Is there really a need to wear masks in public indoor spaces?

ALONG with with so many people, I am fully supportive of the CCA in their handling of the Covid crisis but there is one matter that I and many others are finding it difficult to cope with and that is the wearing of masks indoors for people who wear glasses. It is nigh on impossible to stop the lenses misting up and with Deputy Ferbrache and Dr Brink both wearing glasses I thought they would be aware of this problem.

Of course, if someone is coughing and sneezing then they should be wearing a mask, in fact they shouldn’t really be out at all, but otherwise as long as people practise social distancing, and I prefer three metres rather than two, I cannot see that wearing masks is that necessary. Do I not recall that Dr Brink said that there was little evidence that wearing masks had any real worth and she often quotes that everything should be evidence-based, so is there really a need to wear masks in public indoor spaces?


Editor’s footnote: Deputy Peter Ferbrache, chairman of the Civil Contingencies Authority, responds:

‘Throughout this lockdown we have asked our community to do things we would never ordinarily expect of them. There are many hardships and many inconveniences. The wearing of face coverings is one of those. I’m afraid I do need to ask your correspondent to endure the frustration of their glasses misting up for a little while longer.

There is considerably more evidence now than at the outset of this pandemic for the benefits of face coverings in reducing transmission, and the CCA supported by Public Health’s advice has always responded to new evidence and will continue to do so.

The importance of face coverings is also increased by the fact we are dealing with a different, more transmissible variant of the virus in this second wave and it has proven itself to be far more challenging when it comes to mitigating the spread. This wave has also come at a time when it’s colder, windows are closed and buildings are less well ventilated than in the first wave we experienced.

The inconvenience of misted up glasses is no fun, certainly. But it is also far less than the many difficulties we all face by having to remain in lockdown for longer because the virus continues to circulate in our community.

The lockdown is an enormous burden on many of us, even if it is an absolutely necessary short-term measure.

It leaves people isolated, it puts huge pressure on parents trying to still do their jobs while looking after children and supporting their learning, it leaves many businesses unable to trade. Face coverings are one of several measures which together help us get the virus under control and move out of lockdown safely, which we must do as quickly as possible.’

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