, of course).
 
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Prozyan

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You wear a mask to protect others from you. There is evidence that masking reduces an infected person spreading the virus, but the efficacy of masking against contracting an aerosolized virus is, well, lacking at best. Long story short, when you wear a mask, you are protecting someone else from yourself.

Here in the US, we are very fortunate that at this point in time just about anyone who wanted vaccination could receive vaccination. I no longer feel responsible to protect the unvaccinated from a breakthrough infection in myself. All evidence shows my risk of transmission is low even with a breakthrough infection, though I think more study is warranted. I, unfortunately, live in one of those US counties where a unique combination of self-righteousness and ignorance have led to subpar vaccination numbers. Only about 30% of my county population is fully vaccinated, despite vaccines being widely available here for the past 7 months. That said, in my opinion, their health is no longer my concern. As the popular saying goes, play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

I fully recognize there are children and medical reasons that a person cannot be vaccinated. In those cases, I feel it is the individual and parental responsibility to ensure their safety to the best of their abilities.

As far as masking, I am pretty much done with it. Selfish, perhaps, but as President Biden said: "...the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated"

I realize the original topic was concerning the UK, and I'm not familiar enough with the vaccination status there to comment on that.
 

Shirokirie

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You wear a mask to protect others from you. There is evidence that masking reduces an infected person spreading the virus, but the efficacy of masking against contracting an aerosolized virus is, well, lacking at best. Long story short, when you wear a mask, you are protecting someone else from yourself.
That is one of the things that has never made sense to me, and in a way that I struggle to put into words.

I wore mine because the state said I had to in order to do the average things I needed to get done while the restrictions were here. Yet, the idea of requiring a 'preventative measure' that doesn't prevent healthy people from getting infected in the first place is, to me, like going into battle naked and empty-handed. How does anyone expect to come out on top with a tool that, when implemented, is at best a nuisance to those affected, and nearly moot for those who don't want to get it? If Jed, a healthy man, masked, can still go into WalMart and come out positive, what did we actually accomplish? Who's actually being protected?

That's the part that makes no sense to me: we're unable to protect ourselves with these masks, and yet that means that we're somehow protecting others by wearing them.

So, I wore mine. I'd pretend I was part octopus, and masking was me utilizing my natural camouflage in the urban wilderness, as my wet-bred cousins do.~ Since the mask mandates are over with where I'm at, I'm politely smiling at strangers again. I deeply missed that.
 

Ed_in_Bed

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Being double jabbed significantly reduces your chances of catching the virus, and if you do catch it, you then have much less chance of becoming seriously ill.

The reason I'm still wearing a mask in public is that Long Covid is so little understood. Being double-jabbed might stop you from ending up on a ventilator, but will it prevent you developing Long Covid? Nobody knows, as far as I'm aware - but they do know much more about the secondary conditions of Long Covid, which include Myocarditis. Is it really worth risking having your heart muscle scarred and thickened to not wear a mask?

Last week, over 330,000 people in the UK caught the virus. That's almost the population of Manchester.
 

owlion

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I'm absolutely continuing to wear a mask. It's a relief my workplace hasn't removed any safety guidelines in place, so everyone else in the building has to wear one too, but I still feel nervous about people going out without one, then bringing Covid in. I'm getting my second jab next week, which is reassuring in some ways, but I'm also scared of being asymptomatic and giving Covid to someone who then gets seriously ill/dies from it, so I'm not going out without a mask until the Covid cases are zero.
 
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Ed_in_Bed

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Hmm, I'm not sure they'll ever get to zero, Owlion. I read that it will just become a seasonal thing like all the other coronaviruses.
 

Tazlima

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That's the part that makes no sense to me: we're unable to protect ourselves with these masks, and yet that means that we're somehow protecting others by wearing them.
I just think of it as a beefed-up version of covering a cough or sneeze. We protect others by keeping our germs to ourselves, but if someone sneezes on YOU, covering your own nose won't do any good.

The pants metaphor is pretty spot-on with this concept. If someone pees in my general direction, the fact that I'm wearing pants won't stop me from getting wet. However, if the other person, the one doing the peeing, is wearing pants, the range of the splash zone is vastly reduced.

If everyone keeps their pants on, yeah, there may still be some puddles on the floor, but at least nobody's getting firehosed.
 

Shirokirie

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So, the gist of what I think I've heard you say is that the service we're doing for ourselves isn't so much a matter of protection and/or prevention, but to reduce the range of the virus because of reasons. Did I read that right?
 

owlion

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Hmm, I'm not sure they'll ever get to zero, Owlion. I read that it will just become a seasonal thing like all the other coronaviruses.
I know places like New Zealand have had times with zero Covid cases reported, so it's not impossible. But yeah, in the UK at least I don't think measures will ever be good enough to completely eradicate it.

