Readers' letters: 'Don't be a no-mask judge'
Has our country become more judgemental and polarised since Covid?
Although one could argue that maybe this divide started during the EU Referendum).
Just to be clear, I wear a mask. It’s a reminder of the dreary Covid world of rules and regulations and makes it harder for me to see as a wearer of glasses, but I wear one. True, I go into shops less and spend less time browsing (and therefore spending less money) but when I do go in I wear a mask. After all, it’s supposed to reduce the risk and I have no real reason not to.
But some people genuinely cannot wear them, a fact that is ignored by the judgemental amongst us.
Some people have asthma (with varying severity), autism, panic attacks, psychological distress caused by a personal trauma, and these and more may affect their ability to wear a mask.
True, we could differentiate between the able mask-wearers and those with a hidden disability or personal trauma.
We could interview them, “Why are you not wearing a mask?” “I suffered a personal trauma and someone covered my face up”.
“What were the circumstances of this personal trauma?” Awkward, isn’t it? (Although perhaps the Covid judges think this should be the case?)
I’m not saying that there aren’t selfish types or conspiracy theorists who aren’t wearing a mask for their own reasons, but when I have been into shops, the non-mask wearers are very much in the minority.
So, self-appointed Covid marshalls, why not give these people the benefit of the doubt instead of possibly discriminating or making life uneasy and less pleasant for those with hidden disabilities or personal trauma?
So, I guess what I am saying is, please wear a mask (if you can) but don’t judge others if they aren’t. I don’t know the reason. Neither do you. It’s easy to judge but it doesn’t make the world a kinder and nicer place.
C via email
It is absolutely no surprise to me that Covid-19 rates are extremely high in Lancashire.
I visited a large supermarket recently and during the 20 minutes I spent in the store, I spotted 11 people without face coverings, including one member of staff.
Call me cynical, but I doubt all these people all suffer from conditions which prevent the use of a mask.
That in itself is deeply worrying but the store’s attitude was worrying too.
I asked a member of the security staff, who wore a face visor – but the visor was up and I had to ask him to lower it – about the lack of face coverings. I gathered from him that shoppers should be reminded to wear a face covering each time they enter the store.
At the time of my entry to the store, I couldn’t see a member of staff in the entrance. On my way out of the store I tried to gel my hands but the dispenser was empty.
Please could all Lancashire people try to protect their fellow human beings and observe face coverings, maintain safe distances and clean their hands? The pandemic is scary, but let’s try to care for one another.
I watched the recent President Obama interview and remembered what was and then looked forward to what could be with the new presidency. One minor story amused me. After the completion of his term, President Obama was doing some reading while being driven somewhere and the car stopped. The reason the car had stopped was because there was a red light and for almost all of the last decade there had been no red lights in his way. He was back to facing parts of a normal citizen’s life, although still realistically being in a privileged position.
Most ex-presidents have continued to live a public life and kept working in roles that helped to make the country better. The job is really for life although it is uncertain how President Trump will contribute after his retirement, apart from supporting the golfing community. What many people fear, especially probably Republicans although they might not admit it, is that he will have a significant role and maybe control of the Republican Party, its nature and direction. The Republican Party needs to lick its wounds and start to look at how it can return to its true nature and ignore the worst of its voices. Accept the 2020 decision, look to work with the other side, especially in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic, as so many are dying, and the social and economic environment, which needs to be helped.