So, the gist of what I think I've heard you say is that the service we're doing for ourselves isn't so much a matter of protection and/or prevention, but to reduce the range of the virus because of reasons. Did I read that right?
Cloth masks do provide some protection for you as well (and other types of masks can provide even more), but generally the less the virus spreads, the more protection is offered. That means, because people can be asymptomatic, that it's important for everyone who can to wear a mask to minimise the spread. If everyone who can does get vaccinated and wears a mask, the spread will be massively reduced and will prevent more (potentially vaccine-resistant) variants from developing. So you're protecting yourself as well as others by wearing a mask.
 

Shirokirie

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Cloth masks do provide some protection for you as well (and other types of masks can provide even more), but generally the less the virus spreads, the more protection is offered. That means, because people can be asymptomatic, that it's important for everyone who can to wear a mask to minimise the spread. If everyone who can does get vaccinated and wears a mask, the spread will be massively reduced and will prevent more (potentially vaccine-resistant) variants from developing. So you're protecting yourself as well as others by wearing a mask.
I most certainly hope that is the case. :)
 

Roxxsmom

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You wear a mask to protect others from you. There is evidence that masking reduces an infected person spreading the virus, but the efficacy of masking against contracting an aerosolized virus is, well, lacking at best. Long story short, when you wear a mask, you are protecting someone else from yourself.
Evidence that masks (particularly surgical and other medical type masks, but even well constructed cloth ones) also protect the wearer has been mounting and is pretty well substantiated by now, especially in environments with relatively low viral load (which are most environments outside of health care settings). You do not have to block every single viral particle to prevent infection! And lower viral loads are also correlated with milder infection. The greatest protection arises when everyone is masked, however.


https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6549/1439

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201111/masks-protect-wearers-and-others-from-covid-19


https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/202...asks-protect-wearers-and-others-from-covid-19

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-surgical-masks-aerosols-shields.html

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210203/How-well-do-fabric-face-masks-protect-from-COVID.aspx

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/face-masks-protect-wearer.html

https://roanoke.com/news/local/face...cle_98a88f28-2dc9-11eb-86db-67304aab7e57.html

https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/...e-masks-disinfection-methods-against-covid-19

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-what-does-the-science-actually-say-about-face-masks-12349337

Personally, I think the early emphasis on masks only protecting others from the wearer was irresponsible (of course, there has also been concern about people taking masks as carte blanche to ignore all risks as long as they were masked).

Of course it should be enough to know that wearing masks protects others in case you yourself are infected. But some people (especially here in the US, sadly) are very selfish, or absolutely convinced they themselves can't possibly have the virus without knowing it (early dismissals of asymptomatic infection were also a big mistake). Now that surgical masks and KN95s and so on are widely available, I think it's very important that people know masks are two pronged protection. And people tend to cling to the early information they receive about something, even as new evidence comes in.

I think some of the disconnect over efficacy estimates stems from focusing on "not 100% effective" versus "blocking a high percentage of viral particles." Again, if you inhale fewer particles, your chance of getting the virus is reduced. It's never zero, but statistically, the odds of getting it diminish.

We still don't know the minimum infectious number of particles with this virus. We may never have a tight number, because of the different strains vary in transmissiblility, and individual variations in nonspecific immunity (I just found out that a genotype I have--being a PTC nontaster--may make me more likely to get a severe/prolonged case of this virus if I do catch it, which is scary, and it's possible people like me could catch it with fewer particles. No idea if vaccination completely offsets it or not).

I'm afraid masks are going to be with us for some time yet.
 
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TeresaRose

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I was shocked that UK went ahead and lifted all Covid restrictions, despite the huge surge in daily new cases. While conveniently Bobo has to go in isolation in his castle in the countryside!
 

Friendly Frog

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Thanks for the link, Maeze. It's nice to see so many options tested.

I used to insert paper towel as a filter into my homemade mask in the beginning of the epidemic, based on the suggestion of an employee at my grandad's care home. Seeing as it scored pretty well on the test in the link, maybe I should start that again now that delta is dominant here.
 
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ElaineA

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Going around thinking "it's your responsibility to keep yourself and your loved ones safe" without any any consideration for one's own responsibilities for community health belies the reality that we don't *actually* live in bubbles. Jesus, humans are a social species, dominant on this planet, in part, because because we protected and cared for each other as a group. Pity we seem to have "evolved" to a species ruled by undiluted self-interest. That's not a great recipe for survival.
 
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